Irwin will return to Portrush on May 7-13 with the PBM Ducati team after switching from Honda to the squad he won his first North West 200 race with in 2017.
“The Ducati V4RR has had numerous successes in the world of racing.” the 32 year old explained.
“It was difficult to leave Honda after an amazing three years but I am an analyser of everything. I know Josh Brookes might not have looked as if he was in the race for victory in the superbike races at last year’s North West but he set the fastest sector time from Ballysally to Metropole and it is an important part of the track to be quick on because if you can break them there they can’t pass you on the coast road.”
Irwin is aiming to close in on Joey Dunlop and Michael Rutter’s record tally of nine superbike race wins each on the famous 8.9 mile Triangle course come May.
“The North West 200 will always be the focus of my road racing.” Irwin emphasized.
“From day one this place has felt like home because it is home. I know the track like the back of my hand and I’m getting pushed harder and harder but I still think there is a helluva lot there and I have more to give.”
Irwin has won every superbike race run during the tenure of fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils as title sponsors of Ireland’s leading road race. After enjoying superb weather and brilliant racing during last year’s principal race day, both companies are looking forward to more of the same come May.
“Everything went like clockwork last year with the sun shining and great racing.” McCausland said.
“It was a fantastic day.” Nicholl echoed.
“There had been no North West for a couple of years because of the pandemic and the crowds were huge. The day couldn’t have been better and everybody enjoyed it.”
Alongside their financial support of the event, both men are also dedicated North West 200 fans, supporting individual riders as well as the event. “As Ireland’s biggest outdoor sporting event there is obviously a lot of prestige and exposure associated with the North West 200.” McCausland explained.
“From a personal point of view I have been coming to the North West 200 since I was a small child so there are a lot of memories. I grew up with the North West, it is in my DNA, and to have the chance to be a title sponsor of the event was just too good an opportunity to miss. I couldn’t say no.”
“Our company is based in the North West area, it is home.” Gary Nicholl explained.
“To be able to give something back to the local community is great and you can’t get anything bigger than the North West. It makes it a lot easier when you enjoy the buzz and everything else that goes on at the event.”
Race boss Mervyn Whyte is delighted to have the continued support of two of Northern Ireland’s leading businesses.
“The racing simply couldn’t happen without the input of these companies.” he said
“William and Gary have supported the North West 200 before, during and after the pandemic and the Coleraine and District Motor club are very grateful for all they provide as we look forward to another successful week of race action come May.”