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“I won’t make the same mistakes again.” Davy Todd vows as last year’s four time runner-up aims for race wins at the 2023 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200

north west 200 Apr 20, 2023
Davy Todd - North West 200

By any measure, Davy Todd enjoyed a successful week of racing at last year’s fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200. The young English racer steered his Milenco Padgett Hondas to four podium finishes on both wet and dry roads, laying down new lap records in the Supersport and Superstock classes around the 8.9 mile Triangle course. Despite that success, Todd admits he left the north coast disappointed after failing to taste the winner’s champagne.

The 27 year old is determined to remedy that situation this time around.

“A good North West 200 for me this year will be going one better in every race than I did last year.” Todd smiles.

“That would definitely do the trick.”

The Saltburn on Sea rider had been impressive during Thursday evening’s tough conditions, following Alastair Seeley home in the wet Turkington Superstock and Strain Engineering Supersport encounters.

In Saturday’s sunshine, he lost out on victory by just 0.1 sec to Lee Johnston in the Tides Restaurant 600cc event and by 0.3 sec to Glenn Irwin in the Anchor Bar Superbike race.

“I was really pleased to be in the battle for wins in the dry and the wet and I had some great races.” Todd recalls.

“I had a great battle with Lee Johnston in the Supersport race on Saturday and was just pipped for the win right at the end. Glenn Irwin is the man to beat on a superbike at the North West at the moment and I took it to him in the first Superbike race. I had the pace but I lacked the race craft to win.”
There’s no question that Todd, who claimed his first major between the hedges victory at the NW200 in 2019, had the speed required to win as he lapped faster than Johnston and Irwin during both races and set a new 600cc lap record.

In the CP Hire Superstock race, Todd bounced back after outbraking himself at University corner and running into a field on the opening lap. He fought his way back into contention, setting a new lap record for the class as he chased down Alastair Seeley’s lead before he was forced to retire when his Dunlop front tyre delaminated. More Dunlop tyre problems prevented the English rider from lining up for an Irwin/Todd rematch in the feature Merrow hotel Superbike race.

“I really wanted another go in the second Superbike race but it wasn’t to be.” Todd recalls.

Despite his disappointment, Todd has taken encouragement from his 2022 North West performances as he looks forward to locking horns with local heroes like Seeley, Johnston and Irwin during this year’s May 7-13 race week.

“Being at the front in the wet and the dry was something positive for me to take away from last year’s North West.” Todd says.

“In every class and in every condition, I was there, battling different people for the win in every race.” 

He feels improving his own race craft will be key to converting his speed into race wins on the north coast.

“My lap times are there and I know I have got the speed.” Todd says.

“But it comes down to making the passes at the right places and defending the lead at the right places. In the Superbike race against Glenn last year I just ran in a little too wide at Metropole on the last lap. Both of us were strong on the brakes but he just got underneath me and that is where I lost out.”

Losing out on the last lap of his epic Supersport battle with Lee Johnston is blamed on another last lap mistake at Juniper.

“I just wasn’t defensive enough going into the chicane and he got past.” Todd says.

“I have watched the footage time and time again and kicked myself for it. But I will be a wiser man this year and not make the same mistakes again.”

A fortnight after last year’s North West 200, Todd went on to claim his first podium finish at the Isle of Man TT. By the end of the season road racing’s hottest young prospect had also claimed the British Superstock championship with the Milenco Padgett Honda squad.

Moving up to the premier Superbike series for 2023, he suffered a tough start to his campaign during the opening round at Silverstone at the start of April.

“It was a frustrating first round because we are lacking a few bits on what is basically a stock bike.” the Saltburn on Sea man explained.

“We are a smaller team with a small budget, trying to do a big job in BSB. We suffered brake fade and had some grip issues at Silverstone but I felt good in myself and I have been improving my riding style.”

Todd’s BSB outings also give him a lot more time on the bike which he feels will pay dividends at the North West 200.

“I’m feeling better than I have ever felt as a rider and my style and technique have come on a lot. I feel a lot better than I did at this time last year and a lot more comfortable.”

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