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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
Guy Martin on the Honda Fireblade at the Isle of Man TT.
Dean Harrison, Dan Kneen and Michael Dunlop at the Southern 100.
Derek Sheils in action at the Walderstown road races.
Michael Dunlop at the Classic TT
Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki at the Skerries 100.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman in the Senior TT on the Smiths BMW.
Michael Dunlop on the Bennetts Suzuki in the Senior TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Superbike.
Alan Bonner was killed in an incident at the 33rd Milestone.
Jochem van den Hoek.
Michael Rutter took victory in the Lightweight TT on the Italian Paton.
Dan Kneen celebrates with his team after sealing his maiden Isle of Man TT rostrum in the Superstock race.
Ian Hutchinson celebrates his Superstock victory.
Ian Hutchinson on his way to victory in the Superstock TT on the Tyco BMW.
Davey Lambert in the RST Superbike race.

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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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