The entry list is stacked with world class talent from British Superbikes and the usual suspects from the road racing scene that make this event one of the best in the world for racing.

Practice begins on Tuesday and will continue on Thursday with three races before Saturday’s five-race programme. 

Glenn Irwin will be looking to add his seventh Superbike win in a row, an incredible streak that started back in 2017 onboard a PBM Ducati. Irwin signed for Paul Bird’s BeerMonster Ducati in 2023 and has started the BSB season with two victories at Silverstone & Oulton Park to lead the championship standings after two rounds. He will be one of the home crowd favourites this week & will undoubtedly be the favourite heading into the two Superbike races.

If Irwin’s 2023 BSB season has started strongly, the same could be said for Josh Brookes. The Australian is coming to the North West in rejuvenated form onboard the FHO Racing BMW, as he sits in 2nd place in the BSB standings, just four points off Irwin. He also chalked up two victories at the start of this season and heads to the North West 200 with the world’s fastest racer, Peter Hickman as his teammate. 

Brookes held the lap record around the triangle from 2014-2016, being on BMW machinery might be the final piece he needs to add that first road racing win to his CV. 

Peter Hickman is the best road racer in the world, it’s as simple as that. But he has never won a Superbike race around the North West 200. He is the outright lap record holder for the circuit after setting a blistering time in the first superbike race in 2022, but after suffering tyre issues during the race, he had to retire. 

FHO Racing then withdrew their bikes from the second Superbike race as the Dunlop tyre issue became too dangerous to risk racing. So Hickman will be looking to add the final jewel in the Superbike road racing crown (Senior TT, Ulster Grand Prix Superbike, Macau GP) with a win in the Superbike class this year. Hickman has entries in the Supersport class onboard his Triumph 765cc & Yamaha R7 in the Supertwin class.

You can never count out Alastair Seeley around the North West 200, a record 27 wins for the man from Carrickfergus sees him coming into the 2023 event looking to add even more to the incredible tally that started back in 2008. Seeley will be riding for local team TAS Racing’s Synetiq BMW in the Superbike & Superstock classes, but it is the Supersport class that will excite many as Seeley will be riding a Ducati V2 prepared by TAS Racing & MotoRapido. 

Seeley will fancy his chances of adding his 14th win in the Supersport class this week on a bike that has scored podiums in the British Championship and is leading the World Supersport Championship with Nicolo Bulega.

Davey Todd for many was the rider of the meeting at the North West 200 in 2022. The 2022 National Superstock Champion established himself as one of the best road racers on the planet as he challenged for victories in all the classes he entered. Despite not taking any wins, he delivered four second place finishes for the Milenco by Padgetts team and will be firmly in the mix for his second win around the north coast. 

Todd will be riding again for Clive Padgetts’ team in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes alongside teammate Conor Cummins.

Michael Dunlop’s 2022 campaign brought success around the Isle of Man TT as he added his 20th and 21st wins in the Supersport class around the mountain course. Dunlop will be eager to get back to winning ways at the North West this week as he rides a Honda in the Superbike class for the first time since 2013 with Hawk Racing. Last minute changes to his 2022 Superbike plans didn’t help his preparation for the TT as his deal with PBM Ducati fell through, leaving him riding the Hawk Suzuki on short notice.

But with a full pre-season of testing on the 2023 Honda Fireblade, Michael will be confident of fighting up at the front in the Superbike class. For the Superstock class he will be running his own MD Racing Honda and Yamaha 600cc in the Supersport class. The home crowds would love to see the Ballymoney man take another victory this week, his last came in the 2016 Superbike race.

The favourite for many heading into the Supersport races will be another local rider in Lee Johnston. The Ashcourt Racing rider has always performed incredibly well around the North West 200 in all classes, but the 600cc class is one he loves with wins in 2019 and 2022. Johnston has added the Honda Fireblades that Glenn Irwin used in the Superbike & Stock classes for the roads in 2022 to his arsenal this year. 

So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Lee fighting up at the front in those classes as he has done before with a victory in the Superstock class in 2015. He also bagged podiums in the Supertwin class in 2022 on board the Aprilia RS660, regulation changes in the class have allowed the Aprilia to lose more weight and with engine developments in the pre season, Johnston will be right in the hunt for a victory in the lightweight class this week.

Dean Harrison will continue with DAO Racing Kawasaki in the Superbike and Superstock classes. But a new team for Harrison in the 600cc class with Russell Racing Yamaha will certainly give him confidence as the R6 is the best bike to be on. The Bradford rider has always performed well at the North Coast and will be hoping for more podium success in 2023.

His teammate at Russell Racing will be Richard Cooper, who was fantastic around the North West in 2022 with two victories in the Supertwin class, that were controversially stripped from him due to technical infringements. Cooper hasn’t got a big bike entry but with entries in the Supersport class & Supertwin class with Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki. Cooper will surely feature at the front in both races.

Michael Rutter will be riding his Honda RC213V-S in the Superbike class this year, the road going MotoGP bike is always a massive hit with the fans.

The evergreen Jeremy McWilliams also will line-up on the grid after joining Wilson Craig Honda in the Supersport class. The 59-year old will ride a CBR600RR and also has an entry in the Supertwin class aboard the Bayview Hotel Paton. He will be joined in the Wilson Craig Honda squad by Dominic Hebertson.

The NW200 has been a happy hunting ground for Honda historically as it has won more races (95) than any other manufacturer. Lining up for Honda Racing UK will be Manx rider Nathan Harrison, who impressed massively in 2022 with best results of 7th and 10th. His teammate will be road racing legend, twenty-one-time podium finisher and six-time NW200 winner John McGuinness MBE. He too has participated in the opening rounds of BSB in the Superstock class in preparation for his road racing campaign.

James Hillier will be hoping for a strong outing on his Lami OMG Racing Yamaha, 2022 was a learning year for Hillier with Yamaha machinery, so 2023 should be a step up for the experienced Englishman.

North West 200 2023 schedule:

Tuesday, 9 May - First practice session, 09:45-14:30

Thursday, 11 May - Second practice session, 09:45-14:30 & evening racing, 17:45-20:45

Saturday, 13 May - Race day, 10:00-18:00