BLACKBURN’S Superbike legend Carl Fogarty will return to the North West 200 event this year after an absence of 19 years.

The 46-year-old, who won the Superbike World Championship on four occasions before retiring from racing in 2000, claimed a double victory on his last appearance in the Northern Irish event back in 1993.

And Fogarty has now agreed to perform demonstration laps on a Ducati at this year’s meeting, taking place on May 19 on an 8.9-mile route between the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine..

“It’s been almost 20 years since I was at the North West 200,” he said.

“I’ve not been back since I last raced there in 1993 when I did the double.

“I’ve talked about going back a lot of times but most years I’ve had something else on and I’ve not been able to make it for whatever reason.

“It’s great to be a part of it all again and hopefully we’ll see some good racing.

“Then I’ll do a lap by myself, if I can remember which way it goes! I can’t wait and it can’t come quick enough for me now.”

Fogarty also set a new lap record during his double triumph in 1993, having been edged out by Steve Hislop a year earlier.