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Irish road racing is back on for 2023 including the North West 200

Motorcycle racing in Northern Ireland – including May’s North West 200 road race – will go ahead in 2023 after initially being cancelled.

All bike racing in Ireland had been cancelled in February because of soaring insurance costs.

However, the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre has accepted a lower quote with an insurance company.

The deal will allow road racing, short circuits and trials take place in Northern Ireland this year.

Despite announcing earlier in the year that all events would be cancelled, the MCUI UC subsequently received a new, lower insurance quote for its 2023 events, which has now been accepted by organising clubs who spent the last week considering it.

A crowdfunding page, whereby racing fans, riders and sponsors raised just short of £90,000, has contributed to the renewed quote.

The international North West 200 will go ahead from 11-13 May and the Armoy and Cookstown 100 national road races are also expected to take place.

However, the Tandragee 100, which traditionally opens the road racing season in April, will not run in 2023.

John Dillon, chairman of the MCUI UC, said he was “overwhelmed with the generosity” of those who donated to the crowdfunding page.

“The figure currently raised combined with the new insurance quote has now made this possible,” he added.

“Thanks to all the efforts of those concerned, the MCUI UC, promoting clubs and members are extremely grateful and humbled by everyone’s generosity.

“With the start of our racing season now just around the corner, I would ask that the racing community continues to support our events and make 2023 one to remember.”

In a statement, North West 200 event director Mervyn Whyte thanked County Tyrone businessman Derek Keys’ company Euro Auctions for its donation.

“We are very grateful to Derek Keys and Euro Auctions for this very generous support,” said Whyte

“In the absence of any financial assistance from government, the sport has been left to its own devices to deal with the insurance crisis. Mr Keys’ intervention has been crucial in saving this year’s North West 200.”

Posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2023 in News

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