NORTH WEST 200: Three is the magic number for Jeremy McWilliams

Jeremy McWilliams in action.
Jeremy McWilliams in action.

East Antrim’s Jeremy McWilliams is chasing his third win at the North West 200 in the Supertwins class on board one of Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasakis.

The veteran rider, now 52, was on the podium twice last year, so what’s the plan for 2016?

“Just turn up and see how it goes,” he said. “Really that’s always been the plan. You can’t envisage having a plan for the North West. When you get there, there’s always a new, fast rider or someone’s bikes have moved on. The KMR Kawasaki that I race has always been good. Okay, some years we haven’t always been as competitive as all the rest but then Ryan finds something else and we move on.

“It’s kind of a game of cat and mouse with the Supertwins. They are getting to the point that it’s difficult to get anymore out of them but everybody has worked out how to do that. Really they are at their limit. You are making over 100 hundred horsepower from a Supertwin with standard components and its very very difficult to go any further. You need the reliability so at the North West you need to knock the top-end performance off them.”

McWilliams, a former 250cc Grand Prix race winner, admitted he did have a plan last year when he won the Supertwins race on the Saturday.

“I suppose the plan for what it was, was to make sure they didn’t get away at the start and you were in a position to take an opportunity if it presented itself and I was lucky enough that it happened. When the lights change at the start anything can happen. You can get bombed at the start, shuffled back going into York Corner, so the issue is to get away from the start, get through York and get into a rhythm. If you mess it up, you never get it back.

“I suppose if you asked me what my plan is it would be to get away cleanly and get through York. That’s the plan.”

So how nice would it be for McWilliams to win his third North West 200?

“It’s always nice to win a road race anywhere, it’s very special. I’d really love to win another race but you can’t expect that at the North West.

“You can only expect to give yourself half a chance and be in the right place but I think I’ve given myself more that half a chance riding a KMR bike.”