Russ Mountford is hoping it will be second time lucky when he comes to the Vauxhall International North West 200 on May 17.
The Wigan man last travelled to the North Coast venue in 2009 but bad luck and bad weather meant he only managed a couple of racing laps.
“I had so little time on track in ’09 that I am hoping the organisers will let me start as a newcomer this year,” Mountford smiled.
“I will have my Superbike-spec Honda Fireblade as well as the ZX10R Kawasaki Superstocker that I raced at the Ulster Grand Prix last year. We have freshened up the Superbike with new suspension and I will also have the 675 Triumph for the Supersport races.”
Mountford, who became a Dad for the first time just before Christmas, has been making inroads on the between the hedges scene in recent years after starting his competitive career on the English short circuit scene.
“I’ve been racing since 2000 but I didn’t try Scarborough until 2007 and I loved it,” he explained.
After a couple of seasons racing the Manx the Wigan rider moved on to the TT, scoring an 11th place finish in the Supersport class in 2011 and a career best fifth in the Lightweight TT in 2012.
For 2014 he will add the North West 200 to a schedule that also includes the TT, the Southern 100, the Ulster and all of the Scarborough meetings.
“I haven’t really got a game plan for this year’s North West,” he said.
“The last time I raced there I didn’t have much of a budget or particularly strong bikes but this time I have more of a budget with a good sponsor and the bikes will be top notch. I have to learn the course again and get the bikes set up and if I get that right then I will be looking for top ten finishes this year,” he added.
“It will be good to have a rider of Russ’s ability back again at Portrush.” Event Director Mervyn Whyte, MBE, said. “He has put in some fine performances over the last couple of years and he will be out to do the same at the North West.”