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Check out these impressive record and stats that have been set during the North West 200…
The North West 200 course has changed on numerous occasions over the years and it was the course in the late 1970s that saw the fastest ever speeds with Tom Herron setting a never-to-be-beaten outright lap record of 127.63mph in 1978 – one can only wonder what the lap record would be today if that course was still being used!
Since then though, four chicanes have been introduced – Juniper Hill (1983), Start and Finish (1988), Magherabuoy (1996) and Mather’s Cross (2010) – with them all designed to slow speeds down just when they’re beginning to escalate once more.
Weather conditions since 2010 have also been inclement, more often than not, but 2016 finally saw perfect weather conditions so, unsurprisingly, the outright lap record was broken. Whilst the Superstock race saw a number of riders set their personal best laps, quicker than what they did in the Superbike race, it was the latter where the outright lap record was set with Michael Dunlop’s dominant victory seeing him lap at 123.207mph, half a second inside Josh Brookes’ old mark.
Such were the conditions in 2016, eight of the top ten fastest riders set their times at this year’s event with almost 50% of the top 25 coming this year. Having only had one previous visit to the NW200, Peter Hickman was the biggest mover, jumping up to fifth fastest overall.
Let’s meet the riders…
|1.||Michael Dunlop||1000 BMW||2016Superbike||4m22.095s||123.207mph|
|2.||Josh Brookes||1000 Yamaha||2014NW200||4m22.627s||122.985|
|3.||Ian Hutchinson||1000 BMW||2016Superstock||4m23.175s||122.702|
|4.||Alastair Seeley||1000 BMW||2016Superbike||4m23.453s||122.572|
|5.||Peter Hickman||1000 Kawasaki||2016Superstock||4m23.538s||122.533|
|6.||Bruce Anstey||1000 Honda||2016Superbike||4m24.205s||122.223|
|7.||John McGuinness||1000 Honda||2016Superbike||4m24.641s||122.022|
|8.||Michael Rutter||1000 BMW||2016Superbike||4m24.915s||121.896|
|9.||Lee Johnston||1000 BMW||2016Superstock||4m25.166s||121.780|
|10.||Stuart Easton||1000 Honda||2010NW200||4m25.528s||121.614|
|11.||Horst Saiger||1000 Kawasaki||2014Superstock1||4m26.404s||121.214|
|12.||Conor Cummins||1000 Honda||2016Superbike||4m26.793s||121.038|
|13.||Guy Martin||1000 Honda||2014NW200||4m27.027s||120.932|
|14.||Gary Johnson||1000 BMW||2016Superstock||4m27.046s||120.923|
|15.||Simon Andrews||1000 Honda||2012NW200||4m27.189s||120.858|
|16.||Cameron Donald||1000 Honda||2012Superbike||4m27.398s||120.764|
|17.||Keith Amor||1000 BMW||2010NW200||4m27.591s||120.677|
|18.||Martin Jessopp||1000 BMW||2014Superstock1||4m28.483s||120.276|
|19.||William Dunlop||1000 BMW||2015Superbike||4m28.929s||120.076|
|20.||Adrian Archibald||1000 Suzuki||2010NW200||4m29.187s||119.961|
|21.||James Hillier||1000 Kawasaki||2014NW200||4m29.767s||119.703|
|22.||Dean Harrison||1000 Kawasaki||2014NW200||4m30.430S||119.430|
|23.||Ryan Farquhar||1000 Kawasaki||2012Superbike||4m30.614s||119.329|
|24.||Jeremy McWilliams||1000 Yamaha||2016Superstock||4m30.941s||119.185|
|25.||David Johnson||1000 BMW||2016Superbike||4m31.122s||119.105|
Despite missing the prime years of his career due to injury, and confined to just the 125cc class when he did return, Robert Dunlop held the record number of wins at the North West 200 for over twenty years, having racked up 14 victories between 1986 and 1994.
That was mainly due to the Ballymoney rider recording hat-tricks in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994. However, he had to wait until 2006 to take his 15th and final win, victory coming in a last lap charge that saw him overhaul Michael Wilcox.
In 2015 though, the form man at the NW200 in recent years, Alastair Seeley, equalled that tally of 15 wins with his second hat-trick and in 2016, he finally bettered Dunlop’s long-standing record, claiming his 16th and 17th race wins in the two Supersport races.
Joey Dunlop took 13 wins with his last victory surprisingly coming in 1988 with that total being matched by Michael Rutter who, of course, is still competing at the highest level today. Just behind them is Phillip McCallen on 11 wins, largely aided by his five-timer in 1992, with Bruce Anstey one place further back on ten wins, the New Zealander’s last win coming in 2014.
Leading winners table:
|1.||Alastair Seeley||17 (2008 – 2016)|
|2.||Robert Dunlop||15 (1986 – 2006)|
|3.||Joey Dunlop||13 (1979 – 1988|
|=||Michael Rutter||13 (1997 – 2012)|
|6.||Phillip McCallen||11 (1991 – 1997)|
|7.||Bruce Anstey||10 (2002 – 2014)|
|8.||Tony Rutter||9 (1973 – 1982)|
|9.||Ian Lougher||8 (1991 – 2005)|
|10.||Steve Plater||7 (2006 – 2009)|
|11.||Steve Cull||6 (1980 – 1988)|
|=||John McGuinness||6 (2000 – 2012)|
In just ten years of racing at the North West 200, Phillip McCallen recorded an impressive 28 podiums with the Portadown rider competing in all classes during that period. Indeed, his rostrum appearances came in the 250cc, Supersport 400cc, Supersport 600cc, Superbike and production 1000cc categories.
