2015 North West 200 Qualifying Results
The grid is set for Saturday’s superbike races at the 2015 Vauxhall International North West 200 in Northern Ireland- an event that opens up the 2015 international road-racing scene.
One main was dominate throughout practices at the 8.970-mile circuit made up of almost entirely public roads - TYCO BMW S1000RR pilot Alastair Seeley.
The Northern Irishman’s speeds allowed him to earn the pole for the two seven-lap Superbike races - the Monster Energy Superbike Race and the Vauxhall NW200 Superbike Race.
Seeley, who lapped the North West 200 course with a lap of 121.552 mphs, qualified 2.479 seconds ahead of ECC/Burdens BMW’s Lee Johnston, who was just confirmed to ride a Splitlath EBR1190RS at the 2015 Isle of Man TT.
“All of the bikes are working well and it just seemed that all the riders who start in front of me are coming back to me,” Seeley says. “We didn’t make any major changes to the bike from Tuesday because there is no point in fixing what isn’t broken. I made a tire change on the Stocker that I wanted to try on the big bike but the session was cut short and I didn’t get the chance.”
Johnston also commented after Friday’s practice/qualifying sessions: “We have a little issue with the brakes and hopefully when we get that sorted we will go faster.” Johnston said after grabbing the second front row spot on Saturday’s superbike grid. I only did two flying laps before I came in and those are the first two dry laps I have had on the bike.”
Johnston didn’t have any luck in the Supersport session, though; the clutch on his ECC/Burdens Triumph broke, forcing him into the pits. Once that was fixed, he was forced to retire on the following lap due to further issues.
Starting third in Saturday’s North West 200 Superbike races is 21-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness.
The veteran, who will pilot the factory Honda CBR1000RR SP Fireblade, begins his 25th year of racing this season.
“We’ve got a really solid package with the Superbike and probably one of the best bikes out there. I’m really happy to be starting from the front row of the grid on Saturday. I’m feeling great this year; last year was tough with my wrist injury but all that’s behind me now and it’s not causing me any problems. We’re solid and I am really looking forward to seeing what we can do on race day,” McGuinness says.
Fourth fastest was Padgett’s Valvoline Honda’s Bruce Anstey, who holds the TT lap record. He finished ahead of the second TYCO BMW S1000RR piloted by William Dunlop, who rode well despite suffering a high side at York on the CD Racing Yamaha during the Supersport session.
The 13-time North West 200 race winner Michael Rutter qualified sixth aboard the Penz13.com BMW S1000RR.
Last year’s feature Superbike race winner, Milwaukee Yamaha’s Michael Dunlop, was over 5.5 seconds off the pace.
Comeback hero and 2012 winner, Ryan Farquhar topped the listings in the Supertwins class on his SGS/KMR Kawasaki ahead of Martin Jessopp (VRS Kawasaki) and James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki). Grand Prix legend Jeremy McWilliams was fourth quickest on a second SGS/KMR Kawasaki, the North West 200 website reports.
In the Supersport class Bruce Anstey was second fastest to Seeley, 0.695 of a second slower with William Dunlop taking third in spite of his crash at York, which saw the session being red flagged. But once again it was newcomer Glenn Irwin who caused a sensation, taking fourth spot on the Gear Link Kawasaki, the North West 200 website reports.
2015 North West 200 schedule:
- Betmclean.com Supersport Race (6 laps)
- Monster Energy Superbike Race (7 laps)
- The Anchor Portstewart Supertwin Race (4 laps)
- CP Hire Superstock Race (6 laps)
- Vauxhall NW200 Superbike Race (7 laps)