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NW200 race boss Mervyn Whyte rocked by fatal crash

'It hits you for six because we have done everything we can in relation to safety and put so much effort in. It's like being kicked in the stomach' - Mervyn Whyte
North West 200 event director Mervyn Whyte says news of Mark Buckley's fatal accident on Saturday was 'like being kicked in the stomach'.

Whyte and the Coleraine Club work tirelessly to carry out countless risk assessments every year in an effort to provide both spectators and competitors with an environment that is as safe as it possibly can be at a motorcycle road race.

After last year's huge disappointment when the event was cancelled, a massive effort was undertaken to ensure the famous sporting spectacle bounced back stronger than ever in 2012.

For so long on Saturday, that looked to be the case with thousands of fans turning out to watch some incredible racing in glorious sunny weather on the beautiful Causeway Coast.

Tragically, the accident involving Mark Buckley on the opening lap of the Superstock race at Mill Road took the life of the 35-year-old from Loch Lomond and cast a dark shadow over the event.

And Whyte told the Belfast News Letter he was reeling from the setback, but vowed to continue working hard to increase safety levels at the North West 200.

"Mark's accident put a downer on the whole day. We had put a massive effort into the event this year because we had so much criticism after what happened in 2011 when the event was cancelled due to the weather, a bomb scare and an oil spill," he said.

"We worked at it for months and looked at how we could improve and make things better this year. Tuesday and Thursday turned out absolutely brilliant overall even
though we had some rain and Saturday's racing was good, but sadly Mark's death has taken the shine off it.

"Accidents like this do happen unfortunately and you can't legislate for it," he added.

"We have an independent safety panel on board who assess things but it's motorcycle racing and it's a high-speed sport - these things can and do happen."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Buckley - Energy Armor Kawasaki [pic credit: Glynne Lewis]
William and Michael Dunlop in action at the North West 200
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Mar-Train Racing has taken delivery of its new YZF-R1 machinery for the 2015 season
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Mar-Train Racing has taken delivery of its new YZF-R1 machinery for the 2015 season
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Michael Dunlop with Milwaukee Yamaha team manager Mick Shanley
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Derek McGee will ride for Wilson Craig Racing in 2015
Gary Johnson to race GBmoto Kawasaki in 2015 (pic: GBmoto).
Glenn Irwin and Ben Wilson with NW200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte and Rider Liaison officer Steve Plater
Ben Wilson and Glenn Irwin at the North West 200 circuit with Event Director Mervyn Whyte and Steve Plater, Rider Liaison officer
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OzPom

May 23, 2012 3:44 AM

I'm afraid people die on circuits that are safe as they can get, so road circuits dont stand a chance. But road racing still carry's alot of magic, but no place will ever be safe to race.

realisticracefan - Unregistered

May 23, 2012 2:57 AM

Agree 100% Keepherlit . Ive m8s who raced the roads they agree theyd come knowhere on the Tracks .Seeley's good on the tracks & thats why he can Dominate the NW 200.as Did Plater & Hislop on IOM . The NW 200 claims big crowds ,But most are from carravan sites & locals who ar'nt Race fans .Theres not 100,000 going home down the motorway any year . Its a Money making scheme for M white & Co.Tas & the Stars get paid to be there, Never any coverage for the other Riders like IN BSB with witham etc . Mark Buckley's Death is felt through this county & We wish The Family our Sympathy.Hope the Family Get all the support they need .Mark was a well known Name Here & Was very well Respected .RIP Mark



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