A 250 race is being re-introduced to the North West 200 programme this year.
The 250 two-strokes, which last graced the NW200 in 2000, was previously run concurrently with the 125 and 400 races.
The 125s and 400s will continue to be run together but treated as two separate races. Another significant change is that 650cc twin-cylinder machines will be allowed to take part in the 400cc.
NW200 Clerk of the Course Mervyn Whyte said: “This new format will now allow the competitior to take part in two out of the three races. It is certainly ambitious but one, which I’m confident, will enhance the international North West 200 for competitors, sponsors and spectators.”
Both superbike races will continue to run to FIM WSB regulations rather than adopt the new BSB supersport-type engine regulations. Whyte said: “We canvassed more than 25 teams and 95% of them were in favour of continuing with the current regulations. The problem is that in Ireland we have so many competitors with the old-spec machinery.”
Robert Dunlop, the North West's most successful rider, has already applauded the new format.
Tuesday, May 13: Practice
Thursday, May 15: Practice
Saturday, May 17
Race 1 250cc, 4 laps
Race 2 Superbike, 5 laps
Race 3 600cc Supersport 1, 5 laps
Race 4 400cc and 125cc, 4 laps
Race 5 Superstock, 5 laps
Race 6 North West 200 Superbike, 6 laps
Race 7 600cc Supersport 2, 5 laps