YOU could have been forgiven for thinking the Eventserv Superbike race was always destined to end in disappointment.
The security alert led to a delayed start before the riders set off for two sighting laps in treacherous conditions, before several top names pulled off the grid declaring it too bad to continue racing.
Amongst them were team-mates Martin Jessop and Michael Rutter, who occupied the top two spots on the grid following qualifying.
“It’s just too difficult out there with the spray being thrown up from the other machines making visibility really difficult,” said Jessop.
Twelve-time winner and pole-position man Rutter agreed.
“This is one of the worst days I’ve seen at the North West with everything that’s happened,” he said.
“I had considered racing but pulled off the grid as there is no point in risking anything by racing in those conditions.”
The race was eventually red flagged when Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki blew up on the first lap leading to an oil spill.
Gary Johnson, who had pulled in to the pits just as the race was stopped said: “I saw Ryan’s bike blow up coming out of ‘Church’ and it spewed oil on the circuit from the railway bridge right through to Juniper making it too dangerous to carry on.”
Newcomer Simon Andrews agreed.
“I got a good start and was following the leading bunch when I saw the oil spreading across the track up through the railway arch. I moved to the other side to avoid it knowing the race would be stopped,” he said.
A delay on an hour-and-a- half followed as the spill was treated before two more sighting laps with Jessop, Rutter and Guy Martin rejoining the grid.
But the riders were still unhappy with the track conditions as Seeley had a huge slide through the affected area, which led to another delay as officials re-inspected the spill before the meeting was eventually abandoned in the interest of rider safety.
“We worked and worked at it but it was a major spill,” said race director Mervyn Whyte.
“The guys did a brilliant job and we thought we had cleared it, but the riders had concerns after two warm-up laps and we were not prepared to take the risk.”