2018 North West 200: Race week statistics, facts and pub ammo

Picture: Impact Images

The first race was held on Saturday 20 April 1929 and was held over exactly 200 miles on an 11-mile course.

The original start and finish was located near Magherabuoy but moved to the Portmore Road in Portstewart in 1930. It moved to its current location between Juniper Hill and Millbank Avenue in 1973.

The only time the races haven’t been held since 1929 were 1940-1946 (World War II), 1948 (unavailability of fuel supplies), 1963 (lack of finance), 1972 (lack of political stability) and 2001 (foot and mouth epidemic).

The course now has four chicanes to reduce speeds – Juniper Hill (added in 1983), the start and finish (1988), Magherabuoy (1996) and Mathers Cross (2010).

The link road from University Corner to Ballysally Roundabout was first used in 1980.

The Coleraine and District Motor Club have organised the event since 1964.

Alan and Ernie Lyons were the first brothers to win races at the NW200 in 1955. The only other brothers to win races are Joey and Robert Dunlop and William and Robert Dunlop.

The only fathers and sons to win races are Tony and Michael Rutter and Robert and William and Michael Dunlop.
Ten riders have recorded three or more wins in a single meeting – John Williams (1974), Joey Dunlop (1987), Steve Cull (1988), Robert Dunlop (1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994), Phillip McCallen (1992), David Jefferies (1999), Michael Rutter (2000), Bruce Anstey (2007), Steve Plater (2008) and Alastair Seeley (2012, 2015 and 2017).

McCallen holds the record for the most wins in a day with five – 400cc, 600cc, 250cc and both Superbike races – set in 1992.

Only McCallen and Seeley have won four or more races in a single meeting.

The 2018 North West 200 sees 11 former winners on the grid with 57 wins and 121 podiums between them.
Alastair Seeley now holds the record number of wins (21) followed by Robert Dunlop (15), Michael Rutter (14) Joey Dunlop (13), Phillip McCallen (11), Bruce Anstey (10), Tony Rutter (9) and Ian Lougher (8).

Seeley has won at least one race every year since 2008. With 10 and seven wins respectively, Seeley has won more Supersport and Superstock races than any other rider.

Seeley has won six of the last seven Supersport races, including four in a row in 2015 and 2016.

13 of Seeley’s 21 wins have come when riding for TAS Racing.

Seeley also has more podiums than anyone else (32) closely followed by Michael Rutter (31). They’re followed by Phillip McCallen (28), Joey Dunlop and Ian Lougher (26) and Robert Dunlop and Bruce Anstey (25).

Michael Rutter’s 14 wins span an incredible 20 years with his first being in the 1997 Supersport 600cc race and most recent, the Supertwin, in 2017.

Bruce Anstey made his debut in 2002, setting pole position and then winning the Production race. He’s the last newcomer to win a race.

Glenn Irwin was the last newcomer to finish on the podium, taking second in the second Supersport race of 2015.

Jack Brett set the first 100mph lap in 1957, just a month before the same feat was achieved at the Isle of Man TT by Bob McIntyre.

The first 110mph lap was set by Tony Rutter in 1973.

The first 120mph lap was set by Mick Grant in 1975 whilst Tom Herron set the fastest ever lap seen at the NW200 with a speed of 127.63mph in 1978.

The fastest ever speed recorded through the speed trap was 209.2mph by Honda-mounted Bruce Anstey in 2016.

The current outright lap record is held by Michael Dunlop at 123.207mph, set in the 2016 Superbike race.

The other lap records are currently held by Seeley (Superstock and Supersport) and Martin Jessopp (Supertwin).

21 riders have lapped the course at more than 120mph, the most recent being Glenn Irwin and Dean Harrison in 2017.

Honda claimed their first victory in 1964 with Ralph Bryans winning the 250cc and 350cc races and they’ve now won more NW200 races (92) than any other manufacturer. They’re followed by Yamaha (77), Norton (37), Suzuki (31) and Kawasaki (23).

Martin Jessopp’s win in the opening Supersport race of 2017 was the first for Triumph since Malcolm Uphill in 1970.

Glenn Irwin’s Superbike victory last year was the first for Ducati since Michael Rutter in 2008.

Yamaha’s first NW200 win came in 1968 with Rod Gould’s victory in the 250cc race.

1970 saw Suzuki add their name to the roll of honour when Stuart Graham won the 500cc Production race.

Norton hasn’t won a race since 1991 when Robert Dunlop and Trevor Nation shared the two Superbike victories.

BMW’s first win came in 2010 when Keith Amor won the Superstock race.

BMW have won four of the last five Superstock races.

Yamaha is the only manufacturer to have a clean sweep of the programme, winning all five races in 1979.

Only three non-European riders have won races at the North West 200 and they’re all from New Zealand – Stu Avant, Robert Holden and Bruce Anstey. Avant was the first in 1982.

Nigel Beattie is the only rider from the Isle of Man to have won a race at the North West 200, the 2006 250cc.

There has only been one dead heat in the history of the event, when Ray McCullough and Tony Rutter couldn’t be separated at the end of the 1977 350cc race.

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