First and foremost a very Happy New Year to all, hopefully 2019 is a great year for everyone involved in the Pure Road Racing fraternity.
Looking towards the 2019 roads season, in my opinion Peter Hickman has every chance of enjoying more sustained success at the premier International events.
The world’s fastest road racer starts for thousands worldwide the favourite for Superbike, Superstock and Senior victories at TT 2019.
Don’t discount though his greatly respected rival Dean Harrison from securing multiple race wins, same applies to the legend that is Bruce Anstey who’s set to make a much welcomed return to Mountain Course competition.
I am tipping the high profile combination of John McGuinness/Norton to enjoy at least two TT rostrum finishes, whilst other predictions TT wise include the Birchalls to continue their event supremacy, plus I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we see at minimum three new TT podium finishers.
Added predictions Internationals wise include Alastair Seeley adding more Supersport success to his already truly golden North West 200 CV, plus Glenn Irwin retaining the feature Superbike crown aboard the JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
Looking towards the Irish nationals scene, I predict a battle royal for Superbike and Supersport Championship spoils between Derek McGee, Derek Sheils and McAdoo Kawasaki’s Adam McLean.
IRRC wise if he samples again another full season, it’s hard to look past Danny Webb making it back to back IRRC Superbike titles.
Whilst for the Supersport category, strong contenders for series honours will include entry pending reigning champion Matthieu Lagrive plus new Optimark Road Racing signing Pierre Yves Bian, who’s also Manx GP bound in August.
I must end this article by wishing a special thank you to all the great photographers who have taken pics for Road Racing News throughout 2018, Steve Rial, Rod Neill, Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler, Jim Gibson, Tommy Vennard and Robby Repsol.
Additionally I must also thank the marshals, organisers, volunteers, selected fellow press, event sponsors and the fans, aficionados, who keep the truly magnificent, incredible, unparalleled sport of pure road racing, going.
Words by Stevie Rial