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North West 200 washout: ‘Disastrous day’ brings big bike event to a shuddering halt

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Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st  May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Race winner  Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing (No 34) gets the 'holeshot' from Gary Johnson (No12), Ryan Farquhar KMR Kawasaki (No 77) and Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki (No4)  during  the Supersport 600cc race 1 at Saturday's  North West 200.

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Race winner Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing (No 34) gets the 'holeshot' from Gary Johnson (No12), Ryan Farquhar KMR Kawasaki (No 77) and Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki (No4) during the Supersport 600cc race 1 at Saturday's North West 200.

Brian Little

North West 200 race day: Gary Johnston cheers up a deflated crowd

North West 200 race day: Gary Johnston cheers up a deflated crowd

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Police officers search the paddock area after receiving a warning that a device had been left.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Police officers search the paddock area after receiving a warning that a device had been left.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Police officers search the paddock area after receiving a warning that a device had been left.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Police officers search the paddock area after receiving a warning that a device had been left.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Police officers search the paddock area after receiving a warning that a device had been left.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Police officers search the paddock area after receiving a warning that a device had been left.

Suzuki's Alistair Seeley

Suzuki's Alistair Seeley

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 21/5/2011: NW 200 supremo Mervyn Whyte looks on as marshals struggle in vain to clean up the oil slick left by Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki after his engine blew up in the Superbike race at the  2011 Relentless North West 200 today. The meeting was abandoned.PICTURE BY CLIFFORD MCLEAN

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 21/5/2011: NW 200 supremo Mervyn Whyte looks on as marshals struggle in vain to clean up the oil slick left by Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki after his engine blew up in the Superbike race at the 2011 Relentless North West 200 today. The meeting was abandoned.PICTURE BY CLIFFORD MCLEAN

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 21/5/2011: Guy Martin and Michael Rutter discuss the proceedings as the 2011 Relentless North West 200 was abandoned today after being hit by a bomb scare, heavy rain and an oil spill.PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 21/5/2011: Guy Martin and Michael Rutter discuss the proceedings as the 2011 Relentless North West 200 was abandoned today after being hit by a bomb scare, heavy rain and an oil spill.PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Chris Brownlow, Peter Sykes, Ron Brownlow and Ellen Sykes.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Chris Brownlow, Peter Sykes, Ron Brownlow and Ellen Sykes.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Ian Paisley Jr along  withJoan Burney.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Ian Paisley Jr along withJoan Burney.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Brian Galbrath, Karen Henderson and Jim Henderson.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Brian Galbrath, Karen Henderson and Jim Henderson.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Maria Pearice, Adrian Logan, Jill Browne and Karen Marshell.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Maria Pearice, Adrian Logan, Jill Browne and Karen Marshell.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Angie and Thomas Dougherty.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Angie and Thomas Dougherty.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Chris Brownlow, Peter Sykes, Ron Brownlow and Ellen Sykes.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Chris Brownlow, Peter Sykes, Ron Brownlow and Ellen Sykes.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Gary Watton, Anna Hegerty, Jenny Mairs and Emma McCreadie.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Gary Watton, Anna Hegerty, Jenny Mairs and Emma McCreadie.

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st  May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Heavy rain and an oil spill caused difficult conditions which resulted in the postponement of racing during  Saturday's  North West 200.

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Heavy rain and an oil spill caused difficult conditions which resulted in the postponement of racing during Saturday's North West 200.

Brian Little

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st  May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki (No 4) leads through the spray from Gary Johnston Honda (No12) , Ryan Farquhar KMR Kawasaki (No77) diuring Saturday's  North West 200.

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki (No 4) leads through the spray from Gary Johnston Honda (No12) , Ryan Farquhar KMR Kawasaki (No77) diuring Saturday's North West 200.

Brian Little

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st  May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Mervyn Whyte faced tough decisions due to weather, bomb scares and oil on the track which lead to long delays.

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Mervyn Whyte faced tough decisions due to weather, bomb scares and oil on the track which lead to long delays.

Brian Little

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st  May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Heavy rain dampen spirits  of spectators in the start/finish  Grandstand during Saturday's  North West 200.

Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Heavy rain dampen spirits of spectators in the start/finish Grandstand during Saturday's North West 200.

