Belfast Telegraph

Merv hopes to keep his NW200 party dry

By Paul Lindsay

Vauxhall International North West 200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte notched up his 66th birthday yesterday, hoping the weather gods will continue to smile on this week's event which gets under way today with the opening practice sessions.

"We don't need record temperatures. I'll settle for dry weather and a safe and incident free week. That would be a great birthday present," smiled the Limavady man.

Local ace Lee Johnston is also hoping for an incident free week as he continues to fight back from injury following a high-speed crash at the Spring Cup in Scarborough.

He has prepared by jumping into the ring for a sparring session with boxing World title winner Carl Frampton.

"I am struggling to be fighting fit for the North West but I will go through the pain barrier and give it my best shot," said Johnston, who will be on the grid this morning for the opening practice sessions after roads close at 9.15am.

Belfast Telegraph

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