International North West 200 – Supersport 1 & Superstock 1 Race Reviews
Guy Martin took Tyco Suzuki’s first podium of this year’s International North West 200 in last night’s Ballymoney Borough Council Supersport race, run over five laps in treacherous conditions. Martin then took fourth place in the Livewire AV Superstock race again run in difficult road conditions.
Josh Brookes didn’t disappoint on his full road-racing debut with a fine seventh place in the Superstock encounter. Even more impressive was Brookes’ rapidly decreasing lap times, eventually posting the third fastest lap of the race – which is a phenomenal achievement as a newcomer.
“The Supersport race was run in really iffy conditions, but the bike was good and very strong. I led on the first lap but once Dunlop came past I just wasn’t prepared to give any more in the early laps on really wet roads. Seeley also got me from the second group on corrected time but I’m happy enough as I think the little Suzuki is good enough to do the business, if we get the right conditions on Saturday.
“In the Superstock race, if someone had told me before the race started that we’d get fourth from fifteenth on the grid, I’d have ripped their arm off for it. I got past Seeley in the race at one point and should probably have done more, but we were a little out with the gearing and struggling to slipstream. In saying that, the bike is strong and it’s another step forward. We can be up there fighting on Saturday in this class also.”
“We are improving and improving on the Superstock bike every time we ride it, but I have to remember, the first time I’d ever ridden the bike was when we rolled up here at the start of the week. I’ve just made changes in a step-by-step process and that’s for personal feel, but the engine performance of the GSX-R1000 has been very good and I can draft past people easy enough.
“In the race I started from the second group, which I wasn’t that happy about as I wanted to use some of the other fast guys as a gauge, as I’m still struggling to know some of the braking points off the fast straights. I did get the holeshot in my group and led into University, but I ran on and it took me a while to get it turned.
“I had to fight through the traffic then and felt disappointed that a great opportunity had been lost. I just put my head down and got quicker and quicker, lap-by-lap. The first lap through Station Corner, which is quite intimidating, was a matter of building it up; then on my last flying lap I almost kept it flat through there, which is what you’ve got to do. It took me five laps to learn it.
“Now I can look back and say it was a great race and the boys worked really hard to give me a great bike. I only made one small mistake, which is acceptable as I’m new to this and it is tough trying to learn the track in the wet. I think there is still a lot more to come from me. No I’m not riding the track as good as the front guys just yet, but with more time I can get up there, but I’m really enjoying the experience.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager:
“I have to say that it was a very successful day for us taking everything into consideration and putting it in perspective. We’ve worked hard on the wee GSX-R600 Suzuki over the winter and also added new suspension in Ohlins, so I’m pleased with Guy’s podium in those conditions. Also, to come from fifteenth to fourth in the Superstock race is a great result for Guy and the team and I think there is more to come on Saturday. He rode very well in both.
“It was good to see Josh with a big smile on his face after the Superstock race. It’s hard to believe he had never ridden our GSX-R1000 Superstock bike before this week, so to post the third fastest lap of the race is testament to the crew we have in the Tyco Suzuki team and the fantastic ability Josh has as a rider. We will not get carried away though as what we want to see is progression with JB, although the pace that he has shown so far is beyond anyone’s expectations as a newcomer.”
Supersport Result [5 laps]
1: Alastair Seeley [Kawasaki] 24:55.528
2: Michael Dunlop [Honda] +1.349sec
3: Guy Martin [Tyco Suzuki] +24.937
4: Bruce Anstey [Honda] +38.587
5: Stuart Easton [Yamaha] +40.737
6: Dean Harrison [Yamaha] +42.073
Superstock Result [6 laps]
1: Alastair Seeley [Kawasaki] 28:34.583
2: Bruce Anstey [Honda] +0.296sec
3: Gary Johnson [Kawasaki] +16.700
4: Guy Martin [Tyco Suzuki] +20.579
5: Derek Sheils [Kawasaki] +23.060
6: Conor Cummins [Yamaha] +23.463
7: Josh Brookes [Tyco Suzuki] +35.604