Scottish rider Stuart Easton returns to the International North West 200 with four wins from six races under his belt this season in the British Supersport Championship with local team Mar-Train Racing.
But the big question that many people will ask, is how he feels about a return to the roads after the horrific injuries that almost cost him his life at the North West back in 2011.
“It was a tough time alright but knowing the accident wasn’t my fault has me coming here in a positive frame of mind. I really enjoy the North West so I’m looking forward to getting back out there,” said the quietly spoken Hawick man.
Returning with Tim and Sonya Martin’s Temple-based Yamaha team should have been slightly more low key, but having set the British championship paddock alight this past 18 months, has thrust them firmly into the spotlight.
Team owner Tim Martin is a big fan of the North West and doesn’t hide the fact, but when he says there is no pressure on Stuart, I detect a certain amount of paradox in his answer.
“Obviously we’d like to win a Supersport race but there really is no pressure on Stuart. Our main goal this year is the British Supersport title, but we will see how it goes at the North West.
“Stuart is a total professional and doesn’t shout his mouth off, but we know what he’s capable of and he likes to win. Take out of that what you will,” Martin concluded with a wry grin.
Easton will also be furnished with a Mar-Train Racing R1 Yamaha for the two Superbike races on May 18, but when questioned, the wily Scot returned with an award winning ace that fellow Scot Andy Murray would have been proud of.
“Alastair Seeley is the man to beat at the North West these days, so the pressure is on him. I’ve only had a couple of tests on the R1, so it’s a bit of an unknown quantity, but it’s sure to be fast, which you need at the North West.”