Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Jamie Hamilton sets sights on North West 200 win

Jamie Hamilton has set his sights on a Vauxhall North West 200 Supertwin victory with new sponsor Stewart Smith this coming May, and the 22-year-old Ballyclare lad is confident of improving on last season despite recently splitting with Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki team.

 

Speaking about his 2014 aspirations, the former British Superstock 600cc champion said: “I plan to take in the North West 200, Isle of Man TT, Southern 100 and the Scarborough meetings this year, as well as competing on the Irish national scene.

“I’ll be riding John Dugan’s 600 Kawasaki this year on the roads and the Smith Supertwin.”

Hamilton had been linked to British championship team Tsingtao Racing for the 2014 season, but opted out of the inconclusive deal at the 11th hour.

He has also been consistently linked with Londonderry based Wilson Craig Racing, and having yet to secure a Superbike for this season, the affable youngster may still team up with Craig, whose long-time friend and employee, Cameron Donald, is expected to announce his retirement from full time racing.

“I do have some offers for a Superbike and there are still plenty of seats with no-one on them. I’m confident a big bike deal will come and the bikes I’ve already secured are race winning machines,” said Hamilton, with an air of confidence that suggests he is ready to commit to a Superbike offer in the coming weeks.

He has a solid base to build on after winning the Supertwin Irish and Ulster Championships and making podiums at all three International road races last season.

Jamie is now looking ahead to May, where a top step is his main goal at the North West triangle. “I was on the podium last time out at the North West 200 and this time I want to win it,” he insisted.

“There are so many local supporters there cheering you on and it was also the first road race I ever entered — and it gave me a taste for competition between the hedges.”

Singing the young man’s praises, North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte complimented his achievements by reminding us: “Jamie was voted the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland’s Most Improved Road Racer for the 2013 season. So it’s great news to have a young talented local rider like him on the grid at our event.

lORGANISERS of the Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in association with the Enkalon Club have announced their shortlist of eight riders from which the top prize will be awarded at Friday's night of the stars in Belfast's Shaw's Bridge Ramada.

Decided by a record public vote, the top eight are Michael Dunlop, Natalie Kane, Eugene Laverty, Nico Mawhinney, Marty Nutt, Jonathan Rea, Alastair Seeley and Derek Sheils – a diverse group of competitors who can all lay claim to creating their own headlines in the sport during 2013.

Dunlop’s highlight in a season of phenomenal success was winning four TT races in a row in June setting two new class lap records; Kane (the only female in the final eight) finished fourth in the FIM Women’s World Motocross Championship winning two races along the way; Laverty finished runner-up in the World Superbike Championship winning nine races alongside 10 other podiums; Mawhinney clinched the Irish Superbike Championship; Nutt triumphed in the Ducati 848 TriOptions series at BSB rounds; Rea won one World Superbike race before being side-lined with a broken femur following an accident, not of his own making, at Nurburgring; Seeley finished runner-up in the British Supersport championship and won two races at the North West 200 on the Thursday evening while Sheils clinched a terrific double winning both the Irish Road Race Superbike Championship and the Adelaide Masters Superbike short circuit series.

On behalf of the organisers, Stephen Watson said, “We have been overwhelmed by the response in making this a record vote and it is a tight call as to who will lift the Joey Dunlop Trophy on Friday night.”

The event is virtually sold out with only a few tickets remaining: e-mail tickets@adelaidemotorcycleawards.com or phone 07584058810.

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