Glenn Irwin getting off to a flyer during the Superbike Race at the North West 200 last year.
AN all-new Superbike race is set to be introduced at the International North West 200 in May.
The premier class is set to be added to the Thursday evening race schedule at the event which recently announced a long term sponsorship deal with fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils.
The fresh four-lap sprint race is set to be added to an already busy evening schedule and will be coupled with the Supersport and Superstock races whilst the Supertwin race is set to be run during the afternoon practice schedule at the May showpiece.
North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte said: “We have listened very carefully to the teams and riders who have lobbied for a Superbike race on Thursday.
“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,” added Whyte.
Racing on Thursday evening has proved a popular feature at the event in recent years. Italian Stefano Bonetti made history during the 90th anniversary of the event last year by becoming the first-ever Italian winner at the event.
Lee Johnston clinched victory in the Supersport race as Lincolnshire's Peter Hickman enjoyed victory in the Superstock Race.
Race week for the North West 200 will run from May 12 – 16.
NEW LOOK RACE WEEK SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, May 12
Unchanged with five practice sessions commencing with the Newcomers followed by Supersport, Superbike, Supertwin and Superstock, sessions.
Roads Close from 9.15am to 3.15 pm
Thursday, May 14
Roads Close from 9.15 to 3.15pm
Four practice sessions for Supertwin, Superbike, Superstock and Supersport machines followed by Supertwin Race 1
Roads Close again at 5pm until 9pm.
Superbike, Superstock and Supersport races.
All four Thursday races will be over four laps.
Saturday May 16
Race format and order unchanged with five races for Supersport, Superbike, Supertwin, Superstock, Superbike classes.