Alastair Seeley eyes more joy as NW 200 dates released
All-time International North West 200 record holder Alastair Seeley - who took his tally of victories to 17 and surpassed the great Robert Dunlop with a Supersport double back in May - can start planning his 2017 assault on the north coast event after organisers announced a May 7-13 schedule for next year.
The week-long festival on the spectacular Causeway coast is due to begin on Sunday, May 7 and will include two days of practice on the Tuesday and Thursday, with racing on Thursday evening.
These will provide the perfect starter to Saturday's main race day on May 13.
Carrickfergus man Seeley said: "Even though it's only September it's always exciting to hear of the new season race dates and especially the North West 200, which as I've said many times before, really put me on the racing map.
"I'm sure that there will be some major changes in terms of riders and teams for next year's event, and my goal now is to be on the best machinery possible to keep winning races at my favourite event."
As always, Ireland's largest outdoor sporting event will be supplemented by a full programme of family events throughout the week, with fans now able to plan ahead by booking boats, planes and trackside accommodation for the North West 200.
Speaking of the advanced arrangements, Event Director Mervyn Whyte MBE said: "The North West 200 is the opening international road race of the season and has always enjoyed the support of the world's top road racers and their teams.
"By co-ordinating our event with the British Superbike Championship, we have also been able to attract some of the top stars from that popular series, which has proved to be a huge hit with the fans.
"Following consultation with the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) and BSB organisers MSVR, we have managed to do that once again for 2017, ensuring we will have a star-studded entry from both the road race and short circuit paddocks at Portrush next May."
Whyte concluded: "We would like to thank all of our event sponsors and key partners, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Tourism NI for their invaluable support.
"We will make further announcements about our exciting race festival in the weeks and months ahead."