Brian Little

©GARETH IRVINE / Presseye.com - 21st May 2011Elevator - Tayto Rough Cuts - Northwest 2011Claire Sergeant, Charlene McClean Miss North West, Helen May, Jade WarwickMandatory Credit - Photo by: GARETH IRVINE / Presseye.com Press Eye office contact informationPress Eye office - 02890 669229Kelvin Boyes mobile - 07850 334 365mail@presseye.com

©GARETH IRVINE / Presseye.com - 21st May 2011Elevator - Tayto Rough Cuts - Northwest 2011Claire Sergeant, Charlene McClean Miss North West, Helen May, Jade WarwickMandatory Credit - Photo by: GARETH IRVINE / Presseye.com Press Eye office contact informationPress Eye office - 02890 669229Kelvin Boyes mobile - 07850 334 365mail@presseye.com

© Gareth Irvine / Presseye

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey celebrates success  in the Supersport 600 race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey celebrates success in the Supersport 600 race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.BSB start John Brooks.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.BSB start John Brooks.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Guy Martin.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Guy Martin.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Micahael Dunlop.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Micahael Dunlop.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Supersport 600 race winner Alastair Seeley along with Bruce Anstey and cameron Donald.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Supersport 600 race winner Alastair Seeley along with Bruce Anstey and cameron Donald.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey celebrates success  in the Supersport 600 race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey celebrates success in the Supersport 600 race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Supersport 600 race winner Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Supersport 600 race winner Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Cameron donald celebrates success  in the Supersport 600 race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Cameron donald celebrates success in the Supersport 600 race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Supersport 600 race winner Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Supersport 600 race winner Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Cameron Donald.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Cameron Donald.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Alastair Seeley.

Alastair Seeley

Alastair Seeley

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.the one and only winner at the 2011 North West 200 carrick man Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.the one and only winner at the 2011 North West 200 carrick man Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.the one and only winner at the 2011 North West 200 carrick man Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.the one and only winner at the 2011 North West 200 carrick man Alastair Seeley.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Daniel Day-Lewis takes some time out to enjoy the races.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Daniel Day-Lewis takes some time out to enjoy the races.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey along with Guy Martin and Technical director Mervyn Whyte MBE.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Bruce Anstey along with Guy Martin and Technical director Mervyn Whyte MBE.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Riders who decided not to race watch the racing live on the big screen.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Riders who decided not to race watch the racing live on the big screen.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Adrian Archibald.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Adrian Archibald.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Guy Martin who decided not to race.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Guy Martin who decided not to race.

Michael Dunlop gives Ryan Farquhar a lift

Michael Dunlop gives Ryan Farquhar a lift

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Ian Lougher.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Ian Lougher.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Guy Martin.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Guy Martin.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Paul and Stephen Henderson.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.Paul and Stephen Henderson.

Relentless North West 200. Cat has nine lives..... Adam Child Suzuki from Hook England has a narrow escape during  Thursday Supersport  practice

Relentless North West 200. Cat has nine lives..... Adam Child Suzuki from Hook England has a narrow escape during Thursday Supersport practice

Brian Little

Adrian Archibald  -  Supersport, North West 200 May 2011

Adrian Archibald - Supersport, North West 200 May 2011

Rowland White/Presseye

Ian Hutchinson, North West 200 May 2011

Ian Hutchinson, North West 200 May 2011

Suzuki Team boss Hector Neil in the North West 200 padock.

Suzuki Team boss Hector Neil in the North West 200 padock.

