McWilliams to stand in for Kneen at 2016 North West 200

McWilliams with Mar-Train boss Tim Martin and NW200 boss Mervyn Whyte (left)
McWilliams with Mar-Train boss Tim Martin and NW200 boss Mervyn Whyte (left)

Former MotoGP star, Jeremy McWilliams is to replace Dan Kneen in the Mar-Train Yamaha squad at the 2016 Vauxhall North West 200 this week after the 28 year old Manxman broke his arm in a mountain biking crash.

Double North West winner McWilliams will now ride the blue and white liveried R1 and R6 Yamahas for the Saintfield based squad which will be the first time he has competed in big-bike classes on the road.

McWilliams will be a busy man as he will also ride Ryan Farquhar’s SGS/ KMR Kawasaki in both Supertwins races as scheduled.

“It is nice to be able to step in for Dan and help the team out this week,” said McWilliams, who helped the team as test rider last year.

“ I have a great relationship with Tim and the team and have experience of working with them in the past. I’m keen to race the North West 200 with another professional outfit and my duties will be divided between SGS/KMR and Mar-Train during the week. I am looking forward to getting on the Yamahas to see how far they have come on over the past year.”

It is understood McWilliams will test the Yamahas at Kirkistown tomorrow ahead of North West practice on Tuesday.

Tandragee 100 winner Kneen is distraught at having to miss the opening international event of the season after undergoing surgery on the injury but it is hoped he will be able to ride at the TT.

“I’m gutted for the whole team after all the work that has been put in, I’m on my bike every day and wasn’t doing anything different than usual, it was plain bad luck,” he explained.

“Surgery has gone well today so all I can do is concentrate on getting fit and back on the bikes as soon as possible. I wish Jeremy all the best for this week, it is great that he has been able to step in for Tim, Sonya and all the sponsors.”

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