Triangle maestro Alastair Seeley splashed his way to a quickfire North West 200 double with a dominant victory in the first Superstock race last night.
The 42-year-old, a former British Superstock champion, won the Supersport race earlier for his 25th victory around the 8.9-mile course, and Seeley’s second win of the 2022 meeting was achieved with the minimum of fuss.
He hit the front on his IFS Yamaha from Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgett’s Honda) and gradually disappeared into the distance, surviving some early slides in the rain before settling into his groove and going on to win by nearly 13 seconds.
“That race reminded me of the Thursday Superstock race in 2012, except there was probably less grip tonight,” Seeley said.
“I was short-shifting out there and trying to find grip, but there just was none at all.
"I had a few slides and then I just rode steady where I knew it was slippery, and I just watched my board from there and brought it home.”
In a processional race, Seeley used his unrivalled knowhow at Northern Ireland’s premier road race to control proceedings from the front, eventually taking the chequered flag after six long laps with 12.8s in hand over Todd, who sealed his second runner-up result of the evening.
“It’s another second place and Alastair got to the front and pushed on,” Todd said.
“He got a gap and, to be honest, I could do nothing about it. The bike was awesome but the conditions were so slippery and I’ve never seen it as bad as that for grip.”
The final podium place went to Richard Cooper, who also finished on the rostrum in the Superstock class on his NW200 debut in 2019, when he was second on that occasion behind James Hillier.
A host of riders decided not to take part in the race due to the conditions, including Glenn Irwin, who had claimed pole position in yesterday’s final qualifying session on his Honda Fireblade.
The Ulsterman’s team-mate, John McGuinness, was also a non-starter along with Michael Dunlop, Lee Johnston, Michael Sweeney and Adam McLean.
However, the conditions did not faze Seeley, who grasped his chance for another win and made it count as he scaled the top step for the 26th time.
Behind the top three, Conor Cummins (Milenco by Padgett’s Honda) and Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) finished fourth and fifth, while Marty Lennon from Banbridge had an excellent result in sixth on his Yamaha.
The Supertwin race was, meanwhile, cancelled due to deteriorating conditions and fading light.
A statement from the organisers read: “Tonight’s Milltown Service Station Supertwins race has been cancelled due to deteriorating conditions and a lack of time. With failing light and a lot of surface water on the track, it would not be possible to complete the two sighting laps and a four-lap race by 9pm when the roads must be re-opened.”
Jeremy McWilliams, one of the favourites for the class, was frustrated by the call.
“I’m not very happy, there’s plenty of light,” he said.
“None of the riders I’ve spoken to want it cancelled. It has deprived me of another podium or a win.”