First of all a happy new year to everyone and all involved in pure road racing.
Looking towards the 2017 roads season, what kind of a season is in prospect, will there be surprise international road race winners?, will BMW continue to dominate around the Mountain Course and will the TT Races lap record go up to in excess of 134?
All these questions are more are set to be answered in the following months, in what is shaping up to be a quite enterprising and memorable year of roads competition.
Predictions wise for 2017, I am predicting that Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson, will remain the ones to beat at the international meeting’s, I also predict that William Dunlop will enjoy a much more prodigious season, as he competes for roads newcomers Halsall Racing.
I am tipping Derek Sheils to retain the Irish road race Superbike championship, Adam McLean to finish leading newcomer at TT 2017, Peter Hickman to make it a hat trick of Macau GP victories, plus I firmly believe Hicky will secure a maiden TT podium finish.
I also predict Alastair Seeley will add to his momentous record of 17 North West 200 victories, Norton’s rapid Mountain Course progress will go onto yield top five finishes and that the iconic Imatra venue in Finland, will firmly establish itself as continental Europe’s premier roads meeting.
Alongside these predictions, I also hope 2017 proves a year where we don’t hear words like outside of regulations and cheating, certain events of 2016 provided publicity of the wrong kind for the sport.
Lets start this year a fresh, maximum positive publicity is what pure road racing needs, where we celebrate the iconic and historic achievements of the competitors and teams in the most captivating form of motorsport, on planet earth.
A special thanks from the whole RRN team, for their help throughout 2016 to Rod Neill, Jim Gibson, Nick Wheeler, Mark Corlett, Charles Robertson, Nick Soye, Craig Robertson, Terry Stevenson, Baylon McCaughey, Simon Crellin, Anne Forsythe, the Imatra PR team and all of you, who have helped make Road Racing News, what it is today.
Words by Stevie Rial