'Mouth-watering prospect': Record holder Alastair Seeley to race new Ducati V4R at North West 200
Alastair Seeley will race a PBM/Be Wiser Ducati at this year’s fonaCAB International North West 200.
The event’s most successful rider, with 24 victories, has agreed a deal with PBM boss Paul Bird to ride the new V4R machine at this year’s north coast event.
It's the same bike that could cause Jonathan Rea serious problems in his bid for a fifth successive World Superbike title.
Alvaro Bautista secured a hat-trick of race wins in the opening meeting in Australia last weekend, Rea claiming that his new Kawasaki is like a 'knife at a gun-fight' in comparison.
The deal between Ducati and Seeley was unveiled at last night’s race launch in Coleraine, evert director Mervyn White MBE saying the link-up is a 'mouth-watering prospect' for NW200 fans:
"PBM/Be Wiser Ducati is one of the leading teams in the British Superbike championship with a fantastic record at the North West 200 over the past two years.
"Alastair Seeley is the North West’s most successful rider and the prospect of seeing Alastair on board the new V4, locked in a battle with riders like Glenn Irwin, Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison is a mouth-watering prospect that will excite every road racing fan."
Seeley admitted that Bautista's showing Down Under has whet his appetite for what he hopes will be another successful NW200 meeting.
"I am chasing my 25th victory at the North West and I really want another superbike race win," he said.
"I know the PBM team will give me a great bike in the new Ducati to help me do that. Everyone saw what the Ducati was capable of in the opening round of the World Superbike championship at Phillip Island last weekend and I am very excited to be riding the bike at the North West."
The PBM/Be Wiser team have won the last three superbike races at the North coast event with Seeley’s arch rival, Glenn Irwin.
Irwin has now switched to the Quattro Plant/Wicked Coatings Kawasaki team and Seeley’s move to Ducati will see the two Carrickfergus men go head to head on the 8.9 mile Triangle circuit once again come May.
"PBM have enjoyed lots of success at the North West but this is a new chapter in a new book for the team with the new V4 machine," Seeley said.
"There can be some teething problems with a new bike but hopefully PBM’s BSB riders, Josh Brookes and Scott Redding, will have those sorted out for me before I get on the bike."
The 39 year old will also race in the NW200 Supersport races aboard the EHA Racing R6 Yamaha that he will compete on in the British Supersport championship.
"Hopefully I will be coming to the north coast with a couple of good performances in the opening two BSB rounds and a good testing programme on the PBM Ducati under my belt," Seeley said.
"Top speed and good stability are key at the North West and I think I will have the tools to do the job. The new V4R sounds like a MotoGP bike and it will be exciting for everyone to hear it going around the North West."
This year's race week takes place from May 12-18.
Belfast Telegraph Digital