Guy Martin, North West 200 May 2011

Guy Martin, North West 200 May 2011

Practice day 2, North West 200 May 2011

Practice day 2, North West 200 May 2011

Ian Hutchinson, North West 200 May 2011

Ian Hutchinson, North West 200 May 2011

Cameron Donald, North West 200 May 2011

Cameron Donald, North West 200 May 2011

Gary Mason and Philip McCallum, North West 200 May 2011

Gary Mason and Philip McCallum, North West 200 May 2011

Mark Jamison, North West 200 May 2011

Mark Jamison, North West 200 May 2011

John Burrows and William Dunlop, North West 200 May 2011

John Burrows and William Dunlop, North West 200 May 2011

Ryan Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar

Denver Robb, North West 200 May 2011

Denver Robb, North West 200 May 2011

Adrian Archibald, North West 200 May 2011

Adrian Archibald, North West 200 May 2011

Alastair Seeley, North West 200 May 2011

Alastair Seeley, North West 200 May 2011

Josh Brooks, North West 200 May 2011

Josh Brooks, North West 200 May 2011

Philip Neil, North West 200 May 2011

Philip Neil, North West 200 May 2011

Technical Director Mervyn Whyte, North West 200 May 2011

Technical Director Mervyn Whyte, North West 200 May 2011

Alastair Seeley, North West 200 May 2011

Alastair Seeley, North West 200 May 2011

Guy Martin, North West 200 May 2011

Guy Martin, North West 200 May 2011

William Dunlop, North West 200 May 2011

William Dunlop, North West 200 May 2011

Cameron Donald

Cameron Donald

Cameron Donald  -  Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Cameron Donald - Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Rowland White/Presseye

Michael Rutter - Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Michael Rutter - Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Rowland White/Presseye

Ian Lougher  -  Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Ian Lougher - Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Rowland White/Presseye

Fabrice Miguet leading Paul Cranston - Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Fabrice Miguet leading Paul Cranston - Superbike, North West 200 May 2011

Rowland White/Presseye

Gary Mason and Stuart Easton

Gary Mason and Stuart Easton

19.05.11. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALDFEATURE ON THE NORTH WEST 200 ROAD RACE PRACTICE YESTERDAY IN PORTRUSH - JAMIE MCDOWELL STORY. People watching the race from the stands

19.05.11. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALDFEATURE ON THE NORTH WEST 200 ROAD RACE PRACTICE YESTERDAY IN PORTRUSH - JAMIE MCDOWELL STORY. People watching the race from the stands

Simona Zaccardi, one of the only women racers from Italy working on her bike

Simona Zaccardi, one of the only women racers from Italy working on her bike

Rachel Vauls a local with friends Emma Sulway and Vick Morris from London

Rachel Vauls a local with friends Emma Sulway and Vick Morris from London

Michael Rutter

Michael Rutter

Michael Rutter, North West 200 May 2011

Michael Rutter, North West 200 May 2011

Hundreds of Motorcyclists arrive on the Stena Caledonia Ferry  at Belfast Harbour to watch the North West 200 May 2011

Hundreds of Motorcyclists arrive on the Stena Caledonia Ferry at Belfast Harbour to watch the North West 200 May 2011

Gary Mason and Stuart Easton, North West 200 May 2011

Gary Mason and Stuart Easton, North West 200 May 2011

Patrick Douglas (local), North West 200 May 2011

Patrick Douglas (local), North West 200 May 2011

Simona Zaccardi, one of the only women racers from Italy working on her bike, Norrth West 200 May 2011

Simona Zaccardi, one of the only women racers from Italy working on her bike, Norrth West 200 May 2011

A girl watches on at North West 200 May 2011

A girl watches on at North West 200 May 2011

Locals Alistair Purvis and Keith Fotheringham and John Mitchell from Manchester enjoy an ice cream, North West 200 May 2011

Locals Alistair Purvis and Keith Fotheringham and John Mitchell from Manchester enjoy an ice cream, North West 200 May 2011

Gary Van Marsdyke, Gary Von Drummel, Franz Fleuren and Randy Van Marsdyke from Netherlands, North West 200 May 2011

Gary Van Marsdyke, Gary Von Drummel, Franz Fleuren and Randy Van Marsdyke from Netherlands, North West 200 May 2011

Adrian and Laura McGowan with son T.J and daughter Shannon with Rachel Stephenson and Mark Eccles, North West 200 May 2011

Adrian and Laura McGowan with son T.J and daughter Shannon with Rachel Stephenson and Mark Eccles, North West 200 May 2011

Paul Cruickshank and Edward Phillips from Derry, North West 200 May 2011

Paul Cruickshank and Edward Phillips from Derry, North West 200 May 2011

Nadine Walker with kids Chenai and Regan with her friend Karen Kelly and her son Nathaniel, North West 200 2011

Nadine Walker with kids Chenai and Regan with her friend Karen Kelly and her son Nathaniel, North West 200 2011

Joe and Sue Pilmore, Charlie and Karen Tomlinson from Derbyshire, North West 200 May 2011

Joe and Sue Pilmore, Charlie and Karen Tomlinson from Derbyshire, North West 200 May 2011

Relentless International North West 200. Irish road racer Kirk Jamison.

