Belfast Telegraph

Bionic Simon Andrews to shine on NW beamer

By Paul Lindsay

Popular English rider Simon Andrews, who has battled back from life-threatening injuries on two occasions in as many seasons, has joined forces with Penz13.com BMW for this year's International Road Races, including the Vauxhall North West 200.

Andrews, whose second major incident was at last year's Le Mans 24-Hour race, has moved across from the official Honda Legends' squad.

The 29-year-old has had tangible success on BMW machinery with a podium at the Macau Grand Prix back in 2012.

It was phenomenal achievement, given that it came just five months after his horror smash on the Isle of Man.

That deserved champagne moment was with Paul Shoesmith's team, but he's confident of more success on the BMW HP4 at the North West on May 17 with Penz13.com, saying: "I understand the roads now and really enjoy riding them. So I'm looking forward to meeting the team and seeing what we can do."

The former British Supersport and Superbike regular will start testing with the German team in the coming weeks with an FIM World Endurance Cup race also penciled in as part of his NW200 preparation.

The Adelaide Blackhorse Motorcycle Festival gets underway today from 2pm at the King's Hall in Belfast and will be opened by our very own World Superbike star Eugene Laverty.

Monaco-based Laverty flies in direct from the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team launch. He will ride alongside reigning British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes this season and insisted: "I'll be straight to the point about my aims for the season — I want to win races and challenge for the championship.

"I finished runner-up last year, and the reason I stayed in WSB this year is to win the title. I've been runner-up three times now (twice in World Supersport) and now it's time to get rid of the bridesmaid's dress I've been wearing for a while!"

Also at the King's Hall show are Michael Rutter and Eurosport commentator Jack Burnicle, with new BSB stars Ian Hutchinson (FFX Tools Yamaha) and Stuart Easton making an appearance on Saturday and Sunday; as will the Dunlop boys William and Michael. Show times are 2pm to 10pm today and 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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