Weather conditions disrupt play at the North West 200

The Honda Racing roads team, with Ian Hutchinson and David Johnson had a mixed experience at this year’s International North West 200 in Northern Ireland, as on the final day of the event weather conditions affected play for the final races.

With glorious conditions for practice and qualifying on Tuesday and Thursday, the team were able to put into practice all the hard work from pre-season testing with the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and the CBR600RR at the 8.9-mile road circuit.

During Thursday’s final qualifying session, Johnson unfortunately had a small crash in the Supersport session, and although unhurt from the incident he was left bruised and sat out the evening’s opening Supersport and Superstock races.

Teammate Hutchinson took a sixth-place finish in the Supersport race, making his way through the pack from tenth on the grid. In the Superstock race he was making progress aboard the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and had started chasing down third place, but during the fourth lap he was forced to retire with a small technical issue.

During Saturdays’ races, conditions were intermittent and always with a threat of rain, the schedule was disrupted throughout the day. With on-track conditions tricky, ‘Hutchy’ and ‘Davo’ sat out the morning races waiting for a dryer track. Hutchinson headed out for the Superstock race, but came in after the first lap due to the weather conditions.

With deteriorating conditions at the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit, the North West 200 organisers called off the final Superbike race once the riders had carried out their sighting laps.

The Honda Racing squad will now have a quick turn-around as they set their sights on the Isle of Man TT races, which takes place from Saturday 25 May until Friday 8 June.

 

The Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles team enjoyed success with the CBR600RR, as Davey Todd took his maiden international road-race victory in yesterday’s Supersport race, with teammate Conor Cummins also on the podium in third place. Cummins also scooped a second rostrum finish, claiming third in the Superbike race with the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson 4

Conditions yesterday were less than ideal, we made a call quite early on not to race after the Supersport sighting lap, but as the day went on it looked like the track was drying, so we changed the plan and aimed to go out in the Superstock and Superbike races. But conditions really deteriorated and the organisers cancelled the Superbike race, which was the best thing to do considering the circumstances. In terms of race weeks, it hasn’t been the best for us, missing most of the races yesterday, but we were able to get good track time earlier in the week and make sure our pre-season testing had gone in the right direction for the roads. I’m glad we don’t have to now wait long until the TT, as I’m keen to get there and just get going now. We know what areas need work and hopefully we’ll get a lot of track time over there ahead of the races.

 Honda Racing
David Johnson

David Johnson 20

It’s been an odd week with the small off on Thursday; missing those races and then with the weather yesterday – it’s not quite what I had planned coming into the week! The guys have done such a great job in the run up to the NW200 with all the bikes, and I am sorry we couldn’t reward them for all their efforts this week. I am feeling good now as we look to the TT with everything we’ve been able to get done at the North West, and I just hope the TT organisers have booked some sunshine!

 Honda Racing
Jonny Twelvetrees

Jonny Twelvetrees

Team Manager

The North West 200 hasn’t gone to plan for us in terms of the races, with the weather and Davo missing Thursday, but what we have come away with is knowing that all the hard work during the pre-season has paid off. When we were on-track both riders were making good progress and of course, there’s always areas where you can improve but on the whole we’re going to the TT happy with where we are, and the packages we have across Superbike, Superstock and Supersport. It’s always a hard decision for the organisers when the call is made to cancel racing, but rider safety is paramount, it’s just a shame for the teams, riders, fans and of course the event when these things have to happen. We now have a super-quick turn-around during the week to get everything unloaded, prepped and then re-loaded and off to the TT!

 Honda Racing
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