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3 Jun 2015

North West 200


Vauxhall International North West 200

When 4 wheels get boring

Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis


Alastair Seeley dominated the Vauxhall International North West 2015 as the local 35 year old rider from Carrickfergus claimed three victories beating the competition on Superbike&Supersport races.
Sponsored by Vauxhall, the North West 200 International are motorcycle road races held in Northern Ireland annually. Just like the TT: Isle of Man the circuit of NW200 is made up of public roads that run through towns and villages. The dangerous circuit, also known as the “Triangle” is 8.834 miles long and joins three coastal towns of Portstewart, Coleraine and Portrush.
NW200 is the second largest and most popular road race in the world that attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each year from across the globe. The speed of the bikes on the straights can exceed 200mph.
The circuit has been featured in a Playstation 2 game - TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship. 
The start/finish line as well as the pit lane is located on Portmore Road in Portstewart. The riders start alongside the spectacular coast line before turning left into the York Corner. Many spectators including myself enjoyed the races at the Ballysally roundabout further away.
The weather is a huge factor in these Northern Irish races as no weather man or crystal ball will predict it accurately; however, Thursday remained spectacular and the bikers were racing under sunny and dry conditions.
Since road racing is considered to be one of the most dangerous motorsports on the planet casualties in this sport are inevitable. There are serious incidents each year resulting in injuries or death of the competitors and sometimes the spectators; most recently the NW200 claimed the life of the young rider Simon Andrews. Simon died last year when his 1000cc bike crashed during the Superstock race on Coleraine road.
This year’s NW200 contained a few crashes, but luckily without any casualties. Last race of Thursday was red flagged due to the serious crash of the talented Hungarian Rider Bitter S├índor. The rider was thrown off the bike and after multiple rolls was left unconscious at the side of the road. Luckily the Hungarian rider escaped the severe accident with multiple broken bones and will be able to return to the NW200 in the future. 
Further incident took place during the Saturday races, when following a crash a part of a bike launched into the spectator area. A woman and two riders were taken to Hospital. This is a reminder of how dangerous this sport can be, and despite the risks the riders and spectators alike will return, for the thrill of the NW200 is addictive.
Camping for the weekend and enjoying the whole atmosphere of the NW200 motorcycle festival is the best way to do it, so start planning for 2016 NW200 International in advance.

WINNERS 2015

Supersport – Alastair Seeley
Super Twins – Ryan Farquhar
Supersport II – Alastair Seeley
Superbike – Alastair Seeley
Super Twins II – Jeremy McWilliams
Superstock II – Lee Johnston

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