Jeremy McWilliams is to replace Dan Kneen in the Mar-Train Yamaha squad at this year’s North West 200 next week, after the Manxman broke his arm in a mountain biking crash.
McWilliams, who has two North West victories to his name, will ride the team’s R1 and R6 Yamahas in all classes, as well as Ryan Farquhar’s SGS/KMR Kawasaki in the two supertwin races.
It’s believed the former MotoGP star will test the Yamaha’s at Kirkistown on Monday before practice for the North West gets underway just one day later.
“It is nice to be able to step in for Dan and help the team out this week.” McWilliams said.
“I have a great relationship with Tim and the team and have experience of working with them in the past. I’m keen to race the North West 200 with another professional outfit and my duties will be divided between SGS/KMR and Mar-Train during the week. I am looking forward to getting on the Yamahas to see how far they have come on over the past year.”
McWilliams worked with the team in 2015, testing the R1 and R6 alongside Dean Harrison at the squad’s initial outings with the new machinery.
Having won the Tandragee 100 on the Mar-Train R1, Kneen is gutted to be missing the first international of the season: “I’m gutted for the whole team after all the work that has been put in, I’m on my bike every day and wasn’t doing anything different than usual, it was plain bad luck.” he explained.
“Surgery has gone well today so all I can do is concentrate on getting fit and back on the bikes as soon as possible. I wish Jeremy all the best for this week, it is great that he has been able to step in for Tim, Sonya and all the sponsors.”
Practice begins for the Vauxhall International North West 200 on Tuesday with roads closing at 9:15am.