Update1 : January 2021 : The optimism of a full 2021 race season took a big hit in January when the Tandragee 100 was the first to announce its cancellation to 2022. Shortly after all Southern events, with the exception of Skerries declared themselves as cancelled until 2022.
Update 2 : January 2021 : 2021 North West 200 has been cancelled until 2022.
It is obviously ridiculously early and things are subject to change (and are changing almost daily) thanks to Covid-19, however the Provisional 2021 Road racing Schedule has been complied and who could blame you for looking forward to some road racing after the year 2020 has been (with the exception of course of the fabulous 2020 Cookstown 100)!
The Gloucester-based Smiths Racing team has announced they will quit motorcycle racing after this weekend’s final round of the British Superbike Championship.
The team has enjoyed extensive success in British Superbikes and at the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix international road races.
Having competed for 11 years, the BSB round at Brands Hatch this weekend will mark their departure from the sport.
Peter Hickman has achieved all of his five TT wins to date with the team.
The family-run outfit have become a dominant force on the roads since making their debut on closed public road circuits at the North West 200 in 2014.
Their first TT win came that same year with Gary Johnson winning the Supersport TT, with more victories following in the hands of Hickman, plus the outright lap record for the Mountain Course of 135.452mph in 2018.
Hickman also won a record-breaking seven races in a weekend for Smiths at the 2019 Ulster Grand Prix, upping the lap record to 136.415mph. With other successes at the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix, the tally stands at an impressive 21 major road race victories and multiple podiums.
Under the guidance of Alan Smith and his daughter Rebecca, the team arrived into the British Championship paddock in 2010 and took their first podium in their debut season with Dan Cooper riding the Smiths Triumph to third place in the British Supersport race at Knockhill.
As the official Triumph factory entry, the team won their first British Supersport Championship in 2012 with Glen Richards before fellow Australian Billy McConnell took their second title in 2014.
The team also scored points in selected World Supersport Championship races before moving into British Superbikes in 2015 where McConnell took their debut podium at Cadwell Park.
A further seven podiums were highlighted by Peter Hickman winning a race at Thruxton in 2017 and going on to claim a Showdown spot for three successive years with a best result of fourth overall in the 2017 British Superbike Championship.
Rebecca Smith, the team owner, said: “We have had a wonderful experience and gained lots of fantastic memories in the British Superbike and Supersport Championships and at the TT, NW200, Ulster GP and Macau GP over the past decade or so.
“We have enjoyed a lot of success but now as a family and a business, we wish to concentrate our efforts in other directions. I would like to thank all of our riders, team members, sponsors, fans and organisers who have been instrumental in our successes over the years.
“While it is the end of an era for Smiths Racing as a family owned and operated team, some elements will continue in a new guise and we wish everyone involved good luck for the future.”
So the big question is what we wee Peter Hickman on next season and the next TT? I reckon it will be ‘Hickman Racing’ and hopefully still feature a BMW, but hey ho that’s just a guess.
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