Former British Superbike star James Ellison set to make North West 200 debut after two years of waiting

Former British Superbike rider James Ellison will finally get the chance to make his North West 200 debut, two years later than originally planned.

llison was scheduled to tackle the 8.9-mile “Triangle” course in 2020 but missed it after the North Coast meeting was canceled as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Now the 41-year-old is counting down the days until he takes his place on the grid at Portrush from May 10-14, when Ellison – who has a wealth of experience having competed in MotoGP, World Endurance and America during his career – will ride a Suzuki GSX-R1000R prepared by Hawk Racing for Powerslide Motorcycles in Superbike events this spring.

“I watched the laps on board every morning,” said Ellison, who finished second to BSB in 2009.

“Station Corner looks intimidating and I think it will take my breath away. The rest of the circuit looks fun too and I can’t wait to get here.

“If we’re going to do the North West, we’re going to do it right,” added Ellison, whose last race was the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans meeting.

“I prefer Superbikes, although Superstock bikes are more forgiving as they aren’t as hard to ride.”

Ellison will be joined by Brad Clarke of Powerslide Motorcycles, who will also do his NW200 bow in the Superstock class on a Suzuki 1000cc.

Cookstown man Gary McCoy was also among six newcomers who rode the NW200 course this week.

McCoy will ride a Kawasaki Supertwin machine prepared by Ryan Farquhar and a Yamaha R6 built by Isle of Man TT maestro Michael Dunlop under the MadBros banner in the North West.

The 26-year-old, who was the only driver to beat Alastair Seeley in the Ulster Supersport Championship last year on wet Bishopscourt, said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I watched the North West when I was young.

“It’s the biggest event in Ireland that everyone goes to. It will just take a little getting used to.

Other newcomers include Austrian Julian Trummer, Josh Daley from Wigan – who raced at the TT and Ulster Grand Prix – and Manxman Michael Evans, who won the Junior and Senior Manx GP races in 2017.

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