Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 26 May 2015

North West 200: Emotional first for Robinson

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
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

Paul Robinson scored an emotional win as he raced to a superb victory in the McKendry Fabrications 125cc race, 30 years after the death of his father Mervyn in an accident at Mathers Cross during the 1980 North West 200.

This race looked on paper to be a William Dunlop benefit, after being fastest in practice and holding a 2.5sec lead over Robinson at the end of the first of four laps.

However, motorcycle racing is a fickle sport and Dunlop was out of the race at York Hairpin on lap two, suffering gearbox problems with the Delaney Honda, leaving Robinson 1.6secs clear of Chris Palmer with Jon Vincent in third.

Palmer was next to suffer mechanical gremlins with a flat battery on his Honda starting the last lap leaving Robinson to take that elusive win at the North West, 8.6secs clear of Vincent, with Belgian rider Renzo Van der Donckt taking third twelve seconds further back, also his first ever rostrum finish.

For Robinson, who previously recorded five top-six finishes in the 125cc class at the North West, this was a touching moment.

The 35-year old Ballymoney man said: “That wasn’t easy. I was as nervous as anything hoping and praying the bike would keep going on that last lap as it has been giving its fair share of problems all season.

“I remember being here the day my father lost his life and this is a special moment.

“My uncles Joey and Robert Dunlop are top of the all-time winners here, my cousins William, Michael and Sam Dunlop are all racing today, so you can imagine how I feel after winning this race, it has always been a dream that one day I would win around here and at last I have done it.”

Robinson and his Impact Conveyor Parts Honda also had the distinction of recording the new lap record speed of 97.115mph for this particular class.

A terrific battle for fourth saw newcomer Neil Durham edge out Dutch rider Stephan Savelkouls, Sam Dunlop and Nigel Moore seven-tenths of a second covering the four riders as they flashed across the finish line.

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