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.
Despite superb weather in 2018, neither the Superbike nor Superstock lap records were broken although no less than nine of the fastest ever 25 riders set their times that year. Glenn Irwin was the fastest rider in 2018 to move from sixth to fourth fastest of all time whilst the biggest mover in the top 25 was James Hillier who went from 23rd quickest to 14th. Dan Cooper was the newest addition to the 25 and he became the 24th rider to lap at more than 120mph.
Let’s meet the riders…
|1.||Michael Dunlop||1000 BMW||2016 Superbike||4m22.095s||123.207mph|
|2.||Josh Brookes||1000 Yamaha||2014 NW200||4m22.627s||122.958|
|3.||Alastair Seeley||1000 BMW||2017 Superstock 1||4m22.755s||122.898|
|4.||Glenn Irwin||1199 Ducati||2018 NW200||4m22.945s||122.809|
|5.||Ian Hutchinson||1000 BMW||2016 Superstock||4m23.175s||122.702|
|6.||Peter Hickman||1000 Kawasaki||2016 Superstock||4m23.538s||122.533|
|7.||Dean Harrison||1000 Kawasaki||2018 NW200||4m23.988s||122.324|
|8.||Lee Johnston||1000 BMW||2017 Superstock 1||4m24.080s||122.281|
|9.||Bruce Anstey||1000 Honda||2016 Superbike||4m24.205s||122.223|
|10.||Conor Cummins||1000 Honda||2018 NW200||4m24.239s||122.208|
|11.||Martin Jessopp||1000 BMW||2018 NW200||4m24.247s||122.204|
|12.||Michael Rutter||1000 BMW||2018 Superbike||4m24.338s||122.162|
|13.||John McGuinness||1000 Honda||2016 Superbike||4m24.641s||122.022|
|14.||James Hillier||1000 Kawasaki||2018 NW200||4m25.272s||121.732|
|15.||Stuart Easton||1000 Honda||2010 NW200||4m25.528s||121.614|
|16.||Gary Johnson||1000 Kawasaki||2018 Superstock 2||4m25.608s||121.578|
|17.||Daniel Kneen||1000 BMW||2018 Superstock 2||4m25.654s||121.557|
|18.||Horst Saiger||1000 Kawasaki||2014 Superstock 1||4m26.404s||121.214|
|19.||Guy Martin||1000 Suzuki||2014 NW200||4m27.027s||120.932|
|20.||Simon Andrews||1000 Honda||2012 NW200||4m27.189s||120.858|
|21.||Cameron Donald||1000 Honda||2012 Superbike||4m27.398s||120.764|
|22.||Keith Amor||1000 BMW||2010 NW200||4m27.591s||120.677|
|23.||William Dunlop||1000 BMW||2015 Superbike||4m28.929s||120.076|
|24.||Daniel Cooper||1000 BMW||2018 Superstock 2||4m28.958s||120.063|
|25.||Adrian Archibald||1000 Suzuki||2010 NW200||4m29.187s||119.961|
Leading winners (6 wins or more)
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. To further ram home his status as the most successful rider in the history of the event, he took four wins in 2017 and then three more in 2018 to move onto a staggering total of 24, a figure that has every chance of increasing especially as he’s won at least one race every year since 2008.
Michael Rutter moved into outright third overall in 2017 after winning the second Supertwins race, five years after win number 13 came in the Superstock race, Joey Dunlop having taken 13 wins between 1979 and 1988. 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||24 (2008-2018)|
|2.||Robert Dunlop||15 (1986-2006)|
|3.||Michael Rutter||14 (1997-2017)|
|4.||Joey Dunlop||13 (1979-1988)|
|5.||Phillip McCallen||11 (1991-1997)|
|6.||Bruce Anstey||10 (2002-2014)|
|7.||Tony Rutter||9 (1973-1982)|
|8.||Ian Lougher||8 (1991-2005)|
|9.||Steve Plater||7 (2006-2009)|
|10.||Steve Cull||6 (1980-1988)|
|=||John McGuinness||6 (2000-2012)|
Leading podium finishes – (10 podiums or more)
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.
