ALASTAIR Seeley extended his record run at the North West 200 in the opening Supersport race, beating James Hillier, Lee Johnston and Dean Harrison to the win.
The EHA Racing Yamaha rider took his 22nd victory after a tight battle with at least five others at the front of the field.
Seeley nabbed the holeshot ahead of Riders Motorcycles’ Martin Jessopp, but Jessopp squeezed through to the lead as the pack crested Primrose Hill for the first time.
But disaster struck for the Triumph rider when he ran into the Millroad Roundabout after coming in too hot, taking him out of contention as Seeley shot to the front with Lee Johnston and McAdoo Racing’s youngster Adam McLean in tow.
Moments later, James Hillier joined the party as Gary Johnson crept up along with him, but Silicone Engineering’s Dean Harrison, who had dropped to 11th on lap one after getting caught behind Jessopp, was back in contention as he made his way up to second on the fourth of six laps.
Seeley, Harrison, Hillier and Johnston jostled for position in the slipstream, but the Wee Wizard made a break on the final lap and powered to yet another 600cc win, nearly 2.5s clear of JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Hillier and Padgett’s Racing’s Johnston.
“I just bided my time,” Seeley admitted. “Dean and Lee got by me and I was able to get back straight away. I knew I had to make a break on the last lap so when we hit the coast road I just put my head down.
“I love the Supersport class and I love the bike. I don’t think we’ve done a lot of changes from what they use in the British Championship. It’s the Superstock and Superbike we have to get the big guns out for. But I’ve got plenty left in the tank.”
*Image: Pacemaker Press Intl/Rod Neill