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NW200: Stars out in force for official launch in Belfast

McGuinness, Dunlop, Farquhar, Rutter, Seeley, Hickman and Johnston among top names in attendance for 2016 North West 200 launch night.
A host of star names attended the official launch of the 2016 Vauxhall International North West 200 on Wednesday night at Titanic Belfast, where some key changes were announced for the event in May.

The line-up included 15-times winner Alastair Seeley, who will take over from Robert Dunlop as the most successful rider ever in the history of the event with one more victory this year.

Also present were John McGuinness, Michael Rutter, William Dunlop, Ryan Farquhar, Conor Cummins, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston, Dan Kneen, Peter Hickman and Glenn Irwin.

In front of a packed hall of 1,000 fans and race sponsors, Event Director Mervyn Whyte said he was committed to implementing changes this year to ensure the event runs more efficiently.

“I think everyone would like to see the racing getting underway faster so we are making some changes to the grid management to speed things up,” Whyte said.

“Most importantly, we will run two groups instead of three in each race this year.”

These new measures, that will see two rather than three waves of riders and machines taking part in the sighting laps and race starts, should see Thursday evening's three-race programme and Saturday's five events completed in less time.

Whyte also announced upgrades to the race communications for this year's event.

“We want to keep riders, teams and fans up to date with everything that is going on so there will be an extra big screen put in place at the start and finish area and more speakers deployed around the course for the PA system,” he explained.

“We also want to encourage everyone to bring their radios and tune into BBC Radio Ulster's brilliant live coverage on practice and race days so they will know exactly what is happening.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stars of the official launch of the 2016 North West 200
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Action from the 2016 North West 200
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop, runner-up Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at Ballacrye
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Superbike during Isle of Man TT practice.
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.
Ryan Farquhar with his wife Karen in the Royal Victoria Hospital
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
NW200 logo
Ian Hutchinson on the Tyco BMW Superstock machine at the North West 200.

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