News 19 May 2009

NW 200: DONALD FOURTH IN NORTH WEST 200

Relentless Suzuki press release:

Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing recorded a triple podium at Saturday’s 80th anniversary International North West 200, and the team’s success was capped with yet another victory for the 2009 GSX–R1000 in the Superstock class with Alastair Seeley.

In the opening Superbike race Kiwi Bruce Anstey was justifiably frustrated when the race was red flagged due to an on track incident, as he had been stalking eventual winner Steve Plater and was planning an attack on the final lap. Anstey was credited with second place and the team’s first podium of the day with Cameron Donald fourth.

In the Supersport race Bruce Anstey swapped positions at the head of the field, again with Steve Plater, and although Anstey briefly held the lead on the final lap, the road racing specialist had to settle for second behind Plater at the chequered flag with Michael Dunlop third.

The Superstock race was another red flag affair, but this time due to the inclement weather conditions with Relentless Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley taking the victory and another top step on the 2009 GSX–R1000. Cameron Donald narrowly missed out on a podium in fourth place.

The event was abandoned late in the day on safety grounds prior to the second Superbike race, but all in all it was a successful event for Relentless Suzuki.

Alastair Seeley
“It was a difficult day all round but I’m delighted to have been able to give Relentless Suzuki yet another international win and also keep my one hundred percent record intact. The GSX–R1000 worked superbly well all week and hopefully we can now continue this form in the British Superstock class.”

Bruce Anstey
“I’m a little disappointed that the final Superbike race didn’t run as I really fancied my chances, but it’s been a good weekend for Relentless Suzuki. Three podiums is good exposure for the team but I would have liked that top step. I was a bit unlucky in both the first Superbike and Supersport races but that’s road racing, although I’m in a good frame of mind now for the TT.”

Cameron Donald
“I wasn’t feeling the best this week with a touch of the cold, but we got on with the job. Race day was a bit start stop and I do feel I could have made the podium in that first Superbike race if it hadn’t been red flagged and there wasn’t much in it in the Superstock race either. Like everyone else I’m disappointed that the race was abandoned but safety is paramount. I have a couple of weeks now to get prepared for the TT.”

Philip Neill – Team Principal
“After all the hard work and preparation it was a shame that the International North West 200 was so badly affected by the weather; it was a very difficult day for everyone with stoppages and re-starts and we were all bitterly disappointing that the main North West 200 Superbike race had to be abandoned.

“After dominating practice and qualifying I was very pleased with the performances of all three riders, and Alastair Seeley has maintained his one hundred percent record in Relentless Suzuki colours on the 2009 GSX–R1000.

“Bruce Anstey continues to amaze us all and was very unlucky not to win the first Superbike race, losing out to a red flag when he was measuring up Steve Plater for a last lap pass. His second place in the Supersport race was perhaps even more impressive, as it has turned into a class for lightweight riders at the North West 200. Bruce would have been giving away at least 10 kilos to some of his more diminutive rivals.

“Cameron was a bit under the weather coming into the day as he’d picked up a cold, but his two fourth placed finishes were solid enough, although not what we have come to expect from the Aussie.”

Philip Neill was invited to inspect the circuit with a number of other team managers prior to the abandonment of the meeting, and although Philip believes his riders and machinery were up to the task, he also feels Clerk of Course Mervyn Whyte’s decision to abandon the meeting was the correct decision.

“Everyone on the grid knew Pirelli tyres were perfect for the conditions and from a selfish point of view I did want to race, but in hindsight I fully support Mervyn’s decision to abandon the meeting on safety grounds,” explained Neill.

Results

Superbike Race 1
Winner: Steve Plater – 8min 45.964; 2nd – Bruce Anstey – 8:46.603; 3rd – John McGuinness – 8:47.983; 4th – Cameron Donald 8:48.452

Superstock Race
Winner: Alastair Seeley – 8min 50.296; 2nd – Ryan Farquhar – 8:51.195; 3rd – Keith Amor – 8:54.098; 4th – Cameron Donald 8:54.538

Supersport Race 1
Winner: Steve Plater – 18min 16.091; 2nd Bruce Anstey – 18:16.606; Michael Dunlop – 18:18.723

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