2019 North West 200 : Qualifying Results 14/05/2019

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The first International Road Race is here and it is the 90th Anniversary of Northern Ireland’s Largest Sporting Event – The 2019 International North West 200!

The weather is looking glorious for the week ahead and this morning into the afternoon brought us the first of two practice sessions.  

Everything from the newcomers to the Superbikes was catered for and here is how things sit after the first qualifying session.

Times will quicken as the teams do a bit of chopping and changing, maybe a little tinkering and tweaking, but things will get quicker and with the sun shining here’s to a massive 90th Anniversary and to a safe and enjoyable event for all riders, teams, marshal, spectators, me and you!

North West 200 : 14th May 2019 Qualifying / Practice Results :

You’ll recognise these guys because for today and Thursday’s Practice Sessions they will be wearing orange bibs.  Keep an eye on them them, stars of the future are in here!

2019 NW200 Newcomers Free Practice Qualifying 2019 NW200 Newcomers Free Practice Qualifying

Alistair Seeley takes the top spot in the first session – Lee Johnston not too far behind – and I reckon will do big things in this class this year…watch and see…

2019 NW200 Supersport First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Supersport First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Supersport First Qualifying

You are not going to have too much change out of £150,000 for the cheapest superbike.  

You’ll probably need about £200,000 for a race ready Ducati, and a cool quarter of a million for the RCV Honda (about the current price of a 2 bedroom apartment on the course!)

It was great to see John McGuinness back out on the Triangle Circuit after his horrific off in 2017 and as he said himself, in that silver suit and on the Norton he was definitely on the best looking machine on the course – the bike is hand build too!

Michael Dunlop has really put his stall out too.  After a week of, ‘Will he?  Won’t he? He has parted from Tyco?  He isn’t happy.  He is injured.’ He is half a second of the top spot and watching him, he looked good – there is definitely more to give…

2019 NW200 Superbike First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Superbike First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Superbike First Qualifying

It was great to see John McGuinness back out on the Triangle Circuit after his horrific off in 2017 and as he said himself, in that silver suit and on the Norton he was definitely on the best looking machine on the course – the bike is hand build too!

The Supertwins… love them or hate them they are the class that is becoming the controversial one.

What started as a class that was meant to be a starting point to road racing and affordable you now need big money to make your stock 650cc machine competitive.  Some estimates out there are in the region of needing £100,000 to have a machine capable enough to get you on the rostrum.  That £100,000 will turn your 60bhp machine to close to 100bhp.

Then there is the Paton machine – say no more – the supertwin purists don’t like it / those making super twins don’t like it, but the fans – they love it!

2019 NW200 Supertwin First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Supertwin First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Supertwin First Qualifying

 

The Paton machine proved itself in 2018 – Ridden by Joey Thompson, who almost – almost – won the class (and unfortunately failed to secure a ride / team for this year – and has subsequently retired from racing).  Two fan favourites, Horst Saiger and Maria Costello MBE will be on a Paton, so keep your eyes peeled.

On the other side of the fence is the Kawasaki 650cc – Ryan Farquhar has six machines on the track and wants to fill the podium.

John McGuinness will be out on another incredible looking Norton – the haters don’t like it either – something to do with the units produced to fit the class.  But as I said – it is incredible looking.  So far though it has not shown itself to be the fastest machine – but it is its first year here…

 

Probably the class favoured most by riders, a fraction less power than the Superbike makes them just that little bit more manageable than their bigger, more powerful siblings.

However as you will see by the end of the week the difference in timings will minimal.

Superstock machines are easily identified as a ‘Superstock’ as they bare the red number plate – you might even see a few out during the superbike sessions.

A really full line-up for the Superstock grid, but one noticeable absence is Alistair Seeley – who has opted out of the class to the concentrate on the Ducati Superbike.  

Michael Dunlop will be out on his own MD Racing / Carl Cox Motorsport Superstocker – let’s not forget MD likes to build bikes too – and as you can see from the results a big final push put him third in this session, about 6/100 off 2nd.

Personally I think this will be a great race.

2019 NW200 Superstock First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Superstock First Qualifying 2019 NW200 Superstock First Qualifying

So there we have it – the conclusion of day 1 and what a great incident free session that was.

Some teams will be thinking – ‘It’s working, let’s not break it.’  Some will be thinking, ‘Break it, start fresh!’

Whichever though it this Tuesday session has led brilliantly towards Thursday’s qualifying and race night sessions – see you there for hopefully more of the same!

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