BMW Motorrad’s winning streak in road racing continues. The BMW S1000RR was the bike to beat last week at the North West 200 (NW200) in Northern Ireland which kicked off the international road racing season. On the 8.970-mile Triangle Circuit, privateer BMW Motorrad riders claimed a double win with Alastair Seeley (GB / Tyco BMW) victorious in the Superbike race while local hero Lee Johnston (GB / ECR/Burdens) won the Superstock race with Seeley finishing second. The engineers from BMW Motorrad Motorsport were on site to support the BMW teams in their technical preparations.
The International North West 200 near Coleraine (GB) marked the first major event of the season, which will continue with the legendary Isle of Man TT (IOMTT), the Ulster GP and the Macau Grand Prix. These four events are also combined in the new “BMW Combined Road Race Challenge” (BMW RRC), which counts towards the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. After several wins in national road race events in preparation for the season, the BMW Motorrad teams tackled the North West 200 with a lot of confidence – and their expectations were not disappointed.
Man of the day was Tyco BMW rider Seeley. He took the Superbike victory with his BMW S1000RR, and in doing so equalled Robert Dunlop’s (GB) all-time record of 15 wins at the North West 200. “I’m a bit overwhelmed if I’m honest. To have equalled Robert’s record in such a short space of time… I’m stuck for words,” said Seeley, who also did the fastest race lap. “It is just amazing for me and the Tyco BMW team. Big credit to all the boys for a big effort this North West and, of course, BMW Motorrad for providing top class machinery.” Philip Neill, Tyco BMW team manager, added, “This is an extremely important event for us and to take our first victory for Tyco BMW in our first year together is amazing and testament to the new BMW S1000RR.”
Local hero Johnston finished the Superbike race in fourth with his ECR/Burdens BMW S1000RR, directly followed by Michael Rutter (GB / Penz13.com Bathams by BMW) in fifth. Seeley’s Tyco BMW teammates, William Dunlop (GB) and Guy Martin (GB), came home in seventh and eighth, while BMW Motorrad riders David Johnson (GB / Ice Valley by Motorsave Trade) and Keith Amor (GB / Rig Deluge Road Racing) completed the top 10. In total, ten BMW Motorrad riders finished in the top 13.
In the following race for the Superstock class, Seeley was on the hunt for his next win, but this time life was not easy for him. He and fellow BMW rider Johnston fought a thrilling duel at the front, with Johnston being the winner on his ECR/Burdens S1000RR. Seeley completed the one-two for BMW Motorrad with second on the podium. In total, six RRs crossed the line in the top 10: Dunlop was fifth with his Tyco BMW RR, Martin Jessopp (GB / Riders Motorcycles) was sixth, Amor eighth and Johnson tenth.