However, that tally was finally overhauled in 2017 not once but twice with both Alastair Seeley and Michael Rutter moving above McCallen and also beyond 30 podiums. The duo came into the meeting tied on 27 but with five podiums this year compared to Rutter’s four, Seeley just nosed ahead with a total of 32 to 31.
However, whilst Rutter took another podium in 2018 to move onto 32, a total that spans an astonishing 23 years, Seeley added four more to further increase his record total to a whopping 36.
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 (250cc, 350cc, 500cc) as opposed to the eight races today. Meanwhile, Woolsey Coulter’s ten podiums all came in the one class, the 250cc.
|1.||Alastair Seeley||36 (2008-2018)|
|2.||Michael Rutter||32 (1995-2018)|
|3.||Phillip McCallen||28 (1990-1999)|
|4.||Ian Lougher||26 (1990-2008)|
|=||Joey Dunlop||26 (1976-1996)|
|6.||Robert Dunlop||25 (1986-2007)|
|=||Bruce Anstey||25 (2002-2015)|
|8.||John McGuinness||21 (1997-2012)|
|=||Tony Rutter||21 (1972-1982)|
|10.||Ryan Farquhar||15 (1998-2015)|
|=||Michael Dunlop||15 (2008-2018)|
|12.||Jim Moodie||14 (1990-2002)|
|=||Steve Plater||14 (1998-2009)|
|=||Ian Simpson||14 (1991-1998)|
|15.||Ian Hutchinson||13 (2006-2017)|
|16.||Steve Cull||12 (1980-1990)|
|=||Callum Ramsay||12 (1995-2005)|
|=||Lee Johnston||12 (2013-2018)|
|19.||John Williams||11 (1970-1978)|
|=||Iain Duffus||11 (1994-2002)|
|21.||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 was initially the only rider to achieve four hat-tricks, achieving the feats in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994 but that man Seeley matched that achievement in 2018, following on from his hat-tricks of 2012, 2015 and 2017.
Seeley actually took four wins at the 2017 meeting but these were spread across two days, one win coming on Thursday evening and then three on Saturday.
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 twelve more wins, all coming in the last five 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. Another three wins were taken by Seeley in 2017, two in the Superstock class and one in the Superbike category, whilst both he and Peter Hickman were victorious in the 2018 Superstock races.
Ducati’s win by Glenn Irwin in the feature 2017 Superbike race was their first NW200 victory since 2008 but he promptly gave the Italian manufacturer two more wins in 2018.
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||600 Yamaha||2018||4’33.864||117.913mph|
|Lightweight (Supertwins)||Martin Jessopp||650 Kawasaki||2017||4’52.483||110.423mph|
|Superstock 1000||Alastair Seeley||1000 BMW||2017||4’22.755||122.898mph|
|Fastest Female||Maria Costello|
|CATEGORY||RIDER (S)||BIKE||YEAR||RACE TIME||AV SPEED|
|SUPERBIKE (7 laps)||Glenn Irwin||1199 Be Wiser Ducati Panigale||2018||30:43.811||122.323mph|
|Alastair Seeley||Tyco Suzuki GSXR1000||2012||26:32.461||121.352mph|
|Michael Dunlop||BMW Motorrad S1000RR||2014||22:06.288||121.358mph|
|Alastair Seeley||Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-6R||2016||27:39.302||116.463mph|
|Alastair Seeley||Relentless by TAS Racing Suzuki GSXR600||2010||23:19.992||114.969mph|
|Alastair Seeley||Mar-Train Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R||2017||26:22.328||122.129mph|
|Ian Hutchinson||Tyco BMW S1000RR||2016||22:07.389||121.258mph|
|Martin Jessopp||Riders Motorcycles ER6 650cc Kawasaki||2017||19:33.052||109.683mph|
Statistics compiled by Phil Wain.
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