On January 27 & 28th 2017 the ArenaCross UK Tour graced Belfast’s Odyssey Arena for two rounds of the UK Competition. With everyone from 7 year old kids to Europe’s finest indoor Motorcross Racers and a ridiculously skilled Freestyle Team this really is a high octane, completely flat out show from start to finish – and it’s a format that works and this is its fifth year on the bounce in Belfast – and my second.
As part of a simple restructuring and refocusing of the site, what it is about and where it is going I am proud to present to you tbni.blog
This new .blog domain will be used primarily and in conjunction with the tbni.co.uk domain. So whichever one you like is the one to bookmark, they will both work from this point going forward.
If you have a bookmark on either ProtectedBikerNI.co.uk or ProtectedBikerNI.com now is the time to update it. In the imminent future those domains will no longer be pointing to this site. (See this page for further info : https://tbni.blog/protected-biker-ni/)
So welcome to tbni.blog – thanks for visiting, and continuing to visit, and also for making 2016 our fifth consecutive year of growth – with a massive 32,794 visitors last year!
So this is it for this trip, the final day. The boat is about 7pm so unfortunately that means no viewing of the practice session tonight. That’s one of the bad points on coming over for Practice Week from Northern Ireland – the sailings aren’t perfect, but I suppose there is no way round it unless the Steam Packet put on an 11:00pm sailing – Hint Hint…
On getting packed up the hotel kindly offered to look after my gear and panniers so I could go and enjoy the mountain again – just another reason why I absolutely will go back to this hotel without any qualm.
After a meet up with the guys in Douglas, some breakkie and a quick walk around the town and a catching of the sights it was time to head out back out towards the track.
It was on this walk around the town that I called into the RoadSkin pop up store and purchased myself a nice Roodskin motorcycle hoodie (which I have been wearing regularly ever since) and a pair of jeans (which I have yet to pull on) – the pop up store saving me well over £100 on these two items alone, oh and I picked up a couple of neck warmers too.
(Long Term Review to follow on the RoadsSkin Gear)
After yesterday’s rumours and my theory that’d we know more by Wednesday / Thursday, guess what? It is Wednesday and we know more! Without further ado here is the news and it is good!
Oh and before the internet warriors and those who specialise in the keyboard and living under bridges, a chap can change his mind and like it or lump it, this is a huge boost for the Road Racing Scene. Welcome back Guy Martin!
Looks like TT tickets may be even harder to get this year!
John McGuinness and Guy Martin complete Honda Racing dream team.
Honda Motor Europe is delighted to announce an exciting two-rider line-up for its 2017 Road Racing assault at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT in the Superbike classes. Re-signing for the Honda Racing team is TT legend John McGuinness, who will be joined by Guy Martin on the all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
Making his return to racing after a year away, fan favourite Martin will form a formidable team with McGuinness and the brand new Fireblade SP2 on the roads. Martin has enjoyed huge success on the roads during his career securing wins at various races including the Ulster GP, Scarborough Gold Cup, Armoy, Cookstown and also the Southern 100. He has also stepped on the TT podium 15 times and will be chasing his elusive maiden TT win with the Honda Racing team.
Meanwhile, McGuinness will be looking to add to his impressive tally of 23 TT wins, and riding the new Fireblade SP2, will also be aiming to recapture his lap record which was broken during last year’s race.
The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade is the most successful 1000cc machine ever at the Isle of Man TT and Honda aims to add to its remarkable record with the new SP2 version, which is the ultimate expression of the Fireblade’s Next Stage Total Control concept.
The SP2 is a road legal homologation special based on the Fireblade SP that is specifically developed for racing and features a revised cylinder head with larger valve sizes and lightweight Marchesini wheels for even greater performance.
The all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 will make its road racing debut at the North West 200 in May.
For all the latest news and information on the Honda Racing team follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.
