Lee Johnston has secured a dramatic victory in the 2019 North West 200 opener as Alastair Seeley crashes at the final chicane in an enthralling tussle during the first Supersport race.

Both Johnston and Seeley exchanged overtakes throughout the six-lap Supersport opening race with neither willing to concede any ground over the final lap at the all-important final overtaking spot.

24-time NW200-winner Seeley looked to stamp his authority on the race with a move at the Juniper chicane but misjudged his braking point to see him run on and fall on the grass, taking a heavy hit on the track, which allowed Johnston on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha to clear off for victory - his fourth at the NW200.

With Seeley bruised but reported okay after his off, Dean Harrison grabbed second place for Silicone Racing Kawasaki seeing off a late charge from James Hillier on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki.

Paul Jordan looked to cap an impressive outing on Yamaha but was cruelly denied on the penultimate lap as he stopped with a technical issue at Mill Road roundabout, allowing Michael Dunlop on the MD Racing Honda to climb up to fourth place ahead of Jamie Coward on the PreZ Racing Yamaha.

Ian Hutchinson grabbed sixth place for the Honda Racing squad ahead of Padgett’s Davey Todd, with Gary Johnson taking eighth place on the RAF Regular & Reserves Triumph as Michael Sweeney (MJR Yamaha) and Daley Mathison (WH Racing Yamaha) rounded out the top 10.

Peter Hickman was a high-profile non-finisher on the Smiths Triumph following a technical issue, while Conor Cummins also failed to finish on the Padgett’s Honda stopping on Lap 3 at Miller’s cross chicane.

 

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