Gearlink Kawasaki News
17 May 2016
The team was elated after Alastair Seeley secured both wins in the Supersport races at the North West 200 and in doing so passed the great Robert Dunlop's record of 15 wins, making Alastair the new record holder with 17 wins.
The team was running Ulsterman Alastair Seeley and Ben Wilson on their Kawasaki ZX-6R Supersport machines with Ben also entered into the Superbike races with the Kawasaki ZX-10R.
The first Supersport race was a typical North West Supersport battle with fast and close racing and a number of contenders at the front. Alastair soon developed a rhythm and made his move on the last lap to finish 1.2 seconds in front of his nearest rival, TT star Ian Hutchinson, and to go into the record books with his 16th win.
The second race proved every bit as competitive as the first with Alastair managing to break away from the chasing pack to take his 17th win by a convincing 6.5 seconds. He also set the fastest ever lap by a Supersport machine on this 8.9 mile superfast road circuit.
Ben was also competing in the Superstock 1000 class for the EHA Racing Team and unfortunately during the practice and qualifying session he had a high speed crash and sufferred a badly broken right femur. Michael and Norma arranged for Ben to be airlifted to the same hospital where Ian Hutchinson had received treatment for his badly broken leg.
The racing was overshadowed on the last day when Malachi Mitchell-Thomas unfortunately crashed in the Supertwin race and sadly succumbed to his injuries at the circuit.
Alastair Seeley - "It has been a very emotional week for us all at the North West. I have been coming to this race since i was a small boy and watched such heroes as the Dunlop's, Rutter, Anstey and McCallen and now my name is alongside theirs.
I have been blown away by the amount of messages of support and the Gearlink Kawasaki team have provided me with a fantastic bike and everything i needed. My thanks to Michael, Norma and Arron for all their help and support. I also wish my team-mate Ben Wilson a quick and speedy recovery.
The weather has been perfect all week and it is such an incredible feeling to have won 17 NW200 races! I would also like to say a huge thank you to all my personal sponsors for their input and for supporting me here on my home turf in Northern Ireland.
However, everything is overshadowed by the very sad loss of Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, he was an extremely talented young rider and our thoughts are with his family and close friends."
Ben Wilson - "I am totally gutted to have been injured as i was really looking forward to it after my debut in 2015. I want to thank everyone for looking after me and getting me back home, especially Michael and Norma. I have a long road of rehabilitation ahead but i will be back.
I must say a huge well done to Alastair and the team and also to send my thoughts to Malachi's family and friends, a very sad loss."
Team Owner Michael de Bidaph - "It has been a week of incredible highs and extreme lows.
Alastair was on the pace right from the first practice and when he won the first race having broken Robert Dunlop's record on our bike, we were all on a high but to go and do it again with such a commanding lead was an incredible moment! A massive thank you to Alastair for such an awesome performance.
When i heard that it was Ben that had crashed I couldn't believe it but, having spent 7 hours at the hospital we managed to have him flown by air ambulance to Addenbrooke Hospital. With the help of Ian Hutchinson, to whom we offer our grateful thanks, we managed to get Ben accepted by Ian's surgeon who carried out extensive treatment to Ian's leg after his crash a few years ago.
We are reminded of the cruel side to this sport when Malachi Mitchell-Thomas had his fatal accident here and our sincere condolences go out to his family, team amd friends."