Glenn Irwin has maintained his North West 200-winning run in the Superbike class after seeing off Quattro Plant Kawasaki team-mate James Hillier in a last corner fight.

Following lengthy delays to the Saturday’s opener the Supersport race due to rain and oil on track, the Superbike race was shortened from seven to four laps which created a thrilling sprint fight for victory.

While both Irwin and Hillier initially cleared off at the front, Conor Cummins recovered from a hairy blast off the start line to bolt up into the third place by the second lap.

As Cummins worked on eating into the gap to the Quattro Plant Kawasaki duo, Irwin followed Hillier starting the final lap before making an initial move for the lead using the slipstream. But Hillier fought back under the brakes at Metropole to setup a decider at the Juniper chicane which saw Irwin dive up the inside and get his braking done to retake the lead charging to the finish line.

Irwin duly secured his fourth Superbike win in a row at the North West 200, his maiden for the Bournmouth-based Kawasaki squad, ahead of team-mate Hillier who took on the race using his Superstock ZX-10RR machine.

With Cummins just missing out in third place for Padgetts Honda, backing up his podium from the Supersport race, Derek Sheils grabbed an impressive fourth place on the Burrows Eng Suzuki ahead of Alastair Seeley on the Be Wiser Ducati.

Newcomer Richard Cooper continued his eye-catching debut at the NW200 for Buildbase Suzuki in sixth place ahead of Michael Rutter on the Bathams Honda, as Matthew Rees (Rees Racing Kawsaki), Lukas Maurer (L78 by Heidger Kawasaki) and Tom Weeden (Burrows Eng Suzuki) rounded out the top 10.

There were a number of non-starters due to the mixed conditions and delays including Peter Hickman, Ian Hutchinson, David Johnson, Davey Todd, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston.

Michael Dunlop retired to the pits after the opening lap with a suspected technical issue with his Tyco BMW.

 

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