CLEVELAND rider Davey Todd was in magnificent form at last weekend’s International North West 200 in Northern Ireland where he scored no less than four podium finishes but was sorely denied a second win to add to the victory he achieved in 2019.
With Ireland’s biggest outdoor sporting event missing due to Covid for the past three years, crowds of over 120,000 turned out to line the closed public roads of the scenic nine-mile Causeway course Coast which connects the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine.
Thursday’s dry daytime practice gave way to rain in the evening for the three races on offer to open the schedule, but that didn’t faze Todd, 26, from Brotton, who rides for the Milenco team by Padgett’s Motorcycles based in Batley. .
In the first Supersport race, reduced to four laps, Todd battled with 24-time NW200 winner Alastair Seeley for the duration of the race only to lose the very last lap, meaning he had had to settle for second place on his Honda. It was virtually a repeat in the Superstock race where once again Seeley took the win with Todd in a smash second place on his 1000cc Honda.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny for the main race day and immediately Todd started where he left off on Thursday as he battled for the lead in the second Supersport race, but this time with another Ulsterman, Lee Johnston. In another thrilling finish, Johnston beat Todd on the line to make it a hat-trick of second places for the former motocross rider.
However, it was in the first Superbike race that Todd really came of age. Suffering from a stomach ache from something he had eaten earlier and having never ridden the 240bhp Honda Fireblade the team had only prepared a few days before the meeting, he fought at speeds over 200mph but after six fast and furious laps he had to give way to multiple Superbike winner Glenn Irwin on his factory backed Honda.
It was as good as it gets for Todd as a deflated front tire ruled him out of the second Superstock race and due to an issue with a faulty set of tires from their contract supplier which was resolved following an issue of delamination during the previous Superbike race. , crew chief Clive Padgett wisely pulled Todd out of the final seven-lap race of the North West 200.
Their attentions now turn to the Isle of Man TT races later this month where Todd is one of the favorites in the various classes around the 37.75 mile mountain course.
Meanwhile, at Pembrey in Wales, Northallerton’s Dave Bellerby missed a chance for victory in the BMW MINI Rallycross Championship after taking his wildcard lap earlier in the race and losing time behind another car, which means he couldn’t catch eventual winner Bradley. Turner. Ben Sayer, also from Northallerton, used an early wild card lap strategy from third on lap one to work his way up through the field to secure the final podium spot.
Stockton’s Martin Hawkes claimed the spoils in the All4 Mini class but was the lone finisher after Ferryhill’s David Bell made it through the semi-final with mechanical issues.
In the Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship, eventual winner Jason Bleasdale (Vauxhall VX220) was challenged throughout the final by Paige Bellerby (Lotus Exige) of Northallerton, but she had to settle for second at the flag.
Paige Bellerby on her way to second place in Pembrey
Richmond driver James Constantine finished second in the Swift Sport final after a long battle with defending champion Max Weatherley while his cousin Luke Constantine, also from Richmond, gave up the battle for the podium on the first lap and went on to retired.