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North West 200 and other motorcycle races set to go ahead in 2023


It has been a rollercoaster ride for motorcycle racing fans in recent weeks, but news emerged this afternoon, Wednesday 15 March, that insurance cover has now been arranged and racing events can now go ahead as planned in Northern Ireland.


John Dillon, Chairman of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Ltd confirmed the change of fortune in a statement. He said:


"As most of you will be aware all Tarmac motorcycle racing was cancelled in early February 2023 due to a significant increase to the annual insurance premium.



"Following the initial decision and listening to the feedback of the racing community a 'Crowd Fund me' was set up so racing fans could do their bit to help out. Although we know that it was a big ask, we are overwhelmed at the generosity of all who contributed.


"Combined with this total figure now raised, and the determination by MCUI UC member Mr Steven Lyons, who has worked around the clock with our insurers to find a solution, we are now pleased to be able to announce a new insurance quote has been secured, which makes it possible for all clubs to promote their events in 2023.



"The objective of the crowd funding was that enough funds would be raised so that all clubs would have the option to promote their events. The figure currently raised combined with the new insurance quote has now made this possible.


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


"As Chairman of the MCUI UC I pass on sincere thanks on behalf of all promoting clubs to every single person who donated to the crowd funding initiative.


"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".



Organisers of the North West 200 confirmed that flagship event on the province's racing calendar will now go ahead in 2023.


NORTH WEST 200 STATEMENT


As has been well documented over the past month, this year’s event had been thrown into jeopardy by a huge increase in the cost of public liability insurance. A new insurance deal has finally been secured and the crucial intervention of Co.Tyrone businessman, Derek Keys, with a generous donation from his company, Euro Auctions, has ensured the 2023 NW200 can go ahead.


“March 2023 represents the 25th anniversary of Euro Auctions and helping the North West 200 gives us the ideal chance to thank all of those people who have supported us over that 25 year journey,” Mr Keys said.



“The event sees over 195,000 people visit the region and many businesses, both large and small, depend upon events like this to bring trade and prosperity into the North West area. This event is part of our region’s heritage and I am delighted that with a little help from Euro Auctions, the event can now proceed this year.”


NW200’s Mervyn Whyte added:


“We are very grateful to Derek Keys and Euro Auctions for this very generous support.


“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. We also wish to express our gratitude to the many members of the motorcycle racing community who donated so generously to the crowd funding initiative launched by the Motorcycle Union of Ireland, Ulster Centre.”

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