NW200: Michael Dunlop clinches Superbike spoils

Michael Dunlop won the Superbike race at the North West 200.
Michael Dunlop won the Superbike race at the North West 200.

Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop smashed the lap record at the Vauxhall International North West 200 on Saturday on his way to a brilliant Superbike victory.

The 27-year-old had broken clear at the front on the Hawk Racing BMW when the race was stopped due to a crash involving Kiwi Bruce Anstey, who came off his Valvoline Padgett’s Honda at Church corner on lap four.

Thankfully, Anstey escaped injury in the incident and the result was declared, with Dunlop the winner by 5.2 seconds from Yorkshireman Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW, with third going to event favourite Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW.

Anstey had been timed at a blistering 209.8mph on his Fireblade through the speed trap on the blast to Coleraine, setting a new record.

Dunlop, who shattered the lap record with a speed of 123.207mph, was celebrating his fifth win at the North West.

“It’s a Superbike win and it’s good. The boys have worked really hard on the bike to get it together,” Dunlop said.

“They’re doing all they can and we’ve got a good package here at the minute.

“I knew what sort of lap I could do so I just put my head down and that was the main thing.”

Peter Hickman from Burton-on-Trent finished a close fourth on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki ahead of Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston (East Coast/Burdens BMW) and Honda Racing duo John McGuinness and Conor Cummins.

Alastair Seeley lost his chance of matching Phillip McCallen’s record of five wins in a day when he ran on at University on the opening lap.

Seeley was back in 19th place but fought his way through to eighth on the Briggs BMW.