Ben Wilson power boosted by Ulster backing
Ben Wilson will be best known to local fans as the rider who pushed Alastair Seeley all the way in 2011, when the pair spent a whole season disputing the British Supersport crown.
The Lincolnshire rider was then encouraged by Ulster ace Seeley – the current North West 200 record holder – to come and have a look at the Portrush circuit when they were team-mates in 2013, and made his debut last year with the Gearlink Kawasaki squad alongside fellow newcomer Glenn Irwin.
This time around it’s another Northern Ireland link that has encouraged him to come back to the Vauxhall International North West 200 for a second successive year, with a new bike, a new team and a former North West 200 winner as his crew chief.
County Londonderry businessman Edward Allingham has long been associated with motorcycle racing, with both his sons competing, but this year he has secured the services of Wilson to ride his EHA Aprilia RSV4 in the Pirelli National 1000cc Superstock class.
And next week the longstanding British championship campaigner will return to the NW200.
“I’m really looking forward to riding the Aprilia that I ride week in, week out in the British Superstock class,” explained Wilson, whose bike will be prepared by Ian Newton who won quarter litre (250cc) races at the North West 200 in 1994 and 1995.
Wilson will race the Italian machine in both the Superstock and Superbike events next week.
The EHA Racing squad also run David Allingham and Ross Twyman in the British Supersport series and Sam Wilford on a satellite bike.
Portadown’s Marshall Neill finished runner-up in the British Supersport Evo championship last year on an EHA bike and Allingham and his wife Gail are delighted to be returning from England to their home road race, with the talented Wilson aboard the EHA RSV4 Aprilia.
“We are really excited to be coming over to compete at the North West with Ben,” said Gail Allingham, who also comes from a racing family.
Her father raced and her brother, Martin Barr Jr, is a former British Youth motocross champion and currently a leading competitor in the senior British motocross ranks.
And Wilson could have no better man in his corner than Newtown.
Newton helped a certain Casey Stoner back in the Millennium year when the young Aussie and his family decided to pack up all they had and head to the UK to try and fulfil a dream — a dream that eventually brought about two MotoGP world titles.