Ivan Lintin and the Devitt RC Express Racing team claimed their maiden win at the International North West 200 on Thursday evening when the Lincolnshirerider took victory in the Supertwin race.
Victory meant that Lintin completed the set of wins in the class at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix although the celebrations were muted after an incident involving Ryan Farquhar and Dan Cooper on the third lap left class specialist Farquhar with serious injuries.
The duo, along with Ivan and James Hillier, had been locked in battle at the head of the field from the very beginning of the race until the incident occurred on the third lap. Farquhar crashed at Dhu Varren with Cooper also going down and the race was ultimately stopped on the fourth lap. By that time, Ivan had nosed ahead of Hillier and the result stood with both Farquhar and Cooper being taken to hospital.
Earlier on the Thursday evening, Ivan had taken a solid 15th place in the opening Supersport race, the first event on the race programme whilst he’d also been busy during the morning’s qualifying sessions. Concentrating on riding the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R, the Bardney rider lapped at 117.309mph to qualify in 15th place for the two Superstock races whilst his best time in the Superbike sessions, 116.984mph, will see him start Saturday’s races from 19th place.
Team-mate Alan Bonner, meanwhile, experienced braking problems during Tuesday’s qualifying sessions, managing only a handful of laps, but he bounced back on Thursday to qualify in 25th place for the Superstock class and 27th for the Superbikes, his best lap on the day being 115.536mph. He was also experiencing the high-speed 8.9-mile circuit for the first time on a full blown Superbike-spec machine but continually improved with each and every lap.
Ivan Lintin: “It’s been a good day overall and whilst I’m pleased to take my first North West 200 win, I naturally would have liked it to have been under different circumstances and I wish Ryan a speedy recovery. In the race itself, I had to make up a lot of time on the brakes and whilst we have a new, improved Supertwin this year, the opposition have certainly upped their game too. It was tough going and I made a couple of mistakes changing gears but managed to close the gap back up to the leaders. Everything was happening very quickly but I was awarded the win so I’ll look for more of the same on Saturday.”
“It’s been nice to get some good, dry mileage under my belt this week and get more and more dialled in with the Superstock bike whilst the 600cc race was pretty lonely. I lost the draft to the riders ahead and after that just concentrated on bringing the bike home.”
Alan Bonner: “Qualifying’s been pretty tough and losing a lot of time on Tuesday has put me on the back foot a bit. It’s also been my first time on the Superbike but I’m really enjoying and have been concentrating on getting a feel for it before the TT. I feel like I’ve been making good progress and was a lot happier after Thursday’s session whilst the Superstock bike has been really good. I’m a bit down on speed to the 2016 Kawasaki but I should be fit for some good results come race day.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-Owner: “So far, so good and we’re pretty happy with how the week’s been going. The Twin race was shaping up to be a cracker and although it’s not the way we would have liked to have taken the win, we’re happy to have done so although our thoughts are naturally with Ryan and Dan. Ivan lost the tow in the 600cc race and once that happens around here, it’s almost impossible to get back but it was a good, solid result. He’s also been performing as we would have liked on the Superstock bike so Saturday should be a good day.”
“Alan’s had a few issues and it’s his first time on the Superbike having only ridden it previously at Cartagena. Doing 200mph along the straights here is obviously a bit different but he’s been chipping away and we’re hopeful that he’ll put in some strong rides come race day.’
Saturday sees six races on the schedule with roads closing at9.15am.
Pictures by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International