Jeremy McWilliams makes winning debut on 2019 KMR Kawasaki ahead of North West 200

Jeremy McWilliams (KMR Kawasaki) leads Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) at the North West 200 in 2018.
Jeremy McWilliams (KMR Kawasaki) leads Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) at the North West 200 in 2018.

Jeremy McWilliams made a winning debut on the all-new 2019-spec KMR Kawasaki at Kirkistown on Easter Monday as the former Grand Prix rider tunes up for the North West 200 in May.

McWilliams made his return to the international road race last year after skipping the event in 2017, clinching two runner-up finishes for Ryan Farquhar’s team.

The vastly experienced Glengormley man will join Isle of Man TT Lightweight runner-up Derek McGee in the team, while Michael Rutter, Gary Johnson and Lee Johnston will be part of a four-man KMR line-up at the TT.

McWilliams won the first Supertwin race at Kirkistown in Co. Down on Monday by almost 13 seconds as he used the bank holiday meeting to put the new 650cc Kawasaki through its paces.

He completed a double in race two, extending his margin of victory to 16.6 seconds over Gary McCoy and setting a new lap record for the class in 58.312s.

A former 250cc GP winner and rostrum finisher in the 500cc class at Donington Park in 2000, McWilliams has led a long and chequered racing career.

Glengormley man Jeremy McWilliams with Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki at the launch of the North West 200 at the end of February.

Glengormley man Jeremy McWilliams with Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki at the launch of the North West 200 at the end of February.

However, the double NW200 Supertwin winner says nothing compares to standing on the rostrum in Portrush at the famous old road race, which will celebrate its 90th anniversary in May.

“The North West is something very special and there is nothing that comes close to this,” he said.

“No matter how many BSB races you have won or competed in, or how many world championship races you have competed in; to stand on the podium at the North West is very special.

“I think that’s because of the number of people who visit the North West and the event is over a whole week.

“It’s a completely different environment and the event is not concentrated on one weekend – it’s spread over a week so you get to take part in a lot of different events and to meet a lot of people,” McWilliams added.

“It’s a lovely environment, there’s a great atmosphere and good people. I just enjoy it more as a social event and I am really looking forward to it again.”