Irwin makes history with record NW200 Superbike win

Glenn Irwin celebrates Superbike success
Glenn Irwin celebrates his 10th consecutive NW200 Superbike success [Pacemaker]

Glenn Irwin became the most successful Superbike rider in the history of the North West 200 by taking victory in the first of Saturday's two races in the premier class.

Having won Thursday's four-lap big bike sprint on his PBM Ducati, Irwin again edged out Milwaukee BMW rival Davey Todd over six scintillating laps at a sunkissed Triangle circuit.

The Northern Irishman's success saw him achieve his 10th Superbike success at the event and pull one clear of the tally achieved by Michael Rutter and the late Joey Dunlop.

Remarkably, Irwin's triumphs have come in succession, the 34-year-old having won every Superbike race from race two in 2017 to the present day.

As was the case on Thursday, the Carrickfergus racer and Yorkshireman Todd were involved in a ding-dong battle throughout, Irwin eventually prevailing by 0.382 seconds at the chequered flag.

Last year's British Superbike runner-up led for all but one of the previous five laps and only tenths of a second separated the pair at the end of each circuit.

"This means so much, I've worked so hard for this," said a delighted Irwin.

"I felt comfortable in the race, I knew Davey was strong but we can still go to another level.

"This is my favourite event in the world and to be the most successful rider is very special."

Michael Dunlop completed the rostrum places despite being penalised 10 seconds for not stopping after overshooting the start-finish chicane.

James Hillier, Michael Rutter and Finn Erno Kostamo rounded out the top six.

Hickman grabs Supertwins success

The opening Supertwins race turned into a titanic tussle between leading English riders Peter Hickman and Richard Cooper, with the former emerging the victor by just half a second to take his third North West win.

There was initially a three-way battle at the front as Jeremy McWilliams gave chase to the front duo but the 60-year-old was unable to keep up with the pace of his rivals.

Kawasaki rider Cooper led after each of the first three laps but Hickman made his move at Metropole on the final circuit and extended his lead on the coast road section on his Yamaha R7, setting the fastest lap of the race.

Mike Browne edged out McWilliams to take the final rostrum place.

Hickman, who also had a win in the Twins class at the Isle of Man TT last year, commented afterwards: "The R7 went really well. I always enjoy racing with Richard but i know I'm fast over the coast road so knew if I got into Metropole first I should be ok."

Peter Hickman leads Richard Cooper
Peter Hickman edged out Richard Cooper in Supertwins race one [Pacemaker]

Saturday's race results

Superbikes race two of the week - 1 Glenn Irwin (Ducati); 2 Davey Todd (BMW); 3 Michael Dunlop (Honda); 4 James Hillier (Honda); 5 Michael Rutter (BMW); 6 Erno Kostamo (BMW)

Fastest lap: Irwin 124.854mph

Supertwins race one - 1 Peter Hickman (Yamaha); 2 Richard Cooper (Kawasaki); 3 Mike Browne (Aprilia); 4 Jeremy McWilliams (Paton); 5 Christian Elkin (Kawasaki); 6 Barry Furber (Yamaha)

Fastest lap: Hickman 111.539mph