Seeley races into record books and overtakes hero Dunlop
Carrick ace reaches 16 wins at North West but three riders hospitalised after crashes
Road racing ace Alastair Seeley powered to another victory at the North West 200 last night, smashing a 10-year-old course record set by his boyhood hero, Robert Dunlop.
Riding a Kawasaki machine, the Carrickfergus man made history when he pipped Yamaha's Ian Hutchinson in the Supersport race along the sun-kissed north coast.
But the celebrations were short-lived after two crashes saw three riders injured, and racing was stopped early.
When he took the chequered flag earlier, it brought Seeley's total of North West 200 race wins to 16 - one more than the record set in 2006 by the late Dunlop, who died during practice at the same races in 2008.
Seeley equalled Dunlop's record last year - and last night he finally overtook his hero.
Speaking after last night's record-breaking race, Seeley (36) said he was "totally overwhelmed".
"It was a dogfight out there but I felt on the last lap that I could push on to win.
"It's nice to finally get the record - and I can sit back a little now."
But while there was joy for Seeley, two serious accidents on the NW 200 roads yesterday saw three riders hospitalised after high speed crashes.
Organisers said that none of the trio had suffered life-threatening injuries.
Ryan Farquhar and Dan Cooper crashed at Black Hill during the third lap of last night's Supertwins race.
Although injured during the 180mph smash, Farquhar still managed to borrow a spectator's phone to text his wife Karen to tell her that he was OK.
The Dungannon man was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for treatment, while Cooper was treated in the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.
Cooper is understood to have a shoulder injury while Farquhar has chest and pelvic injuries.
Earlier in the day, Castledawson rider Nico Mawhinney was also rushed to the Royal in Belfast by air ambulance after he suffered a broken pelvis in another high speed crash on the circuit.