Relentless International North West 200. Irish road racer Kirk Jamison.

Take that!  They might be brothers but there is intense rivalry between William Dunlop and his brother Michael, even if its only on the dodgems at Barry's in Portrush.

Take that! They might be brothers but there is intense rivalry between William Dunlop and his brother Michael, even if its only on the dodgems at Barry's in Portrush.

He's after you! They might be brothers but there is intense rivalry between William Dunlop and his brother Michael, even if its only on the dodgems at Barry's in Portrush!

He's after you! They might be brothers but there is intense rivalry between William Dunlop and his brother Michael, even if its only on the dodgems at Barry's in Portrush!

Three year old Alfie Orr from Kells met his hero Bruce Anstey  at Coleraine Town Hall this morning at a 'Meet the Fans' event ahead of Saturday's Relentless North West 200.

Three year old Alfie Orr from Kells met his hero Bruce Anstey at Coleraine Town Hall this morning at a 'Meet the Fans' event ahead of Saturday's Relentless North West 200.

Newly crowned Miss North West 200 Jade Toner from Limavady was on the beach at Portrush

Newly crowned Miss North West 200 Jade Toner from Limavady was on the beach at Portrush

Kirk Jamison BMW during Tuesday night  Superstock  practice for the North West 200.

Kirk Jamison BMW during Tuesday night Superstock practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

Relentless International North West 200. Miss North West 2011 Jade Toner along with and Lee Johnston from East Coast Racing.

Relentless International North West 200. Miss North West 2011 Jade Toner along with and Lee Johnston from East Coast Racing.

 Relentless International North West 200.Irish road racer Kirk Jamison.

Relentless International North West 200.Irish road racer Kirk Jamison.

North West 200 practice night. Superbike practice session. Alastair Seeley

North West 200 practice night. Superbike practice session. Alastair Seeley

Alastair Seeley

Alastair Seeley

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Gary Mason.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Gary Mason.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Michael Dunlop.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Michael Dunlop.

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Guy Martin. 17th May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Guy Martin. 17th May 2011

Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki at Blacks hill during  17th May 2011 Superbike practice for the North West 200.

Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki at Blacks hill during 17th May 2011 Superbike practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Michael Dunlop.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Michael Dunlop.

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Alastair Seeley. 17th May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Alastair Seeley. 17th May 2011

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.William Dunlop Wilson Craig Racing honda.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.William Dunlop Wilson Craig Racing honda.

Alastair Seeley

Alastair Seeley

Guy Martin Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing at Blacks Hill during 17th May 2011 Superbike  practice for the North West 200.

Guy Martin Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing at Blacks Hill during 17th May 2011 Superbike practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing setting the fastest Superbike time of 119mph during 17th May 2011 practice for the North West 200.

Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing setting the fastest Superbike time of 119mph during 17th May 2011 practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Michael Rutter.17th May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Michael Rutter.17th May 2011

Bruce Anstey Padgett Honda  at Blacks Hill during 17th May 2011 Superbike practice for the North West 200.

Bruce Anstey Padgett Honda at Blacks Hill during 17th May 2011 Superbike practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Alastair Seeley. 17th May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Alastair Seeley. 17th May 2011

Ian Lougher Blackhorse Kawasaki (No2) at Blacks Hill leads Adrain Archibald Kawasaki (No 13) during 17th May 2011  practice for the North West 200.

Ian Lougher Blackhorse Kawasaki (No2) at Blacks Hill leads Adrain Archibald Kawasaki (No 13) during 17th May 2011 practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Conor Cummins. 17 May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Conor Cummins. 17 May 2011

Michael Rutter  Riders Bathams  Ducati at Blacks Hill during  17th May 2011 practice for the North West 200.

Michael Rutter Riders Bathams Ducati at Blacks Hill during 17th May 2011 practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Adrian Archibald.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Adrian Archibald.

North West 200 practice night 17th may 2011.Bruce Anstey get a good luck kiss from his partner Annie.

North West 200 practice night 17th may 2011.Bruce Anstey get a good luck kiss from his partner Annie.

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Cameron Donald. 17th May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Cameron Donald. 17th May 2011

William Dunlop Wilson Craig Racing Honda during 17th May 2011 Superstock practice for the North West 200.

