Yesterday's day of road racing was edged with black as most if not all of the 150,000 spectators and millions of online viewers remembered the racer and the man that was Robert Dunlop. With his death last week the last of the local racers from the 70's and 80's have gone.
However the day's racing was of such a caliber that it paid the perfect tribute to those absent friends and heroes of yesterday. The first 250cc race set the tempo for the day. Michael Dunlop, one of Robert' sons elected that although he had just lost his father he would race. After much soul searching the race organisers and Robert's family agreed that his son should race... and race he did.
Sweeping all before him he won showing all the style grace and racing skill his family is famous for .. he did his father proud... well done Michael!
Although the sun didn't shine it was a perfect day for racing. Not too bright, not too windy and not wet at all. Speed in the superbike classes where up in the high 190's mph and even the 125cc were managing 140mph.
The NW200 is the greatest of the real road races (the IOM TT is brilliant but is when all said and done a time trial). It is the biggest sporting event in Ireland and has a larger audience world wide than the FA cup final ... Long may it last!
This is what racing between the hedges is like and here is the 600 race where the lead changes every 3 or 4 minutes.. the leaders riding 3,4 or 5 abreast @ 170mph on some occasions .. fantastic!