|Venue: Triangle Circuit Portstewart-Coleraine-Portrush Dates: 10-14 May|
|Coverage: Live video streams of all practice sessions and races; Live Radio Ulster and BBC Sounds coverage and text commentary on all races; TV highlights on BBC One NI on Friday 13 May, Sunday 15 May and Monday 16 May.|
Alastair Seeley says he is targeting 34 victories after winning Thursday’s two races at a wet North West 200.
Seeley holds a record 26 victories around the Triangle Circuit following his Supersport and Superstock wins.
The 42-year-old is aiming to match his iconic 34 race number, which he said would be “magical”.
“If I get there that will be a special occasion and that might be the time to hang up the leathers,” he said.
“God knows where it is going to stop. 34 would be a magical number, but obviously we won’t get there this year.
“We have four more on Saturday and if they happen then I’ll be up to 30. I’ll need another year or two to get to 34.”
Seeley added he has no plans to retire and said his IFS Yamaha team-mate Jeremy McWilliams, who shared the podium with Seeley in Thursday’s opening Supersport race, has given him reason to keep racing.
“Me and him would play golf together, cycle together and it’s nice to see the two of us on the Supersport podium. He certainly hasn’t lost it and I know from being around him that age is just only a number.
“He is winning races at Daytona, getting podiums here, so there is no point about me thinking of packing in racing bikes when he is going strong at 58.
After a disappointing 2019 without a podium and two years without the race taking place due to Covid, Seeley said it was a “nice feeling” to get back on the top step.
“It is nice to get two wins and if Covid had not have come then who knows where we could be – we could have been on that magical 34,” he said.
When asked if he felt any additional pressure after his winless event in 2019, Seeley responded with: “Not really, I just done what I do.
“I went out and enjoyed the races. It’s all about having a good team and a good package.”
Seeley could ride Superstock in Superbike race
Seeley collected his 25th North West 200 victory after edging out Todd and McWilliams however he dominated the following Superstock race with a near 13-second victory, again over Padgetts Honda rider Todd.
“In the wet you have to be really smooth, really calm and search for the grip – and to be honest there wasn’t a lot of grip out there,” he said on the conditions,
“I had a couple of moments and I knew if I pushed the envelope a little bit more I would have ended up crashing.
“Everybody wants to see a bit of a ding-dong, especially the fans who were hanging about in that cold, wet weather – they want to see a bit of action but the Superstock race was a bit of a procession with me checking out and clearing off.
“It was full concentration for those six laps, I was sliding and backing in to a lot of the corners so I had to be on the ball and not go in too hot. That would have been my lead gone but we brought it home.”
Seeley added that Saturday’s racing “will be more of a dog fight” and that he may ride his Superstock bike in the Superbike races after qualifying in 11th position.
“I qualified the 600 [Supersport] and Superstock on the front row and that is where you want to be. For the Superbike we need to see what bike we want to ride in it.
“Unless the characteristics and handling drastically change on the Superbike I’d say we won’t be riding it and get the Stocker out.
“It looks like that will be the direction we go in. We haven’t had a lot of time on the Superbike as it was a late deal, and the way the Stocker has been handling it is more to my liking.
“Davey and Richard [Cooper] were saying the drive I was getting on the straights was immense so that bike is good and the team around me obviously makes a massive difference.”