North West 200: Tommy Bridewell and Richard Cooper to make debuts in 2018

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Tommy Bridewell and Richard Cooper are set to compete at the North West 200

British Superbike regulars Tommy Bridewell and Richard Cooper are to make their debuts at the North West 200 international road races in May 2018.

Both riders made a visit to the Triangle circuit on Tuesday, where eight-time winner Steve Plater offered some advice ahead of their first racing appearances at the event.

The pair have yet to confirm what teams they will ride for next season.

Northern Ireland's Carl Phillips is also hoping to make his bow next year.

Phillips has been competing in the British Superstock Championship this year on a Suzuki under the MD Racing banner, a team run by road racer Michael Dunlop.

Cooper currently rides for the Bennett's Suzuki outfit and finished second in the British Superstock 1000cc series, while Bridewell is with the WD40 Kawasaki team, with whom he ended up 17th in the feature Superbike championship.

Cooper, 34, from Nottingham, won the British Superstock 1000 title in 2011 and has a best overall finish of eighth in the Superbike standings in 2015.

"It's something I have watched on tv and thought 'I wouldn't mind a go at that'. It's looking very promising for next year - I'll be back in the BSB class and if I'm still in these colours I'll be very happy," said Cooper.

Bridewell, 29, was fourth in the 2014 BSB season.

"I watch it every year and have always fancied doing it, Next year will be that year and I'm looking forward to it.

"I'll do my homework and get the bikes in place, just take it one step at a time. I'll go steady in my first year and find my feet and just learn the track," explained Bridewell.

North West 200 Race Director Mervyn Whyte says it has taken a couple of years of hard work to sign the high-profile riders from the British series.

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