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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 May 2006, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Dunlop earns emotional NW 200 win
Robert Dunlop
Robert Dunlop celebrates his 15th win at the North West
Robert Dunlop added to his record haul of North West 200 victories by claiming an emotional win in the 125 race in Saturday's event.

Dunlop caught longtime leader Michael Wilcox on the final lap and then edged out the Englishman in thrilling fashion to take his 15th North West win.

"I'm very proud of my family name," said a tearful Dunlop after his win.

The 45-year-old's brother Joey was killed at a road racing event in Estonia six years ago.

Dunlop, who missed all of last season following ankle surgery, was claiming his first North West win in 12 years.

"I wish that I would have been racing against someone else. I like Michael (Wilcox) a lot and he's helped my boys (with their racing) on the mainland.

Robert is not the kind of guy who is going to be happy to race at the back of the field
Michael Wilcox

"The two of us went at it on the last chicane. I went out over the grass but stayed on and got out in front of Michael. He's maybe not too pleased."

However, Wilcox, while disappointed at failing to break his North West duck, congratulated the winner.

"He's not the kind of guy who is going to be happy to race at the back of the field," said Wilcox.

Steve Plater claimed victory in both Superbike races including the main event of the day.

Plater, riding a Honda, started his day by secured his first ever win at the North West after Michael Rutter fell off late in the final race.

Rutter seemed likely to gain compensation for that mishap when he forged a five-second lead early in the main North West 200 Superbike race but Plater gradually reeled in the Stobart Honda rider before going into the lead late on the closing lap.

Plater set a new lap record (124.110mph) on the way to his second victory of the day while John McGuinness was some way back in third place - the same position he had filled in the opening Superbike race.

TAS Suzuki rider Bruce Anstey
Bruce Anstey set a lap record in the opening 600 race

The Woodhall Spa rider finished ahead of Bruce Anstey in the first race although it ended amid confusion with the officials failing to wave the chequered flag which led to Plater and Anstey continuing to ride hard for over half-a-lap before realising that the race was over.

New Zealand Anstey did claim wins in the opening 600cc race and Superstock events.

Unlike his earlier facile win in the opening 600cc race, the TAS Suzuki rider was involved in a three-way fight with Ian Hutchinson and Donegalman Raymond Porter in the Superstock event.

After the lead had changed several times, Hutchinson seemed likely to win the race in the closing stages but the Englishman went wide at the final chicane which enabled Anstey and Porter to sneak through on the inside.

Earlier, Anstey had celebrated his fifth North West win by taking the first 600cc race.

Anstey's TAS Suzuki set a lap record for the class of 116.74mph to win ahead of runner-up Les Shand from Scotland with Ian Lougher of Wales in third.

In the final event of the day, the New Zealander's attempt to complete a treble was denied when he could finish only third in the second 600cc race behind Ian Hutchinson and Rob Frost.

Hutchinson atoned for his late mistake in the Superstock race by taking an impressive win ahead of Frost, Anstey and Carrickfergus man Alistair Seeley.

Isle of Man rider Nigel Beattie won the 250cc event ahead of Darren Burns.



SEE ALSO
McGuinness claims Superbike pole
11 May 06 |  Motorbikes


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