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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 329 > MR NORTH WEST


Outside of the TT it’s undoubtedly the biggest road race on the international calendar, but how secure is the North West 200’s future? Scoop speaks to the man behind the magic to find out.



Michael Dunlop lost his dad while competing at the North West, but he’s still a huge fan of the event.

Just trying to grab a word or two with North West 200 supremo Mervyn Whyte is difficult.

“Just come and see me. I’m around the compound most of the time,” says the diminutive and slightly balding Ulsterman to yet another interview request during the busiest week of his year. We arrive at the mass of Portakabins and have a chat with his charming wife Hazel, who tells us he’s in the office next door and to “knock and just walk in”. The hierarchy at what is billed as Ireland’s biggest outdoor sporting event is as informal as it gets. In there, Whyte is chatting away to a corporate sponsor. It could have been strictly confidential for all we know, but he carefully interrupts the smartly-dressed gentleman. I’m offered a drink and a seat and he asks me how I am.

“Just give me five minutes, help yourself to tea or coffee, I’ll be right with you…” as Mervyn leaves with Corporate Guy. Tea in hand as instructed, we glance out of the window to witness the ever-growing queue to see the man whose name is inextricably tied to the closed-road festival which links the seaside resorts of Portrush and Portstewart with the busting market town of Coleraine some 60 miles north of Belfast.

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About Fast Bikes

Welcome to the Summer 2017 issue. This month, a digital exclusive... Watch 10 videos from our massive Sportsbike of the year feature. 8 of the best but only 1 winner! Plus, Honda CBR600RR Buyer's guide, BMW HP4 race, Ponies for pennies, Wanna race the TT? Know your suspension, The two-stroke comeback, best used bike investments. Fast Bikes is home to the best sportsbike tests on the planet and is packed with new bike launches, technical insight, hardcore action, masterclasses, racing, reviews and loads more.