The dates for the International North West 200’s 80th anniversary event next year have been confirmed.
Coleraine and District Motor Club officials have had their provisional dates confirmed by the Motorcycling Union of Ireland’s Ulster Centre, and festivities will begin on Saturday May 9, with the main races on Saturday May 16.
“While planning is already under way for next year's 80th anniversary event, I'm delighted that our provisional date has now been rubber-stamped and we can really go to town on promoting our Race Week and Race Day programmes at a global level,” said NW200 Clerk of Course Mervyn Whyte.
"May 16 is a perfect date and will suit all UK and Ireland competitors, giving teams ample time to prepare for the North West, with BSB's Oulton Park taking place on Bank Holiday Monday May 4, and BSB's Donnington Park Race not happening until Whit Bank Holiday, Monday May 25."
The Coleraine Club's organising committee have already met with Coleraine Council officials to put in place an exciting week of activities and events to help celebrate the 80th birthday and the event's official launch will take place on January 8 at the Belfast Waterfront Hall.
Meanwhile, John Laverty won one of the three races in the Kings of Wanneroo superbike series in Perth, Western Australia on Sunday.
The Ulsterman also finished second in the last race but the Aussie National champion Glenn Allerton won the decider to claim the overall title and relegate Laverty to second. Laverty’s older brother Michael finished third overall.
John’s victory came in race two when he overtook Allerton with a brave move on the last bend but the Victorian capitalised on a good start in the final race to hold off the Lavertys.
Again John was the chief pursuer and halved a gap of 1.1 seconds in the final three laps but just ran out of race track in the thrilling finale.
Of the other visiting riders, Ian Lowry was fourth, Cameron Donald fifth, Adrian Coates ninth, Bruce Anstey 12th and Michael Swann 17th.