Relentless boost for NW200

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This year’s Relentless-backed NW200 takes place on Saturday May 21 with Race Week Festival kicking off on May 15.

The 2011 event was launched this morning at the Belfast’s Merchant Hotel and leading riders at the launch included: 12-times NW200 winner Michael Rutter and Riders Ducati team-mate Martin Jessopp; new Relentless Suzuki signing Guy Martin and team-mate and local hero Alastair Seeley; Ballymoney riders Adrian Archibald and William Dunlop; plus Scot Stuart Easton who will race an MSS Colchester Kawasaki this year.

William and his brother Michael Dunlop plan to race in all five events at this year’s NW200 and both are set to confirm team details during the next few weeks.

Adrian Archibald also aims to compete in all races and will be backed by FB McKee. 

Relentless Suzuki pair Guy Martin and Alastair Seeley are set to compete in all five races and team owner Philip Neill said: “Alastair is one of a new crop of NW200 heroes and his amazing performance last year as the first local rider to win a NW200 Superbike race since Phillip McCallen in 1997, will put him in pole position for a podium place in 2011.”  

“Guy of course is an out and out road racer and the duo perfectly complement each other giving Relentless Suzuki a dynamic and highly competitive team for the North West 200.”

Easton has been a North West 200 regular in recent years and will be competing under the MSS Colchester Kawasaki banner at both the North West and BSB events.

Last year Easton finished second to Seeley in the history-making NW200 Superbike race and the Scotsman also broke Michael Rutter’s speed trap record by achieving 204 mph on last year’s Tuesday practice night.

Easton will compete in at least three of  NW200 races this and potentially may ride in all five. “I was delighted with my performance last year and hope to go one better in 2011 by claiming a coveted NW200 first place podium,” he said.      

This year’s NW200 programme features just five races with the opening Superbike race, followed by the Supersport and Superstock races.

The second Supersport race takes penultimate position with the NW200 Superbike now acting as the programme’s finale event.

The practice format will remain the same as last year with a Tuesday evening and Thursday day-time practice sessions.

BBC Northern Ireland will provide extensive coverage to the North West 200 across all three platforms; on-line, television and radio and Shane Glynn, Editor Sport, BBC Northern Ireland said: “BBC Sport NI will build on the success of our output up to now, and provide bike fans with the most innovative, creative and in depth coverage of the races and the week leading up to them across TV, radio and online.”

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MCN Sports Desk

By MCN Sports Desk