With three and one appearances respectively at the 2016 meeting, Alastair Seeley and Michael Rutter have closed the gap to McCallen to just one though and with both riders still very much at the top of their game, they should overhaul McCallen’s record in 2017.
As expected, both Ian Lougher and Joey Dunlop are high on the list with the longevity of their careers seeing them rack up 26 podiums apiece, whilst Robert Dunlop and Bruce Anstey are one place – and podium – further back. Anstey’s record of appearing on the podium at least once every year since he made his debut in 2002 finally came to an end in 2016.
Special mention should go to ninth placed Tony Rutter who took 21 podiums in a ten-year period when there were sometimes just three races on the programme 9250cc, 350cc, 500cc) as opposed to the eight races today. Meanwhile, Woolsey Coulter’s ten podiums all came in the one class, the 250cc.
|1.||Phillip McCallen||28 (1990 – 1999)|
|2.||Michael Rutter||27 (1995 – 2016)|
|=||Alastair Seeley||27 (2008 – 2016)|
|4.||Ian Lougher||26 (1990 – 2008)|
|=||Joey Dunlop||26 (1976 – 1996)|
|6.||Robert Dunlop||25 (1985 – 2007)|
|=||Bruce Anstey||25 (2002 – 2015)|
|8.||John McGuinness||21 (1997 – 2012)|
|=||Tony Rutter||21 (1972 – 1982)|
|10.||Ryan Farquhar||15 (1998 – 2015)|
|11.||Jim Moodie||14 (1990 – 2002|
|=||Steve Plater||14 (1998 – 2009)|
|=||Ian Simpson||14 (1991 – 1998)|
|14.||Callum Ramsay||12 (1995 – 2005)|
|=||Steve Cull||12 (1980 – 1990)|
|16.||John Williams||11 (1970 – 1978)|
|=||Iain Duffus||11 (1994 – 2002)|
|=||Michael Dunlop||11 (2008 – 2015)|
|19.||Mick Grant||10 (1975 – 1982)|
|=||Woolsey Coulter||10 (1988 – 1998)|
|=||Eddie Laycock||10 (1986 – 1990)|
|=||David Jefferies||10 (1998 – 2003)|
John Williams, Joey Dunlop, Steve Cull, Robert Dunlop, Phillip McCallen, Michael Rutter, David Jefferies. Bruce Anstey and Alastair Seeley have all taken hat-tricks at the North West 200 but only one rider has won five races in a single day – McCallen.
Riding for Honda Britain, McCallen achieved the feat in 1992 winning the opening 250cc race, both Superbike races and the Supersport 400cc and Supersport 600cc encounters. Only a spill in the second 250cc race prevented him from winning six!
Robert Dunlop is the only rider to achieve four hat-tricks though, achieving the feats in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994.
Yamaha have the honour of being the only manufacturer to have a clean sweep of the programme, winning all five races in 1979.
BMW, meanwhile, only took their first win at the North West 200 in 2010 when Keith Amor won the Superstock race. Since then though, they’ve added five more wins, all coming in the last two years. Michael Dunlop (Superstock and Superbike) took two wins in 2014 with Lee Johnston and Alastair Seeley also winning Superstock races in 2015.
Seeley also took a Superbike race win in 2015 with Ian Hutchinson (Superstock) and Dunlop (Superbike) adding to the tally in 2016.
These are the current lap and race records that have been set at the North West 200.
|Outright||Michael Dunlop||Hawk Racing BMW S1000RR||2016||4’22.095||123.207mph|
|Superbike||Michael Dunlop||Hawk Racing BMW S1000RR||2016||4’22.095||122.958mph|
|Supersport 600cc||Alastair Seeley||Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-6R||2016||4’35.045||117.835mph|
|Lightweight (Supertwins)||Ivan Lintin||Devitt RC Express Racing Kawasaki ER6 6500cc||2016||4’55.434||109.304mph|
|Superstock||Ian Hutchinson||Tyco BMW S1000RR||2016||4’23.175||122.702mph|
|Fastest Female||Maria Costello|
|Category||Rider(s)||Bike||Year||Race Time||Av. Speed|
|Superbike (6 laps)||Alastair Seeley||Tyco Suzuki GSXR 1000||2012||26:32.461||121,352mph|
|Superbike (5 laps)||Michael Dunlop||BMW Motorrad S1000RR||2014||22:06.288||121.358mph|
|Supersport (6 laps)||Alastair Seeley||Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-6R||2016||27:39.302||116.463mph|
|Supersport (5 laps)||Alastair Seeley||Relentless by TAS Racing Suzuki GSXR600||2010||23:19.992||114.969mph|
|Superstock (6 laps)||Alastair Seeley||Mar-Train Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R||2015||26:48.185||120.165mph|
|Superstock (5 laps)||Ian Hutchinson||Tyco BMW S1000RR||2016||22:07.389||121.258mph|
|Lightweight (4 laps)||Jeremy McWilliams||KMR/ SGS International ER6 650cc Kawasaki||2015||19:58.361||107.367mph|
Now you know all about the impressive stats of the North West 200, which road race impresses you best – Ulster GP or NW200?
Statistics compiled by Phil Wain.