Peter Hickman controlled from the front to clinch the Superstock race win at the North West 200 on the new Smiths Racing BMW ahead of Glenn Irwin and Michael Dunlop.

Despite losing his lead from pole position into York Corner to Irwin, Hickman quickly regained top spot on the run to University and with a rapid pace quickly pulled clear at the front.

A fierce battle for second place developed between Quattro Plant Kawasaki pair Irwin and James Hillier, along with Dean Harrison, but after Hillier dropped back the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider took the charge to Irwin but on the penultimate lap came unstuck and slid off at University.

With Irwin easing clear in second place, Supersport winner Lee Johnston and MD Racing/Carl Cox Motorsport’s Michael Dunlop tussled for the final podium place, with Dunlop getting the better of his fellow BMW rider to complete the rostrum.

Hillier also caught Johnston on the final lap to recover to fourth place, with Johnston fifth, as debutant Richard Cooper impressed in sixth place for Buildbase Suzuki while also becoming the new fastest newcomer.

Jamie Coward grabbed seventh place for PreZ Racing Yamaha ahead of Daley Mathison (WH Racing with Dynobike BMW), Derek Sheils (Burrows Eng/RK Racing Suzuki) and Paul Jordan (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki) who completed the top 10.

Ian Hutchinson retired while fighting in the top six on Lap 4 for Honda Racing, while Davey Todd suffered a cruel last-lap retirement for BMW.

Bonetti stuns in Supertwin

Stefano Bonetti grabbed a surprise victory in the final race of the day on Thursday in the Supertwin class, seeing off Jamie Coward (KTS Racong Kawasaki) to become the first Italian winner at the NW200 with his privately-run VAS Engine Racing Paton.

Michael Rutter completed the podium on the Bathams Racing Kawasaki.