Veteran ex-Grand Prix star Jeremy McWilliams has confirmed he will line-up for the 2023 North West 200 [NW200] after joining forces with Wilson Craig Honda in the Supersport class.
A veritable stalwart of motorcycle racing, the ultra-versatile 59-year old will take to the grid aboard a Honda CBR600RR in the intermediate category alongside commitments in the Twins class aboard the Bayview Hotel Paton.
McWilliams - who competed with Wilson Craig Honda in the 2022 Sunflower Trophy - will replace the injured Matthew Rees, who was ruled out of the 2023 NW200 after sustaining a broken back and wrist in an accident during the Cookstown 100.
McWilliams says there was never any doubt he would be back racing at this year’s NW200 and with a new Honda engine on its way from the Ten Kate World Supersport squad he is looking forward to his annual outing around the 8.9 mile Triangle course.
“I never envisaged I wouldn’t be back.” McWilliams said. “When the opportunity arose to be on good bikes like the Wilson Craig machines and the Bayview Paton it was one not to be missed.”
One of the standout performers at the NW200 last year, McWilliams called upon his immense experience to prove competitive in tricky wet conditions against the likes of Alastair Seeley and Davey Todd on the Burrows/RK Racing Yamaha R6.
“It was a decent scrap,” he continued. “I was battling with Davey in the wet and the circuit was in good shape. It was as much fun riding in the wet as the dry, just a lot colder! By the end I think all three of us thought we had given it everything.”
“You have to get away in the wave, if you want to get the slipstream and stay with the leaders to get yourself into the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, the pack got broken up last year in Saturday’s race when James Hillier crashed.”
A three-time NW200 race winner in the Supertwins class, McWilliams is one of the sport’s most enduring and experienced competitors.
A Grand Prix race winner at 250GP level, McWilliams has 177 GP starts to his name, including 118 500GP/MotoGP caps.
Still an active competitor, though McWilliams exceeds the maximum age limit for most mainstream race events, he has remained sharp most recently competing in MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers series, while he is also a test and development rider for KTM.