William Dunlop Wilson Craig Racing Honda during 17th May 2011 Superstock practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Cameron Donald. 17th May 2011

Relentless International North West 200 practice night.Cameron Donald. 17th May 2011

Stephen Thompson (No 11) BMW  leads Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing during 17th May 2011 Superstock practice for the North West 200.

Stephen Thompson (No 11) BMW leads Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing during 17th May 2011 Superstock practice for the North West 200.

Brian Little

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Bruce Anstey Padgett Honda.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Bruce Anstey Padgett Honda.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Bruce Anstey and Michael Dunlop.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Bruce Anstey and Michael Dunlop.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Cameron Donald.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Cameron Donald.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Michael Dunlop has problems with his Superbike.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Michael Dunlop has problems with his Superbike.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Michael Dunlop.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Michael Dunlop.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Alastair Seeley, Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Alastair Seeley, Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing.

Guy Martin

Guy Martin

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Cameron Donald, Wilson Craig Racing.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Superbike practice session.Cameron Donald, Wilson Craig Racing.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Ian Lougher.

North West 200 practice night 17th May 2011.Ian Lougher.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Gary Watton, Anna Hegerty, Jenny Mairs and Emma McCreadie.

Presseye.com - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 21th May 2011.Picture by Matt Mackey/presseye.comRelentless International North West 200 race day.A wet start fails to dampen motorbike racing fans as they await the start of the races.Gary Watton, Anna Hegerty, Jenny Mairs and Emma McCreadie.

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Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland 21st May 2011Mandatory Credit - Photo Brian LittleRelentless North West 200Race winner Alastair Seeley Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing (No 34) gets the 'holeshot' from Gary Johnson (No12), Ryan Farquhar KMR Kawasaki (No 77) and Michael Dunlop Street Sweep Kawasaki (No4) during the Supersport 600cc race 1 at Saturday's North West 200.

Thousands of eager fans were left soaked and severely disappointed as the North West 200 came to an abrupt end on Saturday after a series of unfortunate events led to the motorcycle race meeting being cancelled.

Following a turbulent weekend, organisers finally brought down the curtain on the annual event as heavy downpours, a bomb scare and finally a severe oil slick led to organisers pulling the plug.

The meeting, which was scheduled to continue throughout Saturday with a series of races, attracts motorbike enthusiasts from across the globe.

Heavy rain throughout Friday continually delayed racing as road conditions became increasingly treacherous.

Things then went from bad to worse as the racing paddock in Portstewart was evacuated around lunchtime on Saturday following a coded telephone warning.

Racing was suspended while police and support dogs searched the area. It was later declared a hoax.

An oil spill on the course shortly after 2pm caused concerns for both riders and race organisers and racing was once again suspended.

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The weekend's racing was officially cancelled following a meeting with race stewards at around 5.20pm.

Race director, Mervyn Whyte said the oil spill was “too extensive to clean up to ensure an optimum level of safety for the riders.”

He added the decision to end the historic races prematurely was “obviously extremely disappointing for everyone.”

Carrickfergus man Alastair Seeley was the only rider to claim a title, clinching victory from Aussie Cameron Donald in the Supersport 600.

The last major setback for the annual event was in 2001 when it was cancelled due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease throughout the UK and Ireland.

The disastrous weekend not only impacted on fans and riders but also promoters who may be discouraged over sponsoring the event in future.

SDLP Assembly member John Dallat said organisers had to “be positive and try and reassure the sponsors in the future.”

“It's one of the biggest events in Ireland and we need to sit down and see what we can do to to make it up to the public and to ensure we keep sponsors for our premier event,” he said.

Mervyn Whyte described Saturday as a “disastrous day – the worst I've experienced in 40 years of racing.”

Regarding concerns over future sponsors pulling out and crowds diminishing he said he didn't think the cancellation would impact on future race meetings.

Factfile

The North West 200 race meeting is the largest sporting event in Ireland, drawing crowds of around 150,000 spectators. Running since 1929, the world-famous course is made up entirely of public roads around the north coast, taking in Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. Northern Ireland racing legend Robert Dunlop holds the record for the most titles at 15, but he was killed during a practice session in 2008. The event brought in around £5m last year and is an essential part of the north coast's economy.


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