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North West 200: Irwin promises there’s more to come after impressing on his big bike debut at the Triangle

North West 200 2017: Practice day 2 [Photos] Close

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/05/2017
The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. 
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/05/2017 The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/05/2017
The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. 
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/05/2017 The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/05/2017
The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. 
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/05/2017 The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  11/05/2017
John McGuinness goes through the start and finish chicane on his Honda Racing Fireblade during the Superbike practice session at the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 today. McGuinness crashed a few seconds later at Primrose sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. 
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/05/2017 John McGuinness goes through the start and finish chicane on his Honda Racing Fireblade during the Superbike practice session at the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 today. McGuinness crashed a few seconds later at Primrose sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: James Cowton. 

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: James Cowton. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice. Mark Dangerfield crashes out of the Thursday Supertwin practice session. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice. Mark Dangerfield crashes out of the Thursday Supertwin practice session. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: Martin Jessopp. 

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: Martin Jessopp. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: Paul Jordan. 

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: Paul Jordan. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: Michael Sweeney. 

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: Michael Sweeney. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: Christian Elkin.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: Christian Elkin. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: Michael Sweeney.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: Michael Sweeney. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200
Thursday Practice

Pictured: Paul Jordan.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 Thursday Practice Pictured: Paul Jordan. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Pictured: Michael Rutter chases Lee Johnson and Dan Cooper.  Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Pictured: Michael Rutter chases Lee Johnson and Dan Cooper. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Martin Jessopp topped the leaderboard. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Martin Jessopp topped the leaderboard. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Glenn Irwin and his partner Laura Magee at the North West 200.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Glenn Irwin and his partner Laura Magee at the North West 200. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Chris Dixon ( Yamaha) during Tuesday's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Chris Dixon ( Yamaha) during Tuesday's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Robenya Farlow was the winner of the Miss North West 200 competition on Tuesday night in the paddock marquee. Rachel Mulligan (right) was second and Ciara Magee was third.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Robenya Farlow was the winner of the Miss North West 200 competition on Tuesday night in the paddock marquee. Rachel Mulligan (right) was second and Ciara Magee was third. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Glenn Irwin at the North West 200.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Glenn Irwin at the North West 200. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Alastair Seeley during Tuesday's North West 200 practice .Photo: Rowland White / PressEye

Alastair Seeley during Tuesday's North West 200 practice .Photo: Rowland White / PressEye

Michael Dunlop during Tuesday's North West 200 practice .Photo: Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Michael Dunlop during Tuesday's North West 200 practice .Photo: Matt Mackey / Press Eye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha  through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Michael Dunlop.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Michael Dunlop. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Lee Johnston Jackson Racing Honda   through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Lee Johnston Jackson Racing Honda through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: William Dunlop.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: William Dunlop. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Alastair Seeley Gearlink Kawasaki   through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Alastair Seeley Gearlink Kawasaki through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Paul Jordan and William Dunlop.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Paul Jordan and William Dunlop. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Ryan Farquhar.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Ryan Farquhar. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Chris Dixon (28) Yamaha involved in a red flag incident   during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Chris Dixon (28) Yamaha involved in a red flag incident during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Michael Dunlop.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Michael Dunlop. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Horst Saiger (Saiger-Racing Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Horst Saiger (Saiger-Racing Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Daniel Cooper.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Daniel Cooper. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Breuce Anstey Padgetts Honda  through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Breuce Anstey Padgetts Honda through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

Bruce Anstey now has 12 TT wins to his name after claiming SES TT Zero success in Friday's opening race.

Bruce Anstey now has 12 TT wins to his name after claiming SES TT Zero success in Friday's opening race.

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Peter Hickman Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph   through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Peter Hickman Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Dean Harrison.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Dean Harrison. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Lee Johnston Jackson Racing Honda   through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Lee Johnston Jackson Racing Honda through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Michael Rutter.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Michael Rutter. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Guy Martin Wilson Craig Honda   through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Guy Martin Wilson Craig Honda through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Lee Johnston.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Lee Johnston. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha  through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: James Hillier.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: James Hillier. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

John McGuinness Jackson Racing/Bet Victor Honda   through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye John McGuinness Jackson Racing/Bet Victor Honda through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Derek Sheils.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Derek Sheils. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Glenn Irwin speaks to Stephen Watson.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Glenn Irwin speaks to Stephen Watson. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha  through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Alastair Seeley and Danni.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Alastair Seeley and Danni. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Paul Jordan ( Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Paul Jordan ( Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Dan Hegarty (Top Gun Racing Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Dan Hegarty (Top Gun Racing Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha  through Dhu Varren during  Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Michael Dunlop wheelies his Yamaha through Dhu Varren during Supersport practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Daniel Cooper (Ruby Site Services Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Daniel Cooper (Ruby Site Services Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Peter Hickman (Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Peter Hickman (Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Christian Elkin ( Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Christian Elkin ( Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017

Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions.