“I’m back with Honda for another year; really I’m part of the family, and I can’t wait to see what the new Fireblade SP2 can do! I know the old model like the back of my hand and have taken a lot of my TT wins with the old girl, so I can’t wait to get out on track and try the new machine out. I have a good feeling about this year and think we have a really good package to show that we mean business. I of course would like another TT win and I would quite like my lap record back! I always say when it’s broken that the lads are just borrowing it and I hope this year that this is the case. I am sad to say bye to the old Fireblade; I have a lot of history and good memories with that bike, but testing the new model can’t come soon enough and neither can the race season. I’m excited to have Guy as my new team-mate; we’ve enjoyed many a racing battle over the years and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can both do.”
“Neil [Tuxworth] has been talking to me for a while about joining the team, but I had a lot of thinking to do before I committed and said yes. I spent a lot of time on my push bike to and from work, thinking about what to do. I didn’t want to grow old regretting not giving the Honda a go, and the more time passes since making the decision, the more time I’ve thought it is the right decision. Honda is a great team and the Fireblade has always been a weapon on the roads, so with the new bike, I‘m keen to give it a go. We’ve got a busy testing schedule coming up and I’ve put some other stuff off to make time. John [McGuinness] is the man, I’ve got massive respect for him and I’m looking forward to racing on the Fireblade against him.”
“We have two new members joining the Honda Racing team this year with Guy signing and the new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. John is part of the furniture really, but it’s great to have him back with us for another year – it wouldn’t be the same without him! I really feel with Guy and John, and of course the new Fireblade, that we have a strong team ready to tackle the roads this year. Guy is hungry for his first TT win and John wants another and his lap record back, so this mixed with the new CBR1000RR means we should be in for some exciting racing action. The new Fireblade SP2 is so important to the team and also Honda and it’s vital we continue its legacy at the TT and add more to its 23 wins. We’re all looking forward to testing and I think everyone from the riders and the team are all excited to get on track and put the new machine through its paces.”
Today the internet rumour mill is rife, absolutely rife, with ‘news’ that Guy Martin is set to announce his return to the Isle of Man TT Races this year!
Check out this link to DRIVETRIBE which seems to have started it all.
Here’s the basics though :
Guy Martin may return to the TT in 2017.
He will most likely be riding a new Honda Fireblade.
No team has been announced as yet.
No confirmation of any kind has been made.
It’s a great rumour.
Personally I think Guy is a legend. I’ve seen him race in Northern Ireland many times and would love to see him at the TT. He wants a TT win so much, no matter how many times he hints at being finished I think the TT win may be his nemesis that he desperately wants to conquer. He would be a massive signing for Honda and their Fireblade which has been met with mixed reviews from the public, put Guy Martin on one and it becomes an instant success story.
I’ve read a few different things and I think come Wednesday / Thursday some form of official (as official as Guy does) may appear.
The Museum was founded and funded by father and son team Denis and Darren Cunningham to act as the public home for their collection of over 130 vehicles. The Museum also hosts over 150 other vehicles on loan from other enthusiasts and collectors.
The Isle of Man was chosen as the location for the Museum due to the unique place the Island occupies in motoring and motorsports history. The Island is the motorcycle road racing capital of the world and has hosted the famous TT races on the public roads annually since 1907. The Southern 100 and the Festival of Motorcycling are also fantastic opportunities to see road racing here.
For 2016, the Museum is proud to host the Joey Dunlop Collection featuring many of his trophies, leathers and race machines. Joey is the most successful TT competitor of all time with 26 victories to his name earning him the title “King of The Mountain”.
Rallying and enduro are also a huge part of motorsport on the Isle of Man and the Museum features a Ford Zephyr which competed in the London-Sydney Marathon rally and World Enduro Championship winning KTMs from local hero David “Knighter” Knight OBE.
Another well rested and early start this morning and I meet up with the guys at a local pub for a bit of a breakfast fry up…
It’s hard to recommend places on your first visit, simply because you have been to so few but that won’t change the fact that if a place is good – it’s good, and this places was. A nice breakfast down the hatch and it was time to make a move.
The guys I was with were keen to hit the Mountain Road again and get some fast miles under their belt, I however decided to go off the path less travelled and explore the Island a little more.
(There is a path much less travelled element to the ISle of MAn, with hundreds of miles of green lanes all over, and you will see lots of guys on scramblers and enduros coming off the countryside. The path I travelled wasn’t their path although to be fair they looked like they were having an absolutely outstanding adventure!)