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Seeley to ride for PBM in bid to land 25th NW win

 

Alastair Seeley (right) with the PBM/Be Wiser Ducati he will ride at the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 and team boss Paul Bird
Alastair Seeley (right) with the PBM/Be Wiser Ducati he will ride at the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 and team boss Paul Bird

By Roy Harris

Alastair Seeley will race a Paul Bird Motorsport/Be Wiser Ducati V4R in both Superbike races at the fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils.

The deal was announced last night during the Meet the Riders event in the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine.

Seeley, the event’s most successful rider with 24-wins, is delighted to get a prized ride on the ‘big bike’.

“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 V4R to do that. Everyone saw what the all-new Ducati is capable of in the opening round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island last weekend and I’m excited about riding the bike at the North West.”

Alvaro Bautista won all three WSBK races on the new Ducati, relegating our defending champion Jonathan Rea to three runner-up finishes.

Of course, a PBM Be Wiser Ducati has won the last three Superbike races around the Triangle, the second race in 2017 and both Superbike races last year in the hands of Seeley’s arch-rival Glenn Irwin, so there may be some added pressure on Seeley to perform well.

Irwin has switched camps for this season and will be riding Quattro Kawasaki/Wicked Coatings machinery, so it will be a case of light the blue touch paper and watch the action unfold come May.

John Mowatt, PBM Team Co-ordinator said: “The North West 200 is a fantastic event and we have enjoyed some great success over the years.

“We want to build on that with the all-new Be Wiser Ducati V4R, so who better than Alastair, the most successful rider at the event, to ride the bike and we are confident we can challenge for more race wins.”

Seeley added: “This is a new chapter in a new book for the team with the new V4 machine. There can be a few 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.”

Event Director Mervyn Whyte MBE said, “We have been working on securing this tie up between Alastair and Paul Bird’s Ducati team for several months.

“PBM/Be Wiser Ducati is one of the leading teams in the British Superbike Championship with a fantastic record at the North West 200 and Alastair is the most successful rider at the event, so the prospect of seeing him on board the new Ducati V4R, locked in battle with Glenn Irwin, Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison is a mouth-watering prospect that will excite every road racing fan.”

Seeley will also race in the Supersport races at the North West 200 on board the EHA R6 Yamaha that he will compete on in the British Supersport Championship.

Meanwhile, the riders attending last night’s function make the journey south for this weekend’s Carole Nash Irish Motorbike and Scooter Show in the RDS, Dublin which opens with a North West 200 promotion today.

A bit closer to home and the Ballymoney Motorcycle Show, which is run in conjunction with the Mid Antrim 150 club, opens today at 5pm in Ballybrakes Indoor Community Bowling Club.

There will be a special 90 years of the North West 200 display by Museum Services and it will feature alongside a special celebratory tribute to Paul Robinson, now retired, on his successful racing career.

Elsewhere, the 2019 motocross season kicks off tomorrow at Desertmartin with the opening round of the Ulster Quadcross and Sidecarcross Championships.

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