| 4.4°C Belfast

North West 200: Rivals out to lay marker


History boy: Alastair Seeley

History boy: Alastair Seeley

Philip Magowan / PressEye

History boy: Alastair Seeley

Alastair Seeley, Glenn Irwin and Michael Dunlop will be aiming to fire an early warning as the Vauxhall International North West 200 roars into life this morning.

The fierce rivals are set to be to the fore in the fight for success at the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit — and the 80,000 fans expected over the next five days will be in for a treat should they serve up a repeat of last year’s thrilling action.

Carrick ace Seeley — who has a record-breaking 21 North West victories — said: “After a few laps getting used to the high-speed, slipstream city circuit again, it should be an interesting qualifying session.”

All eyes will also be on Ian Hutchinson, who is making his road racing return after recovering from horrific leg injuries sustained during the 2017 Senior TT.

Hutchy will ride the Padgetts Honda Supersport machine that was earmarked for Bruce Anstey, who is battling cancer.

Hutchy, along with Lee Johnston, will lead Honda Racing’s challenge, while Tyco BMW have big hitters in Seeley, Dunlop and Dan Kneen.

Also aiming for victory will be former winners Martin Jessopp, Jeremy McWilliams, William Dunlop and Michael Rutter.

Roads are closed today between 9.15am and 3.00pm.

Belfast Telegraph