After a week of cold and wet weather, the 2012 North West 200 races took place in bright and sunny conditions today as Honda TT Legends’ John McGuinness claimed two podium finishes in the Superbike class and took his tally of wins to six. Team-mate and NW200 newcomer Simon Andrews impressed with a confident debut on the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit to secure two top ten places.
The first Superbike race of the day saw McGuinness get off to a great start ahead of pole sitter Alastair Seeley. By the end of lap one Seeley had regained a slight advantage, but under increased pressure from a determined McGuinness, he made a mistake that cost him several places. With a clear road ahead and a comfortable lead, McGuinness put in a flawless performance to hold the top spot for the remainder of the six-lap race claiming his sixth North West 200 win.
Team-mate Simon Andrews started his first ever NW200 race from 19th on the grid, placing him on the front row of the second wave of riders. A confident performance saw him finish ninth and as the highest-placed newcomer in the race.
The second Superbike battle was the sixth and final race of the day for John McGuinness, who also took part in the Supersport and Superstock classes with Padgetts Honda. He had another strong start and held on to second place until lap four when he was overtaken by Michael Rutter. McGuinness eventually crossed the line in third to secure his second Superbike podium.
Meanwhile, Andrews put up an incredible fight from the second wave of riders to finish just one place behind his team-mate on the timesheet in a well-deserved fourth position – an impressive end to his debut at the North West 200. The next stop for the Honda TT Legends team will be its namesake event – the Isle of Man TT – which kicks off in just eight days time.
John McGuinness I was fairly confident we could go well in the races today after qualifying on the front row. I went in with a good attitude, just wanting to get stuck in and go as hard as I could to keep Alastair under pressure. In race one that happened and he made a mistake and in race two I was with him all the time but I couldn’t quite get there. Rutter got passed me too, but to be honest you’ve got two guys there doing BSB week in, week out so I’m happy to be on the podium. A win and a third is great for the team. We’re here in the iconic Honda colours and the bike has not let us down so I’m well happy with that.
Simon Andrews I’m really happy after that. The team have done a top job with the bike set-up and it was just a dream to ride from the word go. I felt comfortable, it was easy to ride, I could push for the whole race – it was just a pleasure. I’m just really pleased that we have achieved so much and this is exactly where we wanted to be after the North West going in to the TT.