You can’t really predict anything in this world, everyday is different, every hour changing, every second something happens whether it’s spoken, tweeted, documented, televised, wrote, snap chatted, vlogged.
None the less I’m going to try my best to predict what’s on the horizon this year, for the pure road racing community.
First and fore most will the TT Races return this year? Indicators are positive and with advances in medicine throughout the past year, allied to increased knowledge, understanding, I don’t believe the reasons in years gone by can be applied to an event cancellation.
With this in mind, I cautiously predict we will be enjoying the 2022 TT Races and the also returning North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, Southern 100, Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT.
Pending quarantine measures loosening, there’s also hope for the return of two-wheel action to Macau.
Three times Guia Circuit conqueror Peter Hickman has been absent from closed roads competition for two years but I don’t expect this to hamper him in 2022, where I predict he will secure at least three TT victories.
Prospective TT newcomer Glenn Irwin, I predict will retain the feature Superbike crown at the NW200.
I’m also tipping Jamie Coward and Davey Todd to join the International race winners circle and Manx GP winners Jim Hind and Nathan Harrison to spring a surprise or two and mix it with the established roads ‘aliens’.
The IRRC (International Road Racing Championship) continues to thrive and I expect the likes of Didier Grams, new Penz 13 signing David Datzer, Ilja Caljouw, Pierre Yves Bian to be Superbike, Supersport Championship contenders again.
All being well, the 2022 Irish roads season will get underway in April at Cookstown.
Competitors I’m expecting to excel throughout the season include the usual suspects the two Derek’s Sheils & McGee, Michael Sweeney, Adam McLean, Paul Jordan, Thomas Maxwell, Michael Browne.
Not forgetting a certain Michael Dunlop, what Superbike machinery will he pilot at the Internationals this year? PBM Ducati, Synetiq BMW, Buildbase Suzuki, his own MD Racing 1000cc tackle, lets wait and see.
Keep an eye as well on up coming talents such as Jack Oliver, Faraldo Racing’s Keelim Ryan and Eoin O’Siochru.
Proactive thinking, accurate planning remain crucial to running meetings during these new world order times (one for the conspiracy theorists!).
Maybe I’m a glass half full, looking on the brighter side of life but I’m confident of more meets taking place during 2022.
Echoing the words I wrote last year, here’s to a much more-happier year for everyone.
Take a leaf out of road racer’s books cause they never, ever let fear control them.
Finally my thoughts go out to everyone affected by Covid-19 and it’s knock on effects during 2021.
Photo credit: Mark Corlett
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou