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Organisers hope for change of fortunes at NW200

'We know we need to be doing something to pull things back again and in response we've introduced two races on the Thursday night for the first time' - Mervyn Whyte
By Kyle White

North West 200 technical director Mervyn Whyte is confident the famous road race will return with a vengeance in Northern Ireland in May.

A crippling series of setbacks forced Whyte to abandon the event last year and Whyte later admitted he felt like calling time on his long involvement with the race after poor weather, a hoax bomb threat and an oil spill stretched his resolve to the limit.

Drenched fans who braved the elements saw only one race, albeit a superb battle between Ulster hero Alastair Seeley and Cameron Donald in the Supersport class, which eventually went to British Supersport champ Seeley after he seized the lead on the final lap.

But a rejuvenated Whyte and the organising Coleraine Club are determined to serve up a timely reminder of everything that is great about the North West 200 in just over fourth months' time.

“People were disappointed with what happened last year, which is understandable even though the circumstances were outside our reach,” he said.

“We are working hard this year to put everything right again. We've taken everything into consideration after receiving a lot of feedback from our press meeting after the North West last year and also feedback throughout the year from various committees and individuals.

“There is no doubt the weather was a disaster last year and we could really do with a change of luck in that respect. The guys waking up on a Saturday morning who are further afield are looking out the window and deciding not to bother going to the North West if it's wet because they have the option of staying at home and watching it on the Internet, so that probably takes a few people away from the event I have no doubt,” Whyte added.

“But if you get the weather it really makes the event because people are in better form and they want to come out and watch the racing, so if we are lucky in that respect it will be a major boost for ourselves.”

For the first time this year racing will be held following practice on the Thursday of race week with a Superstock event and SuperTwins race whetting the appetite for the main event on Saturday, May 19.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alastair Seeley takes to the top step of the 2011 North West 200 Supersport podium
A unique collection of machines raced by John McGuinness at the Isle of Man TT will be on display in 2016 to mark his 20th anniversary of racing at the event.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki Supersport machine during practice for the Isle of Man TT
James Hillier in action at the Isle of Man TT
Manx rider Dean Martin
Bruce Anstey is set to ride a Honda RC213V-S at the Isle of Man TT
Ryan Farquhar with his wife Karen in the Royal Victoria Hospital
Conor Cummins will race for Padgett`s Honda in the Supersport and Superstock races at the Isle of Man TT.
Lee Johnston on the East Coast/Burdens Triumph at the North West 200.
Michael Rutter in action at the North West 200
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Honda Fireblade at the North West 200
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW in the Superstock race at the North West 200
Jeremy McWilliams on the Mar-Train Yamaha at the North West 200
Ivan Lintin on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki at the North West 200
Malachi Mitchell-Thomas
NW200 logo
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the North West 200.

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BelfastBladeRider - Unregistered

January 12, 2012 6:44 PM

Mervyn Whyte and his band of yes men have destroyed this meeting. Real road racers are not wanted here. Privateers are not wanted here. Genuine fans are not wanted here because as Mervyn stated in the press last year, most fans "turn up, buy a burger and go home"!! A slap in the face to those genuine road race fans who travel from far and wide to watch this farce of a meeting. Two strokes engineered off the card at the behest of the so called "big" teams. Eighteen riders refused entry for the last 125 race despite Mervyn telling the world there was no interest. As a road race fan I would urge everyone to give this meeting a wide berth and instead come to the UGP unless of course prawn sandwiches in corporate hospitality suites at vastly over inflated prices is your thing!!!

TAS MAN - Unregistered

January 17, 2012 6:22 PM

I have to agree with the last comment posted. The north West 200 last year was a wash out. We cannot blame Mervyn for an act of god or the ****head who called in a hoax bomb call and cleared the pits as a race was about to start.A two day race programme will not go down to well with Road Racing fans. They seem to forget some of us need to work on a Thursday! The crowds will not be as good this year.I always enjoyed the big Saturday race day .

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