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North West 200 Records and Stats

North West 200 Records and Stats

Check out these impressive record and stats that have been set during the North West 200

Fastest 25 solo riders

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 Dunlop1000 BMW2016 Superbike4m22.095s123.207mph
2.Josh Brookes1000 Yamaha2014 NW2004m22.627s122.958
3.Alastair Seeley1000 BMW2017 Superstock 14m22.755s122.898
4.Glenn Irwin1199 Ducati2018 NW2004m22.945s122.809
5.Ian Hutchinson1000 BMW2016 Superstock4m23.175s122.702
6.Peter Hickman1000 Kawasaki2016 Superstock4m23.538s122.533
7.Dean Harrison1000 Kawasaki2018 NW2004m23.988s122.324
8.Lee Johnston1000 BMW2017 Superstock 14m24.080s122.281
9.Bruce Anstey1000 Honda2016 Superbike4m24.205s122.223
10.Conor Cummins1000 Honda2018 NW2004m24.239s122.208
11.Martin Jessopp1000 BMW2018 NW2004m24.247s122.204
12.Michael Rutter1000 BMW2018 Superbike4m24.338s122.162
13.John McGuinness1000 Honda2016 Superbike4m24.641s122.022
14.James Hillier1000 Kawasaki2018 NW2004m25.272s121.732
15.Stuart Easton1000 Honda2010 NW2004m25.528s121.614
16.Gary Johnson1000 Kawasaki2018 Superstock 24m25.608s121.578
17.Daniel Kneen1000 BMW2018 Superstock 24m25.654s121.557
18.Horst Saiger1000 Kawasaki2014 Superstock 14m26.404s121.214
19.Guy Martin1000 Suzuki2014 NW2004m27.027s120.932
20.Simon Andrews1000 Honda2012 NW2004m27.189s120.858
21.Cameron Donald1000 Honda2012 Superbike4m27.398s120.764
22.Keith Amor1000 BMW2010 NW2004m27.591s120.677
23.William Dunlop1000 BMW2015 Superbike4m28.929s120.076
24.Daniel Cooper1000 BMW2018 Superstock 24m28.958s120.063
25.Adrian Archibald1000 Suzuki2010 NW2004m29.187s119.961

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.


Alastair Seeley

Alastair Seeley

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 Seeley24 (2008-2018)
2.Robert Dunlop15 (1986-2006)
3.Michael Rutter14 (1997-2017)
4.Joey Dunlop13 (1979-1988)
5.Phillip McCallen11 (1991-1997)
6.Bruce Anstey10 (2002-2014)
7.Tony Rutter9 (1973-1982)
8.Ian Lougher8 (1991-2005)
9.Steve Plater7 (2006-2009)
10.Steve Cull6 (1980-1988)
=John McGuinness6 (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.

Robert Dunlop's 15th win at North West 200

Robert Dunlop’s 15th win at North West 200

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 Seeley36 (2008-2018)
2.Michael Rutter32 (1995-2018)
3.Phillip McCallen28 (1990-1999)
4.Ian Lougher26 (1990-2008)
=Joey Dunlop26 (1976-1996)
6.Robert Dunlop25 (1986-2007)
=Bruce Anstey25 (2002-2015)
8.John McGuinness21 (1997-2012)
=Tony Rutter21 (1972-1982)
10.Ryan Farquhar15 (1998-2015)
=Michael Dunlop15 (2008-2018)
12.Jim Moodie14 (1990-2002)
=Steve Plater14 (1998-2009)
=Ian Simpson14 (1991-1998)
15.Ian Hutchinson13 (2006-2017)
16.Steve Cull12 (1980-1990)
=Callum Ramsay12 (1995-2005)
=Lee Johnston12 (2013-2018)
19.John Williams11 (1970-1978)
=Iain Duffus11 (1994-2002)
21.Mick Grant10 (1975-1982)
=Woolsey Coulter10 (1988-1998)
=Eddie Laycock10 (1986-1990)
=David Jefferies10 (1998-2003)

Most wins in a day – 5

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.

Manufacturer success

Honda have won more NW200 races (92) than any other manufacturer. They’re followed by Yamaha (79), Norton (37), Suzuki (31) and Kawasaki (25).

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.

Current Lap Records

These are the current lap and race records that have been set at the North West 200.

CategoryRider(s)BikeYearTimeAverage Speed
OutrightMichael DunlopHawk Racing BMW S1000RR20164’22.095123.207mph
SuperbikeMichael DunlopHawk Racing BMW S1000RR20164’22.095122.958mph
Supersport 600ccAlastair Seeley600 Yamaha20184’33.864117.913mph
Lightweight (Supertwins)Martin Jessopp650 Kawasaki20174’52.483110.423mph
Superstock 1000Alastair Seeley1000 BMW20174’22.755122.898mph
Fastest FemaleMaria Costello

Current Race Records

SUPERBIKE (7 laps)Glenn Irwin1199 Be Wiser Ducati Panigale201830:43.811122.323mph

(6 laps)

Alastair SeeleyTyco Suzuki GSXR1000201226:32.461121.352mph

(5  laps)

Michael DunlopBMW Motorrad S1000RR201422:06.288121.358mph

(6 laps)

Alastair SeeleyGearlink Kawasaki ZX-6R201627:39.302116.463mph

(5 laps)

Alastair SeeleyRelentless by TAS Racing Suzuki GSXR600201023:19.992114.969mph

(6 laps)

Alastair SeeleyMar-Train Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R201726:22.328122.129mph

(5 laps)

Ian HutchinsonTyco BMW S1000RR201622:07.389121.258mph

(4 laps)

Martin JessoppRiders Motorcycles ER6 650cc Kawasaki201719:33.052109.683mph

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.