North West 200: Rain hits Phil Crowe hopes

Phil Crowe at the North West 200 EMN-170515-101823002
Phil Crowe at the North West 200 EMN-170515-101823002

Phil Crowe fell foul of the weather at the North West 200 this year, but despite all the hold-ups he managed to secure a strong finish to each of his three races.

The Market Rasen racer qualified well and began from the back of the first wave of riders around the 8.9-mile public road circuit which links the towns of Portstewart, Coleraine and Portrush.

And it worked out well for him in the first Superstock race on Thursday as he came through from 27th to complete the six-lap affair in 19th place.

But it was a different story on Saturday when the rain delayed the action in the morning.

On a drying track Crowe began his second Superstock race from 27th again, and was up to 21st on lap five when the rain began to fall again making the track too dangerous to continue.

The race was red-flagged and a result declared at four-lap distance.

The first superbike race was delayed by more rain and an oil spillage which caused the planned six-laps to be cut to four.

The action finally got under way mid-afternoon with Crowe starting from the back of the first wave again in 24th.

With the spray from the standing water on the track, the Lincolnshire rider was unable to make much progress and completed the race in 22nd.

“That was not a good race for me,” he said. “I was at the back of the first wave in the wet and there was lots of dirty spray covering my visor, so I had to back off and keep wiping it.

“Then once I got a clear track and got going I cooked my wet tyre so that was that.

“It has been a painful north west 200 with the weather this year, but even though we didn’t get the results we wanted we got so much sorted that would have held us back at the TT for most of practice week.”

Crowe now turns his attention to the Isle of Man TT races where practice starts from May 27 to June 2, with racing begins on June 3.