Pictured: Lee Johnston and Guy Martin.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

PressEye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th May 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 practice sessions. Pictured: Lee Johnston and Guy Martin. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Philip Magowan / PressEye

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Peter Hickman (Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Peter Hickman (Trooper Beer by Smiths Racing Triumph) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
John McGuinness (Jackson Racing/Bet Victor Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session John McGuinness (Jackson Racing/Bet Victor Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcyles Triumph) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcyles Triumph) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Lee Johnston (Jackson Racing Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Lee Johnston (Jackson Racing Honda) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
James Cowton ( Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session James Cowton ( Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Steve Mercer (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Steve Mercer (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/05/2017
William Dunlop and John McGuinness at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/05/2017 William Dunlop and John McGuinness at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17
North West 200 - Supersport practice session
Michael Dunlop ( Yamaha) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Belfast 7-5-17 North West 200 - Supersport practice session Michael Dunlop ( Yamaha) during today's Supersport practice session at the North West 200 in Portrush. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/05/2017
Ian Hutchinson speaks to Riders Liaison officer Steve Plater at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/05/2017 Ian Hutchinson speaks to Riders Liaison officer Steve Plater at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May  2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye

Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course.
Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PressEye-Northern Ireland- 9th May 2017-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Newcomers rider races pass the garden walls through Dhu Varren during practice for the Vauxhall International 2017 North West 200 around the Triangle Course. Picture by Brian Little / PressEye

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/05/2017
Guy Martin at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/05/2017 Guy Martin at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/05/2017
Bruce Anstey at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/05/2017 Bruce Anstey at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST  09/05/2017
Ian Hutchinson at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps.
Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER BELFAST 09/05/2017 Ian Hutchinson at the Vauxhall International North West 200 before he heads out on his Tuesday practice laps. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

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PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/05/2017 The scene at Primrose corner on the 2017 Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit where John McGuinness crashed his Honda Racing Fireblade sustaining a suspected fracture to his leg. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

After a year’s absence, British Superbike Championship contender Glenn Irwin got his first taste of the PBM Be Wiser Ducati Superbike around the 8.97-mile North West 200 circuit yesterday.

And the Carrickfergus man impressed immediately, running second behind Alastair Seeley in the early stages of the opening Superbike session before ending up fifth fastest, five seconds behind pace setter Seeley (Tyco BMW), the man with a record 17 wins at the north coast showpiece.

“I just wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d only ridden a Supersport here before,” the 27-year-old said.

“I wasn’t sure how the Ducati would fare over the long high-speed runs, which aren’t normal on the BSB circuits. There are lots of bumps I didn’t find on the Supersport and the speed is unreal, but exhilarating.

“However, I was well pleased to set the time I did, and with a few alterations I was allowed out in the Superstock session and unofficially shaved a couple of seconds off my best qualifying time, so I know there is more to come.”

The son of former Irish road race and short circuit star Alan Irwin, Glenn made his road race debut at the North West 200 in 2015 riding a Gearlink Kawasaki.

That year he surprised pretty much everybody by pushing Seeley at the front of the opening Supersport race before retiring, and then finishing runner-up in the second race after a last-lap three-way braking duel at Juniper Chicane with Seeley, the eventual winner, and Lee Johnston, who claimed third.

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Last year saw him move to the prestigious British Superbike Championship with Paul Bird’s team, and he gave the North West a miss as he became accustomed to both the team and the powerful Superbike, finishing in 12th position in the series.

Irwin is back at the North West this week off the back of two podiums in BSB, including helping the team to a 1-2 finish in the last race at Oulton Park, the race won by team-mate Shane Byrne.

Irwin said: “It’s so cool to race the Be Wiser Ducati in front of my home crowd, but people must remember this is only my second year and my first ever on a Superbike at the event.

“I always dreamt of winning a Superbike race here as a kid, however I must be realistic and give the circuit the respect it deserves.

“I never expected to be so quick so soon, as we didn’t have any settings for the Ducati because we never raced here before with it.”

So, can the Carrickfergus man win a Superbike race on Saturday?

“I always go out with the intention of winning,” Irwin added.

“There are other riders with lots more experience on Superbikes around the circuit, but I have ran at the front of North West 200 races before and who knows, maybe I can cause an upset.”


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