North West 200: Alastair Seeley aims to edge closer to record

Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley
Alastair Seeley won two races at the 2014 North West 200

Alastair Seeley hopes to edge closer to the late Robert Dunlop's all-time record of 15 wins at this week's North West 200 over the Triangle circuit.

The Carrickfergus rider has achieved 12 victories to date and is set to compete in six races in the Tyco TAS colours.

The 35-year-old will ride BMW machinery in the Superbike and Superstock classes and is likely to campaign a Suzuki in the two Supersport 600cc events.

Among his main competitors will be Robert's sons William and Michael.

William, a four-time winner at the seaside course, joins Seeley in the Tyco BMW colours, along with colourful Lincolnshire lad and television personality Guy Martin.

The older of the Dunlop brothers secured his first international Superbike success at the North West last year, while Martin is still chasing his first win over the 8.97-mile circuit.

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Michael has also tasted victory four times at the event, including the feature race in 2014, but he switches to the Milwaukee Yamaha garage for this season.

John McGuinness and Conor Cummins fly the flag for Honda for the second year in succession, while 11-times winner, New Zealander Bruce Anstey, is joined in the Valvoline Padgett's Honda colours by Manxman Dan Kneen.

Keith Amor leads the Scottish challenge in the absence of Stuart Easton, while Midlands maestro Michael Rutter will also have designs on Robert Dunlop's record given his tally of 13 victories.

Fermanagh's Lee Johnston was a double Supertwins winner last year but he sits out that class this time round to concentrate on the other higher capacity races.

Ryan Farquhar, Jamie Hamilton and Jeremy McWilliams are among the other Northern Ireland hopefuls expected to contend for top leaderboard positions.

In addition to Martin, McGuinness and Rutter, the English contingent also includes Gary Johnson, Dean Harrison, James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson and Martin Jessopp, who should all have experience over the seaside circuit.

Aside from Anstey, Austrian Horst Saiger, holder of the Superstock lap record, represents the most realistic hope of success for a rider from outside the British Isles.

Among the notable newcomers are Australian Isle of Man TT regular David Johnson and Gearlink Kawasaki British Supersport riders Glenn Irwin and Ben Wilson.

Practice and race schedule

Tuesday 12 May - Roads close for practice from 09:15 BST until 14:45 BST

Thursday 14 May - Roads close for practice from 09:15 to 14:45 and from 17:15 to 21:00 for racing - Supersport, Supertwins and Superstock races

Saturday 16 May - Roads close for racing from 09:30 BST to 19:00 BST - 2 Superbike races, Supersport, Superstock and Supertwins

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