Former British Supersport and Superstock champion, Alastair Seeley, has tonight confirmed he will be racing for PBM Be Wiser Ducati at this year’s North West 200 road races.
Looking for his 25th victory at the Northern Irish venue, Seeley is the most successful rider in the event’s history and will look to increase this tally aboard the Italian firm’s flagship Panigale V4 R superbike.
"I really want another superbike race win,’ Seeley said. "I know the PBM team will give me a great bike in the new Ducati to help me do that.
"Everyone saw what the Ducati was capable of in the opening round of the World Superbike championship at Phillip Island last weekend and I am very excited to be riding the bike at the North West."
The PBM team have won the last three superbike races at the North West with Glenn Irwin, who campaigned the out-going V-Twin 1299 Panigale on all three occasions. Irwin has now switched to the Quattro Plant Wicked Coatings Kawasaki team for the 2019 season.
Speaking about this, 39-year-old Seeley said: "PBM have enjoyed lots of success at the North West but this is a new chapter in a new book for the team with the new V4 machine.
"There can be some 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."
Alongside the Italian V4, which produces 217bhp in road trim alone, Seeley will also be competing in the Supersport races aboard a Yamaha R6 for EHA Racing, which he will also use to contest for the British Supersport crown.
"Hopefully I will be coming to the north coast with a couple of good performances in the opening two BSB rounds and a good testing programme on the PBM Ducati under my belt.
"Top speed and good stability are key at the North West and I think I will have the tools to do the job. The new V4 sounds like a MotoGP bike and it will be exciting for everyone to hear it going around the North West," he added.
Speaking about the partnership, 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 over the past two years.
"Alastair Seeley is the North West’s most successful rider and the prospect of seeing Alastair on board the new V4, locked in a battle with riders like Glenn Irwin, Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison is a mouth-watering prospect that will excite every road racing fan."
PBM Team coordinator, John Mowatt, also said: “The North West 200 is a fantastic event and we have enjoyed some great success over the years.
"Three superbike wins on our return with Ducati over the past couple of years has been magnificent and we want to build on that with the new Be Wiser Ducati V4R. So, who better than Alastair Seeley, the most successful rider of all time at the event."