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NW welcomes new Superbike sensation

 

Revved-up: Alastair Seeley at last night’s launch with the powerful Ducati V4R in Coleraine
Revved-up: Alastair Seeley at last night’s launch with the powerful Ducati V4R in Coleraine

By Jim Gracey

The new superstar of the Superbike world will be a crowd-pulling attraction at this year's North West 200.

Wee wizard Alastair Seeley, the event's most successful rider with 24 victories, has agreed a deal with PBM team boss Paul Bird to ride the new Ducati V4R machine at this year's race week from May 12-18.

The powerful, newly developed machine is similar to the one that took last weekend's opening World Superbike round by storm at Phillip Island in Australia.

The racing world sat up and took notice as Spain's Alvaro Bautista powered the V4R to three straight victories over Northern Ireland's reigning world champion Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki.

The machine took centre stage at last night's race launch in Coleraine with delighted Carrick rider Seeley insisting: "I am chasing my 25th victory at the North West and I really want another Superbike race win.

"Everyone saw what the Ducati was capable of in the opening round of the World Superbike championship last weekend and I am very excited to be riding the bike at the North West."

The Paul Bird team have won the last three Superbike races on the north coast with Seeley's arch rival Glenn Irwin who has switched to the Quattro Plant/Wicked Coatings Kawasaki team. 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.

"We have been working on securing this tie up between Alastair and Paul Bird's Ducati team for several months," NW200 event director Mervyn Whyte revealed. "It is a mouth-watering prospect that will excite every road racing fan."

This year's North West is sponsored by fonaCAB in association with Nicholl Oils.

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