The guy with the most racing experience of all of the East Antrim riders must be Glengormley’s Jeremy McWilliams.
Last year he made his North West debut, finishing a superb second behind team boss, Ryan Farquhar. This time around he is reunited with the Farquhar set-up under the Vauxhall Dealers NI banner, and will ride one of the now retired Farquhar’s excellent 650 Kawasakis in the two supertwin races.
It has been a low-key build up to the NW 200 for McWilliams as he has not even saddled the bike he will race on Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon.
“It is being built as we speak,” he told the Times during the week. “I haven’t ridden it yet but I hope to get a run-out on Monday. It’s not ideal, but that is how it is.”
“I am looking forward to the event but I hope we get better weather than last year when it was wet and cold. I never thought I would get so close to Ryan in last year’s race and although it was nerve-wracking, I was having fun too,” he recalled.
How does McWilliams rate his chances of getting on the top step of the rostrum this year?
“I only turn up once a year, so everyone else has a bit of an advantage as they are used to their bikes before the North West. Ryan’s bikes though are good and I know whatever he gives me will do the job but I reckon the biggest threat in the race will come from one of my team-mates, Jamie Hamilton.
“He is the team’s number-one rider and is having a great season. He will be the man to beat in the supertwins races. You just don’t know what will happen on the day. I’m not going with any expectations, but I could just get dragged along and be there at the finish. A lot of things have to fall into place and you never know,” he said.