FOR the second time in three years, the weather ruined what should have been an exciting afternoon at the North West 200.
Fans left disappointed as hours of persistant rain left the road race circuit too dangerous for riders to go out.
Saturday’s racing was abandoned because of heavy rain, with Michael Dunlop winning the only race to take place.
Race director Mervyn Whyte made the announcement to call off the event following constant rainfall on the North coast course.
Ballymoney rider Dunlop won the Supersport race, which was stopped after two laps following minor accidents on the Triangle circuit.
New Zealander Bruce Anstey was second with Lee Johnston in third.
It is the second time in three years that the event has been abandoned, with just one race possible in 2011 after a series of delays.
A disappointed Whyte is calling for a change in road closing orders to allow organisers the flexibility to run races to coincide with favourable weather forecasts.
He said: “The weather has beaten us and I am absolutely gutted.
“We have done a massive amount of work and had three road sweepers out, but is it is impossible to keep it clear.
“If we had got a break in the weather for an hour we could have done something.
“I feel for all those who have come here today and the thousands who have supported us.
“It’s just a pity we haven’t a roads closing order to allow things to change – it needs to be flexible and there has to be movement from the government.
“It’s a disgrace the amount of money this event receives compared with other events.
“The government needs to start putting effective financial backing into this event. We receive little or nothing.”
An oil spill combined with the rain led to a delayed start on the north coast and the Supersport race was reduced to five laps.
Anstey was the early leader but Dunlop moved in front before the race was red-flagged after two laps were completed.
Organisers planned a re-start over four laps but it was declared a completed race after continued rain.
It is Dunlop’s second NW 200 victory with his first coming back in 2008.
“I’m delighted – it is great to get another North West win,” said Dunlop.
“Race hav been won before over two laps so I’ll take that. I just got my head down and the bike went really well.
“Bruce and I were having a great ding-dong and I was looking forward to a five-lap race.
“It’s horrendous weather out there and I take my hat off to all the spectators who have come up for the racing.”
Dunlop’s success made it four out of four for Northern Ireland riders at this year’s North West meeting.
Supersport race result:
1. Michael Dunlop (105.804mph)
2. Bruce Anstey (105.641)
3. Lee Johnston (104.630)
4. Alastair Seeley (104.620)
5. Guy Martin (103.192)
6. John McGuinness (102.852)