NW200 2016 – Jump on board for an event preview

110 Replies

The international road racing season begins in earnest tomorrow, with the opening three races of this year’s North West 200. In recent times, the event has been beset with poor weather; however the sunshine has been unyielding along the scenic Causeway Coast, resulting in perfect conditions for racing.

First held in 1929, the NW200 is a pure street circuit using the roads which link the seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart with Coleraine. The track has a distinctive triangle shape consisting of two long, very high speed straights, connected by the sweeping road which hugs the spectacular Atlantic shoreline.

So what’s it really like to lap this circuit at an average speed of 120 mph or higher? Climb aboard John Burrow’s bike for a 360 degree view, courtesy of this amazing video from the BBC:

The practice sessions on Tuesday illustrated how close and insanely fast the racing promises to be. In the superbike class, a number of riders broke the circuit speed trap at over 200 mph. Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop shared the honour of setting the highest speed, as their respective BMW 1000RR machines cracked an astonishing 203.4mph.

Dunlop also went on to set the fastest lap on his Hawk Racing BMW in the last seconds of the session. Alastair Seeley, who will endeavour to collect a 16th North West 200 win during the two race days, was second fastest. If he succeeds, Seeley will eclipse the record set by Michael’s father and road racing legend, Robert Dunlop.

Hutchinson was only 3rd fastest, despite equaling the outright speed of Michael Dunlop. Veteran John McGuinness claimed the fourth fastest time on a Honda and the equally experienced Michael Rutter took another BMW to 5th overall.  James Hillier was the fastest Kawasaki in sixth place on the Quattro Plant backed biked, closely followed by Peter Hickman on the JG Speedfit ZX10R.

NW200 2016 - Jump on board for an event preview

Courtesy @TycoBMW / Twitter

A duo of Hondas ridden by Conor Cummins and Bruce Anstey occupied 8th and 9th place on the time-sheets, meanwhile Lee Johnston battled through the pain barrier to round out the top ten on the East Coast Construction BMW.

Supersport remains an Alastair Seeley specialism. The Wee Wizard was posted a fastest lap on the Gearlink Kawasaki that was significantly fastest than second quickest, Ian Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha Martin Jessop was third aboard the Riders Triumph.

Michael Rutter posted an unoffical lap record during superstock practice. Yet again, the familiar pairing of Seeley and Hutchinson were in close pursuit.

Schedule:

Thursday 12th May 

09.30 – 15.00: Roads close for practice

17.00 – 21.00:

Race 1 – Supersport (6 laps); Race 2 – Supertwins (4 laps); Race 3 – Superstock (6 laps)

Saturday 14th May

09.30 – 19.00:

Race 1 – Supersport (6 laps); Race 2 – Superbike (7 laps); Race 3 – Supertwins (4 laps); Race 4 – Superstock (6 laps); Race 5 – NW200 Superbike (7 laps)

More information: www.northwest200.org

 

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About Author

Chris, known as Cess on the forums, is a long time RMS member. He is a fervent motorsports enthusiast and lover of all things automotive. He can be found on the ditches of most Irish rallies, at Mondello watching drifting or in front of the TV watching motorbike racing.

RMS Forum Comments

scoobyman 19:15 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
Yea will be going up
kenG 19:24 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
yup, i'll be heading up thursday for evening practice, and early saturday morning for the main racing.
Jordy 19:25 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
Live streaming FTW. Too much fucking about in recent years....will they race, won't they, sighting laps etc....
kenG 19:34 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
it's an option to stream it if the weather forecast is bad, we all know there will be drama over racing or not, i had 2 grandstand and vip tickets bought a couple of years ago for myself and the son, and it was pouring down from the thursday afternoon and never let up. i lost big style, but watched the granny antics online. think there was one race. glad i didn't waste my time going.
scoobyman 19:47 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
| yup, i'll be heading up thursday for evening practice, and early saturday morning for the main racing.
Same here leaving from lisburn
kenG 20:08 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
you should do a run up to NW200 post, something like all going to meet at fortwilliam flyover(on the bridge looking towards belfast) 8.30am leaving 8.45sharp, (weather permitting) with a red rose on their helmet :p:D
mn5587 20:49 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
| you should do a run up to NW200 post, something like all going to meet at fortwilliam flyover(on the bridge looking towards belfast) 8.30am leaving 8.45sharp, (weather permitting) with a red rose on their helmet :p:D
Good idea, although my run up to the course is about 1mile! I'd be happy for a meet up somewhere near the course and take a spin round.
kenG 23:11 | Thu 28 Apr, 2016 | Report
so, i'm confused, your a mile away, and its the first time in years, if there was a reason i'd be witheld from the NW200 living a mile away, bike or no bike, that reason would get a punch in the throat. ^o)
mn5587 06:37 | Fri 29 Apr, 2016 | Report
| so, i'm confused, your a mile away, and its the first time in years, if there was a reason i'd be witheld from the NW200 living a mile away, bike or no bike, that reason would get a punch in the throat. ^o)
No confusion, I work at sea and this year my leave has lined up for me to be here at the right time. Before that I lived in England for 7 years and couldn't get the time off.
ilovequo 08:27 | Fri 29 Apr, 2016 | Report
Can't get this year - hopefully live stream though!


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