Steve Plater, who has eight wins to his credit at the North West 200, has taken up a role as rider liaison officer this year alongside Ulster road race legend Phillip McCallen.
“The North West 200 is a special event for me and I'm very happy to take on the role of rider liaison officer and hopefully help newcomers get as much out of the fabulous North West 200 circuit as I have,” said Plater.
“Safety is such an important focus of the North West 200 and I'm pleased to be playing a role in making the event as safe as possible.”
The North West attracts the biggest names in road racing, with McGuinness, Hutchinson, Seeley, Cummins, Guy Martin, Michael and William Dunlop, Ryan Farquhar and Gary Johnson on the entry list.
The MSS Kawasaki team is also considering a return to the event in May, despite enduring a nightmare year in 2011 when BSB contender Stuart Easton was ruled out for the season following an horrific crash.
Practice will take place on Tuesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 17 from 9.30am to 2.30pm.
Roads will close again at 5.30pm on Thursday evening for the SuperTwins and Superstock races, re-opening at 9pm.
The main action will be held on race day, Saturday, May 19, with a five-race programme.