Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

North West 200: Determination drives Amor on

Keith Amor races at the North West 200
Keith Amor races at the North West 200
Alaster Seeley celebrates his win at the North West 200
Superbike rider Ryan Farquhar pictured at the second practice day of the North West 200
Conor Cummins pictured at the opening practice night at the North West 200
Michael Rutter races at the North West 200
Stuart Easton, John McGuinness and Guy Martin race at the North West 200
Partner Julianna congratulates Paul Robinson on his emotional 125 win, honouring the memory of his road racing legend dad, Mervyn Robinson, 30 years after his crash death
Ryan Farquhar
Maria Costello, the fastest ever woman around the Isle of Man TT course and is the only female competitor at this year's North West 200
Supersport 600 Michael Dunlop rider pictured at the second practice on the North coast circuit at the Relentless International North West 200
North West 200: Michael Dunlop
Ryan Farquhar pictured at the second practice on the North coast circuit at the Relentless International North West 200
Michael Dunlop pictured at the second practice on the North coast circuit at the Relentless International North West 200
North West 200: 600cc rider Ryan Farquhar
Steve Plater crashes out of the the second practice session on his HM Plant Honda at the Relentless North West 200. May 2010
Steve Plater crashes out of the the second practice session on his HM Plant Honda at the Relentless North West 200
Steve Plater's father Trevor looks on as medics treat his son after he crashed at Quarry Hill during yesterday's practice for the Relentless North West 200
HM Plant team boss Havier Beltram and the team PR Fiona Cole llok on as medics carry Steve Plater away on a stretcher after he crashed at Quarry Hill during yesterday's practice for the Relentless North West 200
William Dunlop (CD Racing Yamaha) in action during Thursday's practice for the Relentless North West 200
Michael Dunlop pictured at the second practice on the North coast circuit at the Relentless International North West 2010
Michael Dunlop pictured in the grid area
Steve Plater races around Metropole before crashing on his final lap during practice ahead of this weekend's North West 200
Keith Amor pictured at the second practice on the North coast circuit at the Relentless International North West 2010
Lucky escape: Guy Martin takes a tumble during today's NW 200 practice
Steve Plater setting the fastest time during Tuesday night's practice session at the Relentless North West 200
Steve Plater had good reason to smile after he led the way in the Superbikes practice
Cameron Donald pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
Superbike rider John McGuinness pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
Superbike rider Ian Lougher pictured at the opening practice night of the Relentless North West 200
Superbike rider Michael Dunlop pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
Superbike rider Cameron Donald
Superbike rider Bruce Anstey pictured at the opening practice night at the Relentless North West 200
William Dunlop pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
Superbike rider Stuart Easton pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
Superbike rider Stuart Easton pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
600cc rider William Dunlop pictured at the opening practice night of the 2010 Relentless North West 200
William Dunlop during Tuesday's 125 practice session at the Relentless North West 200
Ryan Farquhar took time out from his North West preparation for this family photo-shoot with wife Karen and children Keeley and Mya, by leading portrait photographer Francis Meaney whose Venture studio will be exhibiting at the race paddock during Race Week Festival
Darren Gilpin emerges from a humble background to rub shoulders with giants of the motorcycle world at the North West 200
Ballymena's Darren Gilpin pictured at the Relentless International North West 2010

Scotsman Keith Amor scored his first North West 200 and international road race victory after a tremendous four-man battle with Ian Hutchinson, Ryan Farquhar and Alastair Seeley in the CP Hire Superstock race.

The five-lap race had got off to a frenetic start with pole position man Conor Cummins clipping the back of Hutchinson as the field blasted off the start line and made the quick dash towards Primrose, then at University Corner on lap one the McAdoo Kawasaki Isle of Man rider high sided off his machine uninjured and the closely following Farquhar had a near miss running over the fallen Kawasaki and nearly crashing.

The race then settled down with Amor, Seeley, Farquhar and Hutchinson breaking away from the chasing pack and engaging in their own battle for supremacy at the head of the field ten seconds clear of another close battle between Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness, Guy Martin, Ian Lougher, Cameron Donald, Adrian Archibald and Michael Rutter. In a furious last lap Farquhar led out of York, Amor was back in front by Ballysally side by side with Farquhar over the Link Road then at Mathers Chicane Hutchinson and Seeley were side-by-side as Farquhar lost drive and dropped to fourth.

At the chequered flag it was Amor taking his and BMW’s first North West 200 race, win a tenth ahead of Hutchinson with Farquhar getting ahead of Seeley in the closing stages to take third four different makes of machine in the first four places, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki with another BMW ridden by Rutter setting the new lap record of

119.588mph on the fifth and final lap as he cemented his fifth position ahead of Michael Dunlop.

“I had been there or thereabouts all day and was determined to get a podium. It was a real fast battle and I had to work really hard as I knew they were right behind me all race long. From not having any bikes a few weeks ago I’m over the moon to have taken my first international win,” Amor said.

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