Belfast Telegraph

Fogarty is getting into gear for visit to NW200

By Paul Lindsay

He's probably more famous these days for tackling Bushtucker trials and being crowned King of the Jungle in the 2014 series of 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!' but four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty will be a popular guest of honour at this year's Vauxhall International North West 200.

The former North West 200 winner will be recounting tales of his brilliant racing career during a special evening in the paddock marquee at 8pm on Friday, May 13. The Blackburn ace will also be on the grid and in hospitality for Saturday's races on May 14.

Fogarty was recently presented with a framed photograph of his first North West 200 triumph in 1993 at the Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival and said: "I can hardly believe it was 23 years ago."

Tickets for the Friday evening event will be available from at £5 each.

Also preparing for this year's Vauxhall International North West 200 is 11-time Isle of Man TT winner and new Tyco BMW signing Ian Hutchinson.

The 36-year-old former NW200 winner has been getting his first taste of BMW power out in Spain and, judging by the smile on his face, he was suitably impressed.

Speaking trackside from Almeria in Spain, before heading to Cartagena to meet up with his Tyco BMW team-mates for further tests later this week, he said: "I had high expectations and I wasn't disappointed with my first run on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine."

Despite his three wins at last year's TT, which now has him level with Michael Dunlop on 11 in the all-time winners' list, there was no business class seat for the Bingley Bullet en route to the Spanish sunshine.

Instead he opted to drive his van to meet up with reigning British Superstock 1000cc champion Josh Elliott - who will be his team-mate this season on the short circuit scene.

Speaking of his first run on the TAS Racing prepared Tyco BMW S1000RR, Hutchinson said: "The biggest thing is the power delivery; it is just so smooth you don't even realise how fast you are going. It's got a nice seating position also and very comfortable. It's just very easy to ride and I'm not aching or anything.

"Everyone I've spoken to who has ridden the bike seems to love it and they were right."

Elliott was also getting his first taste of BMW machinery at Valencia amongst some of the European Superstock competitors and although no times were released by the team, by all accounts the British champion was showing his counterparts the way to go.

The modest Ballinamallard lad said: "Just like Hutchy, the Tyco BMW is a new bike for me but I've been having a lot of fun learning its characteristics and taking it step by step.

"I feel pretty comfortable on the bike already but am now looking forward to hooking up with the whole team this week for four days' testing at Cartagena."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph