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Weather and security alert halt NW200

The event, which attracts thousands of fans, has been beset by frustrating problems out of organisers' control.
The 2011 North West 200 has been called off at the end of a hugely frustrating day in which just one race was completed.

The road racing event, considered one of the most notable in the world, has endured a plethora of disruptions, resulting in a series of delays that lasted until 17.30BST when organisers eventually decided to call time on proceedings.

As race day dawned, persistent rain was already causing havoc for organisers with a decision taken to start the Supersport race before the scheduled Superbike race in an attempt to let the lesser powered machines clear some of the standing water on the high-speed course. It was a race that was won by Alastair Seeley following a thrilling battle with Cameron Donald, while Bruce Anstey completed the podium.

The day would then take a dramatic turn after a security alert forced police to evacuate the paddock. Though the alert turned out to be a hoax, it put the programme well behind schedule, while the rain was causing continued woes.

The Superbikes eventually ventured onto track shortly before 14.00GMT, but without the top two riders Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp as they, along with Guy Martin, felt the conditions were too difficult to be racing in.

The race got underway with Seeley storming into an early lead, but the red flag was soon deployed following a serious mechanical fault for Ryan Farquhar on the KMR Kawasaki. Coating the Juniper chicane with oil, another lengthy delay ensued as marshals attempted to clear the slick.

However, while the riders went back out onto circuit for two more sighting laps, several declared that the visibility and track conditions remained poor, particularly at the affected corner.

A series of meetings and consultations would follow as riders and organisers discussed whether it was safe to return to the track with the eventual decision taken to cancel the event after just one race.

A bitterly disappointing end for North West 200 organisers , technical director Mervyn White labelled it as a 'disaster'.

Permits are required by law for road to be closed in Northern Ireland, a ruling that means the NW200 cannot be completed in the coming days.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Martin Jessopp, Riders Bathams Ducati, 2011 North West 200
Michael Rutter, Riders Bathams Ducati, 2011 North West 200
Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop on his Honda Supersport machine
RAF Reserves Honda rider Simon Andrews
James Hillier on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki ZX-10R
John McGuinness on the Honda TT Legends Fireblade
Michael Dunlop on the PTR Honda
The North West 200 was abandoned due to heavy rain
Conor Cummins, Milwaukee Yamaha
Jamie Hamilton, KMR Kawasaki
Stuart Easton, Mar-Train Yamaha
Guy Martin, Tyco Suzuki
Jeremy McWilliams, KMR Kawasaki
Tyco Suzuki`s Josh Brookes at the North West 200
Alastair Seeley won the opening Superstock race
Alastair Seeley and Bruce Anstey in the first Superstock race
Alastair Seeley on the Gearlink Kawasaki

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LOL - Unregistered

May 21, 2011 9:28 PM

splodge - riders have too much say??? lrc - organisers got what they deserved??? intelligent comment??? would splodge splash along at close to 200mph in those conditions? is his neck at risk? i doubt it. lrc - wise up! nobody got what they deserved. we got a very helpful republican bomb threat on a day when a real device was planted a few miles away. we also got a very unfortunate mechanical fault that dumped oil on the circuit. why not blame God for the rain while you're at it.

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