Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

North West 200: Laverty trio to parade skills while race legends roll back the years

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Gary Mason.
North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Michael Dunlop.
North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Ian Lougher.

World and British Superbike stars Eugene, Michael and John Laverty will be sprinkling their magic dust at the North West 200 this week.

The talented brothers will take a break from competitive action to support a special guest lap on Saturday, giving fans an opportunity to express their affection for the riders.

Organisers Coleraine & District Motor Club are aiming to create a bumper Race Day programme for fans and visitors to the North Coast region. This is a first for the Laverty brothers at the NW200 and the trio from Toomebridge will ride in unison round the 8.9 mile circuit on board BMW and Yamaha machines in between races.

“We’re delighted that the boys took up our offer to undertake a parade lap and add a little cutting edge glamour to the North West this year,” said Mervyn Whyte, race technical director.

“Their father Mickey Laverty competed in the NW200 during the 1970s and it’s wonderful that Mickey and his wife Sheelagh will be on hand to watch Eugene, John and Michael demonstrate their skills and technical ability round our circuit.”

Eugene recently scored an amazing double first victory on the Yamaha YZF-R1 at the World Superbike race at Monza gaining him 85 points in the championship standings and fifth place overall.

Following recent testing in Spain, Eugene will be heading off to Salt Lake City, America for the next round at Miller Motorsports Park on May 30.

Eugene’s older brother Michael and John are currently going head to head in the MCE Insurance British Superbikes Championship.

Riding this year for the Swan Yamaha team, oldest sibling Michael is currently 11th in the MCE BSB standings.

Event organisers are also harking back to the golden age of Irish

road racing with parade laps by the Dromara Destroyers Ray McCullough, Brian Reid and Trevor Steele. Also participating in special VIP laps courtesy of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club (Northern Counties section) are former world champions ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer, Ralph Bryans and Jim Redman.

Jim Redman MBE clinched six world championships in just four years (1962 to 1965).

Ireland’s most successful GP rider and only Grand Prix world champion Ralph Bryans chalked up three wins, a second and a third at the North West between 1962 and 1970.

Nicknamed ‘Fast Freddie’ Spencer gave Honda their first GP championship title on a 500cc two stroke machine.

During an illustrious Grand Prix career, Spence chalked up 27 wins and a total of 39 podium positions.

Star legends Spencer, Bryans and Redman will be on hand in the Relentless North West 200 Paddock area on Friday during the afternoon as well as on Race Day to give fans the chance to get autographs and meet the big names.

The V.J.M.C. will also host a special chat show on Friday night in the Magherabuoy House Hotel when the legends will look back on their racing careers and a range of Yamaha and Honda bikes will be on display similar to those used by Bryans and Redman in the 1960s.

The achievements of Dromara Destroyer Ray McCullough, fellow ‘Destroyer’ Brian Reid and completing the Dromara trio, Trevor Steele, will be celebrated. For details on VIP parade laps visit www.northwest200.org

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