Alastair Seeley has struck a deal with Northern Ireland’s Tyco BMW team for this year’s Vauxhall International North West 200.
Seeley will ride S1000RR machinery in the Superbike and Superstock races at the famous event, where he extended his record tally of victories to 21 last year following a magnificent four-timer.
The Carrick man joins Manx rider Dan Kneen in the Moneymore team for the first big international meeting of the year, which takes place from May 13-19.
He notched a double on the Tyco BMW in 2017 in the Superstock races and also triumphed in the opening Superbike race.
The 38-year-old was involved in one of the best races ever witnessed around the seaside course in the feature Superbike event last May, when he went head-to-head with fellow Carrickfergus rider Glenn Irwin.
British Superbike contender Irwin prevailed in a memorable showdown between the pair on a blockbuster final lap, but Seeley has stated his desire to make amends in 2018 after Irwin claimed the bragging rights in the blue riband race.
“I am more motivated than ever for this year because I want to get back on the top step of the podium in the feature Superbike race,” Seeley said.
“Every race is important and I want to win every race I start but it would be nice to get a win in the big one again.
“It won’t be easy because there are so many riders racing at the North West now who compete in the British championship and that means they are coming to Portrush sharp, fit and with good race craft,” he added.
“But I am training hard and working with the Tyco BMW team again means that very little has to change for us.”
Two-time British champion Seeley has a longstanding relationship with Philip and Hector Neill’s TAS Racing concern, chalking up half of the team’s 26 overall victories at the ‘Triangle’ course.
Seeley, who is entering his seventh year of involvement with TAS Racing, said: “The team knows what works for me and they produce good bikes. We have won a lot of races together which speaks for itself.”
Team boss Philip Neill said he was delighted to welcome Seeley back to the team for the second successive year at the North West.
“Alastair is a huge part of the TAS Racing success story at the North West 200,” he said.
“He is part of the furniture now in the best possible way. Alastair Seeley had a phenomenal run of success at last year’s North West 200 and it is great to have him back again with Tyco BMW for 2018.”
Seeley, who is close to finalising his plans to compete in the National Superstcock 1000 Championship this year, will also compete in the Supersport class at the North West on a Yamaha R6 for British championship outfit EHA Racing.
Meanwhile, the official launch of the North West will be held at The Vineyard in Coleraine on March 14 with the popular ‘Meet the Stars’ event.
An evening of fun and chat will be hosted by Claire McCollum, Stephen Watson and Adrian Logan.
Race fans will also have the opportunity to meet their favourite riders for photographs and autographs.
Confirmed riders include Alastair Seeley, Glenn Irwin, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston, Ian Hutchinson, Horst Saiger and John McGuinness.
Bike racing pundit Liam Beckett will also make a special appearance on the night.
To apply for free tickets for the event visit the Vauxhall International North West 200 website at http://www.northwest200.org/