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All motorcycle racing cancelled in Northern Ireland for 2023

Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

All motorcycle road racing, short circuit racing and trials scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland throughout 2023 have been cancelled.

The surprise announcement was made today, Friday 10 February, following an emergency meeting of the Ulster Centre of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (MCUI) who have blamed soaring insurance costs.

It is understood that costs for public liability insurance, needed to run the events, have tripled to over £400,000 for this year.

Events impacted include the North West 200 and Armoy Road Races events.

In a statement Chairman for MCUI (Ulster Centre) John Dillon said:

"Further to our previous statement regarding the provision of insurance for the 2023 year, representatives, and delegates from the MCUI (Ulster Centre) met both on the 6 and 9 of February, respectively, to try to find a way forward to secure the required cover for the upcoming season.

"Negotiations have been continuing in earnest in the background, from August 2022, however, there appears to be no appetite from insurers to offer more competitive quotations.

"On the 7 February all clubs were issued with the proposed Scale of Charges, based on the terms and quotations received, appropriate to their type of planned event, in an attempt to allow clubs to evaluate, and discuss, the viability of promoting and running their event in 2023. These emergency meetings took place with a view to the club delegates retuning to an MCUI (UC) emergency centre meeting on the 9 February.

"At this meeting, the relevant representatives gave their club's views on their ability to meet the proposed insurance costs, and fees proposed, as well as any further viable options that may result in the affordability to run events this year.

"The consensus was that the costs proposed were, at this time, unsustainable for most clubs in order to provide the required Public Liability cover to run our planned events.

"The MCUI (UC) will, however, continue to pursue all options for the provision of Public Liability insurance, should they arise in the near future.

"Our immediate attention must now turn to the competitors, who have invested much planning and expense for the 2023 year, to date. To that end, the MCUI (UC) will continue to issue licences and are still endeavouring to procure competitor Personal Accident insurance cover for the 2023 year.

"Although there will be no MCUI (UC) events run in 2023, this will allow MCUI (UC) licence holders to avail of insurance cover required for starting permission applications in order to compete in events elsewhere, outside of the MCUI (UC) jurisdiction.

"We appreciate that this situation is far from ideal, however although we have been unable to secure the running of events for this year, this arrangement and decision will go a little way to at least allowing licence holders the opportunity to engage in competitive events, should they wish, with the appropriate cover and security."

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