North West 200 top speed record holder Martin Jessopp believes he can raise the benchmark at the international road race to a staggering 210mph in May.
The Yeovil man powered through the timing beam on the blisteringly fast blast to Coleraine at 208mph on his Riders Ducati last year.
Vauxhall NW200 race boss Mervyn Whyte MBE confirmed that the English rider will return to the event, when Jessopp will ride his British Superbike BMW S1000RR machines under the Riders Motorcycles banner in the Superbike and Superstock races.
The 27-year-old, who contested the World Supersport Championship last year, is also attempting to secure a competitive 600cc machine for the North West.
Jessopp, who is currently testing motocross bikes in Holland as he prepares for the first official BSB test at Donington Park next week, said: “I am sure that I could hit 210mph or even 212mph this year if the conditions are right and I can slipstream someone.
“I was out on my own with no-one to slipstream and I hit 206mph on the first lap last year.
“It didn’t even get reported back to the pits because the guys with the speed gun thought that it couldn’t be working properly to record that speed so soon!” he added.
“I did the 208mph on the third lap. My mechanics were really excited about it when I pulled into the pits.
“When you are doing 180mph on a wide track like Silverstone it doesn’t really feel that fast but at the North West the road is so much narrower and everything is going past so quickly.
“It’s like you are going down a tunnel and the white lines and hedges become a blur.”
Jessopp had a year to forget at the North West last May, pulling out of the first Superbike race after his Ducati destroyed his rear tyre.
Worse was to come in the main Superbike race later in the day when he suffered a broken collarbone after being rammed by Gary Johnson at Mathers chicane - a crash that also forced Conor Cummins to miss the Isle of Man TT with a wrist injury.
Meanwhile, the Kells road races have been cancelled for the second year in succession due to a lack of finances. The event was due to run from July 20-21.
The announcement comes after the organisers of the Bush road races cancelled their event for similar reasons.
In April, the Cookstown 100 lifts the curtain on the national road racing scene, followed by the Tandragee 100 on May 4.