As it happened: North West 200 road races

Success for Alastair Seeley and Jeremy McWilliams at Thursday night's racing at the North West 200 road races.

16 May 2013 Last updated at 22:03

As it happened

  1. 1715: 
    Alastair Seeley

    Roads are closing now for tonight's three races in the North West 200 - the Supersport, Supertwins and Superstock races.

    Thursday night racing was introduced last year after the 2011 programme was hit by rain, a security alert - and an oil spill!

  2. 1720: 
    Weather report

    The weather forecast has let us down. We had been expecting improved, dry conditions for the racing proper - after the difficult wet conditions which riders faced during practice earlier in the day.

    Fingers crossed - we are told things will improve during the evening.

  3. 1725: 
    Practice session
    Thursday's practice at the North West 200

    Things were tricky during the practice runs with rain - and even hail - showers hampering riders as they chased qualifying times.

  4. 1730: 

    The first race is Supersport 1 and Morecambe's John McGuinness sits on pole position. The Padgett's Honda man is seeking a seventh career victory at the North West.

    This class features bikes just like you would see every day on the road, but changes to exhausts, suspension internals and tyres are allowed.

  5. 1730: 

    One bikes nut from Scotland is likely to be hopping on the boat from Cairnryan first thing Friday...

    Enjoying the live coverage on my laptop here in Falkirk - but missing being at the North West for the first time since 1998. Thinking of getting the ferry booked because I can't bear to miss race day. Hope the weather improves - Grant Mauchline

  6. 1732: 

    There is also live coverage on BBC Radio Ulster 1341 medium wave - with presenters Joel Taggart and Michael McNamee.

  7. 1745: 

    One of the top riders Alastair Seeley starts back in the second group of riders for the first race - but could still challenge on corrected times.

    The Carrickfergus rider, the main standard-bearer for Kawasaki, blew an engine in Tuesday's practice and Thursday's weather meant he couldn't post a fast qualifying time.

  8. 1802: 
    They're ready

    The serious action of the 2013 North West 200 is about to begin - but the Supersport 1 event has been reduced to a five-lap race on a drying Triangle circuit.

  9. 1818: 

    Into Metropole for the first time and Michael Dunlop has grabbed the lead from early pacesetter Bruce Anstey, the New Zealander who has won this race four times.

  10. 1836: 

    Leader Michael Dunlop enjoys an five-second advantage on corrected times over Alastair Seeley with just one lap to go.

  11. 1841: 
    Super Seeley

    Alastair Seeley may have started in the second wave of riders - but the Kawasaki rider from Carrickfergus has won the opening race at the North West 200 by 1.312 seconds on corrected times.

    Michael Dunlop, seeking his second career win at the NW, crossed the line first but is declared the runner-up with the colourful Guy Martin from Lincolnshire in third.

    Next came Bruce Anstey, Stuart Easton and Dean Harrison.

    Guy Martin, Alastair Seeley and Michael Dunlop

    Runner-up Michael Dunlop is philosophical on Radio Ulster

    "The tyres were shot and we got a big slide out of the chicane. But there are no excuses.

    "It is hard when you are in the first wave and you don't really know where you lie."


    Former MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams says the organisers are going to have to look at the way a rider in the second wave can win a race.

    "It is not ideal - I prefer to see races won from the front."

    Bikes over books


    So unfair! I have a final university exam tomorrow and can't revise with all this excitement. Bikes always over BioMed Will

  15. 1917: 

    The Supertwins are underway. It is a wet four-lap race and Michael Dunlop is gambling with a full set of dry tyres. He is on his own with that selection!



    Got a cup of tea and some cake, having a great night watching the live coverage. Come on @guymartinracing! Alanna

  17. 1927: 

    Former Grand Prix star Jeremy McWilliams is leading from William Davison with Jamie Hamilton in third.

  18. 1934: 

    Second-placed William Davison comes off at Black Hill - so McWilliams leads from James Hillier and Jamie Hamilton.

    Happily, Davidson is none the worse for his tumble.

  19. 1939: 
    McWilliams wins
    Jeremy McWilliams

    Jeremy McWilliams wins his first ever North West 200 race at the age of 49, seeing off the challenges of Hampshire's James Hillier in second and Jamie Hamilton, a mere 22-year-old Ballyclare boy who takes third.

    Next to finish were Ivan Linton, Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter.


    "This is the best moment of my career," says winner McWilliams.

    "You shouldn't be winning races here at nearly 50 years of age.

    "William was riding really well and it would have been an awesome race if he had stayed with me."

    Eugene Laverty

    World Superbike challenger Eugene Laverty has been keeping an eye on proceedings back in his native Northern Ireland...

    Go on @McWill99! #NW200 Supertwins race winner. Wish I was there to celebrate with you all.

  22. 2018: 

    The last race of the evening - the six-lap Superstock - is off.

  23. 2022: 

    Lincolnshire lad Gary Johnson has never made the podium at the North West - but he is the early leader from class specialist Bruce Anstey and Alastair Seeley.

  24. 2035: 

    Anstey has claimed the lead in a thrilling duel with Johnson on the nine-mile Triangle circuit. The 43-year-old from New Zealand has been on the podium at every North West since 2002 and has had nine wins here.

  25. 2038: 

    But here comes Alastair Seeley! The Carrickfergus man is on the scent of a second victory of the evening - surging past Anstey and Johnson with Guy Martin in fourth.

    Seeley doubles up

    Alastair Seeley holds off Bruce Anstey to make it two out of two for the night.

    Gary Johnson takes third for his first ever podium finish at the North West.

    Guy Martin was fourth, followed by Derek Shiels and Conor Cummins

    A satisfied Seeley said: "That was hard. I was trying to stay on the dry line and make the best of my dry tyres.

    "It is nice to get another win. We will rest up tomorrow, look to see how we can improve the bike, and hopefully keep the ball rolling on Saturday."

    IT'S A WRAP!

    So a great night for Seeley who moves into double figures for career wins at the North West 200. He has four more rides on Saturday and is in the form to add to his tally.

    That is it for tonight from Northern Ireland - join us again for Saturday's five-race programme.

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