|Venue: Triangle Circuit Portstewart-Coleraine-Portrush Dates: 10-14 May|
|Coverage: Live video streams of all practice sessions and races; Live Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds coverage and text commentary on all races; TV highlights on BBC One NI on Friday 13 May, Sunday 15 May and Monday 16 May.|
Glenn Irwin held off Davey Todd to win a blistering first Superbike race at a sun-drenched North West 200.
Irwin made it five Superbike wins a row and can extend his run in the later feature Superbike race, with a Superstock and Supertwin race still to run.
Earlier, Lee Johnston claimed a popular Supersport win from 11th on the grid with a last-lap pass on Davey Todd.
Richard Cooper dominated the opening race of the day in the Supertwins.
Starting from pole position for the first Superbike race, Irwin grabbed the lead into York ahead of Todd. The BMW of Peter Hickman ran deep into University on the first lap as Irwin led Todd over the line by 0.361 seconds at the end of the first lap.
Todd continued to shadow Irwin throughout the second lap with Cooper and Dean Harrison behind in a distant podium battle.
The Padgetts man moved to the front after Irwin, on the factory Honda, ran deep into York corner at the start of the third lap but the local favourite hit back on the run down to University.
The 27-year-old and Irwin ran side-by-side into Metropole as their battle continued, with Cooper in hot pursuit after shaking off Harrison, and the leading trio were separated by just 1.3 seconds heading into the fourth lap.
Irwin slipstreamed past Todd on the run to University and set a new lap record but the 32-year-old couldn’t shake off the impressive Todd heading onto the penultimate lap.
The challenger moved into the lead at University, but Irwin responded with a move into Mather’s Cross and held the lead across the line.
Todd hit the front again in the Magherabuoy chicane with a block pass on Irwin, but the British Superbike front-runner powered side-by-side and re-took the lead on the exit of Metropole before holding off Todd by 0.253 seconds to take the chequered flag.
Cooper dropped away to finish third ahead of the distant PBM Ducati of Josh Brookes, Alastair Seeley and James Hillier.
Hickman was forced to retire on the fourth lap but not before setting a blistering lap record of 4:18.753, an average speed of 124.799 mph, while Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop also failed to finish.
Cooper takes impressive victory
In the opening Supertwin race, rescheduled from Thursday night, Cooper collected his maiden North West 200 victory in dominant fashion.
The fastest newcomer from 2019 stormed into an eight-second lead by the end of lap two and raced clear of a keenly-fought battle for second.
Frenchman Pierre Yvan Bian came out on top ahead of local rider Paul Jordan, while behind Lee Johnston battled past Jeremy McWilliams, who had a trip across the grass, and Jamie Coward to take fourth.
Michael Dunlop ran deep into University corner on the first lap before retiring while his McAdoo Racing team-mate Adam McLean also pulled into the pits.
As in the first outing, Cooper powered clear at the front as Frenchmen Bian ran straight on at York corner.
The Kawasaki led from Joe Loughlin, who failed to start the first race. McWilliams headed Johnston, Christian Elkin, Michael Sweeney and Coward at the end of the first lad for the final podium place.
Cooper opened up a 6.6 second lead on the second lap ahead of Loughlin, who was comfortable in second place.
The Nottingham rider broke his own lap record with a 4:47.065 and won by 11.241 seconds over Loughlin, while Johnston edged out McWilliams and Coward for the final podium position.
Johnston wins classic Supersport battle
Alastair Seeley was looking for win number 27 in the Supersport race after beating Todd and Jeremy McWIlliams on Thursday, but it was the Padgetts Honda of Todd who fired into an early lead.
Lee Johnston, from 11th on the grid, stormed up the order to get on the tail of Todd and the two traded places several times as the two winners from 2019 duelled out front, with Dunlop just behind.
After dropping down to fourth, Seeley pulled into the pits and retired, and as the leading two continued to battle Dunlop began to close in by the end of the third lap.
Johnston and Todd continued to trade paint out front, and Todd went deep into Mather’s Cross and ran across the grass on lap four to allow the Northern Irishman some breathing space.
In the battle behind, James Hillier slid off in the multi-rider battle for fourth, and by the time Johnston reached University Todd had recovered to sit on the tail of the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha.
Todd and Johnston swapped places three times on the penultimate lap, in which Todd broke the lap record, with 0.2 seconds separating the pair over the line.
Johnston sat behind his rival throughout the final lap and managed to pounce down the inside on the Juniper Chicane after Todd ran slightly wide through Black Hill, and the winning margin was just 0.079 seconds as Johnston out-dragged Todd to the chequered flag.
Dunlop finished third ahead of Dean Harrison, Coward and Joe Loughlin.
Saturday results at the North West 200
|1. Richard Cooper (Kawasaki)||Four laps|
|2. Pierre Yves Bian (Paton)||+8.414|
|3. Paul Jordan (Kawasaki)||+8698|
|4. Lee Johnston (Kawasaki)||+13.160|
|5. Jeremy McWilliams (Paton)||+13.499|
|6. Jamie Coward (Kawasaki)||+14.492|
|7. Michael Sweeney (Kawasaki)||+18.840|
|8. Christian Elkin (Kawasaki)||+28.522|
|1. Lee Johnston (Yamaha)||Six laps|
|2. Davey Todd (Honda)||+0.079|
|3. Michael Dunlop (Suzuki)||+9.817|
|4. Dean Harrison (Kawasaki)||+30.504|
|5. Jamie Coward (Yamaha)||+40.125|
|6. Joe Loughlin (Yamaha)||+40.636|
|7. Paul Jordan (Yamaha)||+41.064|
|8. Jeremy McWilliams (Yamaha)||+49.952|
|1. Glenn Irwin (Honda)||Six laps|
|2. Davey Todd (Honda)||+0.253|
|3. Richard Cooper (Suzuki)||+11,491|
|4. Josh Brookes (Ducati)||+25.334|
|5. Alastair Seeley (Yamaha)||+34.713|
|6. Conor Cummins (Honda)||+34.956|
|7. James Hillier (Yamaha)||+55.175|
|8. Michael Rutter (BMW)||+56.006|
|1.Richard Cooper (Kawasaki)||Four laps|
|2. Joe Loughlin (Paton)||+11.241|
|3. Lee Johnston (Kawasaki)||+16.332|
|4. Jeremy McWilliams (Paton)||+16.625|
|5. Jamie Coward (Kawasaki)||+17.132|
|6. Michael Sweeney (Kawasaki)||+21.252|
|7. Matthew Rees (Kawasaki)||+45.333|
|8. Andrea Majola (Paton)||+45.456|