Rain, oil spills and a helicopter cutting power lines have continued to delay the action at today’s International North West 200 road races with two attempts to run the opening Supersport race being stopped on the second lap.
Daley Mathison slipped off at Black Hill in this morning’s warm up lap and although the six-lap race got underway, the race was stopped with the race leaders on their second lap after a rider crashed out on oil, also at Black Hill. Leader James Hillier had also experienced a major slide through the corner with Derek McGee comparing the section to a skating rink.
After a lengthy delay, when the rain continued to fall, the race was restarted just after 1.45pm but Dean Harrison, Michael Dunlop, James Hillier and the Honda pairing of Ian Hutchinson and David Johnson were just some of the riders to opt out of the race.
Alastair Seeley led off the line from McGee and Davey Todd with Peter Hickman and Conor Cummins disputing fourth but Seeley’s engine appeared to let go on the run into University and the race was again stopped half way round the second lap.
Gary Johnson was mid-pack and explained: “I was flat out in sixth on the run into University with a wall of water in front of me when all of a sudden there was a massive cloud of blue smoke and the last thing I want is to hit oil at 160mph. It looks like an engine’s blown and the oil might be in the belly pan rather than on the track but we need to look at it.”
“To be fair, elsewhere there was quite a lot of grip on most of the course and apart from a bit of standing water in places, particularly between Mathers and Magherabouy, conditions are ok. The standing water and lack of visibility are the main issues.”