Ivan Lintin and the Devitt RC Express Racing team claimed their second win in three days at the International North West 200 with the Lincolnshire rider again taking the victory in the Supertwin race on Saturday, this time by the more emphatic margin of five seconds.
However, the win was sadly marred by an accident on the third lap which claimed the life of Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, the Chorley rider falling at Dhu Varren and sadly succumbing to his injuries.
Prior to the incident, it had been an action-packed day’s racing although Ivan’s first race, the Supersport 600, saw him forced to pull in after the warm-up lap when a stone holed his windscreen. He was also a retirement in the following Superstock race, pulling in on the fifth lap due to a problem with his rear tyre. Team-mate Alan Bonner fared better though and he took a fine 14th place having started from the first row of the second wave.
It was his turn to suffer misfortune next as he retired from the Superbike race on the opening lap, Ivan having sat out the race due to the meeting’s rule that a rider couldn’t start more than five races.
That meant Ivan was back out on the grid for the Supertwin race, scheduled for four laps and he signalled his intentions immediately, taking the lead the moment the lights turned green. Leading at York Corner, his advantage was up to 1.4s at the end of the lap and second time around he upped his pace courtesy of a new lap record. He went quicker still on lap three at 109.304mph with his lead over second placed Martin Jessopp now five seconds.
The red flag came out soon after due to the tragic incident and the remainder of the meeting was subsequently cancelled.
Ivan Lintin: “We made some changes to the Twin after Thursday’s race and I was pleased that we’d gone the right way. My race plan was to try and make the break from the pack and pull away which worked perfectly whilst I was also pleased to set a new lap record, especially as I did it all on my own and without the aid of any slipstream. However, my win has been overshadowed by the sad loss of Malachi so my thoughts go out to his friends and family.”
“In my other races, little things held me back and prevented me from getting any other finishes but I’m pleased with the bikes and have made good progress on all of them, especially the Superstock bike, which I feel really comfortable with. I’m heading to the TT in a good frame of mind and confident of some good results.”
Alan Bonner: “I was quite a way down the grid for the Superstock race, in 25th place and the new BMW’s and Kawasakis are rocketships but I was pleased with my riding and to end up 14th was pleasing. Unfortunately, the clutch went on the first lap of the Superbike race and I had to pull in but it was just one of those things. Thanks to the entire Devitt RC Express Racing team and all my personal sponsors whilst my thoughts are with the family and friends of Malachi at this sad time.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “We’ve taken two wins this week which we’re naturally happy about but we’re deflated by the events of today and Thursday with the passing of Malachi and the injuries to Ryan (Farquhar) and our thoughts are with their friends and family at this difficult time.”
“On the racing side of things, we’ve made good progress with all the bikes and both riders are a lot happier now that they’ve got some high-speed racing under their belts. We’ve had a few issues along the way, which have prevented us from getting some stronger results but the team have all worked mega hard and I couldn’t be happier with how they’ve all performed. We can go into the TT now in confident mood and are looking forward to it getting underway.”
The team now head to the Isle of Man TT Races with practice getting underway on Saturday 28th May.
Pictures by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International