North West 200: Jessopp Takes Frantic Opening Super Twins Encounter
Providing arguably the most competitive action from this evening’s race schedule at the North West 200, a quite frantic Super Twins race saw a five rider battle throughout for class honours, with nothing in it amongst international road race winners, an ex Moto GP winner and next gen closed roads competitors.
In the late evening sunshine, it was the veteran Jeremy McWilliams who got the hole shot on lap 1, whilst factory Paton mounted racer Joe Thompson slotted into second, with fellow Yorkshireman James Cowton in close pursuit.
By lap two, it was Paton’s Thompson who surged into the race lead, fellow young rising roads star Adam McLean moved into second just in front of Riders Motorcycles Martin Jessopp, who got the better of lap 1 race leader McWilliams for third.
Thompson, McLean, Jessopp, McWilliams and Cowton were all still in close proximity on the third lap, which saw York’s Thompson continue to remarkably lead his well decorated pursuers.
Onto the sixth and final lap, and Thompson aboard the immensely quick, sweet corner handling Paton, whilst coming under more and more pressure in particular from the likes of Jessopp, Cowton and McWilliams was holding firm out front.
There was though one final twist in the tale of another dramatic NW200 Super Twins race, which was Martin Jessopp hitting the front at the right time, having got the better of the impressive Thompson.
A stealth like final lap saw him seal race honours, by almost two seconds over KMR Kawasaki’s Jeremy McWilliams who like now three times North West 200 winner Jessopp, held off the attentions of Paton’s Joe Thompson, who’s third place finish was none the less a truly brilliant result.
Photo by Stephen Davison
Adam McLean finished fourth, whilst you had to feel a touch sorry for James Cowton in fifth, who throughout had been in prime contention for a first NW200 victory.
Behind the leading quartet, former 250 race winner Christian Elkin sealed a solid sixth place finish in front of Victor Lopez Santos, who concluded an extremely positive for Spanish road racing, with a fine seventh place finish.
The top ten was wrapped up by Darren Cooper, Michael Sweeney and NW200 returnee Denver Robb.
In total just 17 riders completed a four lap race, which saw Martin Jessopp showcase again his undoubted ability on the Triangle course, plus provide us with two new event stars, Joe Thompson and the hugely popular Paton brand.
Super Twins Race 1 results:
1 Martin Jessopp
2 Jeremy McWilliams
3 Joe Thompson
4 Adam McLean
5 James Cowton
6 Christian Elkin
7 Victor Lopez
8 Darren Cooper
9 Michael Sweeney
10 Denver Robb
11 Jonathan Perry
12 Matt Sadowski
13 Bruce Birnie
14 Kris Duncan
15 Jamie Williams
16 Steven Horne
17 Robert McCrum
Words by Stevie Rial