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Safety First

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NI Blogs Admin | 18:38 UK time, Saturday, 21 May 2011

After my initial optimism of seeing some race action between the showers, none of us could have predicted what unfolded this afternoon. A bomb scare meant that the paddock had to be evacuated – unprecedented in the event's history – which wasted almost two hours of our precious road closure time.

Once we did get the bikes on the circuit an oil leak from Ryan Farquhar machine caused havoc for the rest of the day. Despite the race organiser's best efforts, the scale of the oil spill meant that the road surface from Church to Juniper lead most of the riders to voice concerns about this key portion of the track.

 

oil spill on the NW200 track

 



The heavy and intermittent rain showers only added to the situation with water spray off the back of the bikes a major problem for the chasing pack at speeds of almost 200mph.

After constant liaison with a number of key riders including Michael Rutter, Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop, race director Mervyn Whyte had no option but to bring proceedings to an early end, to ensure that safety of the riders - and the watching public around the course - was the main priority.


Alastair Seeley is heading home tonight as the sole winner at this year’s NW200. It may feel like a hollow victory given the wash-out that the day brought, but I’m sure he must feel at least satisfied that he was able to get some laps under his belt on the roads. His ding-dong race with ex-team mate Cameron Donald, on the Wilson Craig Honda, was the only highlight of a wet and disappointing day for the thousands of dedicated race fans who patiently waited for a glimpse of their heroes.

You have to feel sorry for Mervyn Whyte and his team as today’s unfortunate events were beyond their control. We can only look forward to NW200 2012 with the knowledge that they will continue to work hard to bring us a week of exciting but safe racing.

See you next year.

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