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.