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Coca Cola will sponsor Michael Rutter in BSB and the North West 200 races
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Coca Cola Zero backing announced for North West 200 and Rutter

By Marc Potter -

TT & road races

 08 January 2009 10:00

Coca Cola are backing motorcycle racing with the announcement that Coca Cola Zero will sponsor Michael Rutter in British Superbikes, and back the North West 200 races in May.

This is the first official image of the bike Michael Rutter will race for the Coca Cola NW200 team.

The announcement will be made at the launch of the North West 200 road races at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast later this morning. It is the race’s 80th anniversary.

Coca Cola livery will be run on Rutter’s BSB Yamaha R1 and Dan Linfoot’s Yamaha R6 in British Supersport.

The Coca Cola-backed NW200 team will be run by Rob Mac Racing. Rob Mac Racing will also run blue-liveried Motorpoint Henderson Yamahas with Chris Walker and Graeme Gowland out of the same base.

And although both squads will run out of the same base in Scunthorpe, the Coca Cola NW200 bike is already being dubbed the red bike, while the Walker/Gowland team are known as the blue team.

And our men in the team say there’s already big money on the table as to which team comes out on top!

Following testing, the bike’s first race will be at the British Superbike season-opener at Brands Hatch on April 11.

Alastair Kennedy said: “The British Superbike championship proved to be an excellent marketing tool for the North West 200 during the 2008 season and we are very excited to be entering the 2009 series with a new partner in Coca Cola Zero.”

The NW200 races kick off with practice night on Tuesday May 12. BBC Sport Northern Ireland will have a full schedule of pre and post race coverage both on television and on-line.

Race Format
Practice Night: Tuesday 12th May
1st Session Newcomers (un-timed practice)
2nd Session 125cc/250cc machines
3rd Session Supersbikes/Superstock Machines
4th Session  600cc  machines
 
Practice Night: Thursday 14th May
1st Session 125cc/250cc machines
2nd Session Supersbikes/Superstock Machines
3rd Session 600cc  machines

Race Day, Saturday 16th May
1st Race: 250cc Race
2nd Race: Superbike Race 1
3rd Race: 600cc Supersport Race 1
4th Race: 125cc Race
5th Race: Superstock Race
6th Race: North West 200 Superbike Race
7th Race: 600cc Supersport Race 2
 
The 250cc and 125cc races will all be 4-lap races and all others, excluding the North West 200 Superbike Race will be 5 laps and the North West 200 Superbike race will be over 6 laps.