North West 200: New Thursday evening Superbike race introduced for 2020 races

North West 200 Superbike race
Action from the 2019 North West 200 Superbike race which was won by Glenn Irwin

The North West 200 is to introduce a new Thursday evening Superbike race as part of the 2020 schedule on 14 May.

The Superbike race will kick off the action on Thursday night, followed by Superstock and Supersport events.

The Supertwin race will now be held after practice on Thursday afternoon, with all races run over four laps.

Tuesday's practice schedule and Saturday's race programme remain unchanged, with five practice sessions on Tuesday and five races on Saturday.

Practice will take place as normal on Thursday morning, with four sessions.

The North West 200 organisers say they have introduced a Thursday Superbike race to the schedule for the first time as a reaction to requests from race teams and competitors.

Only one of the two scheduled Superbike races was held on the main Saturday race day in 2019, with Glenn Irwin extending his unbeaten run in the feature class of the meeting to four races.

"We have listened very carefully to the teams and riders who have lobbied for a Superbike race on Thursday," said North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte.

"This new schedule will allow the Superbikes to compete in a sprint type race ahead of Saturday's two longer events, providing more track time and a greater spectacle for everyone involved.

"From the spectator's point of view it will be exciting to see every class and all of the top riders in action on Thursday.

"A comprehensive contingency plan will also be put in place should it be required. This will include the possible use of Saturday's extension to the road closing order."

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