Northwest 200 - Let's go roadracing!
Seen to many as a warm up to the Isle of Mann TT, the Northwest 200 is one of the fastest roadraces out there. With the superbikes reaching speeds of over 200mph it's a race not for the fainthearted. There are a number of MCE BSB stars in the field this year plus the roadracing elite all hoping to come away from the 9 mile circuit with some silverware. Here's a look at some of those riders and what I think their chances are...
The blade is well known around here. He's racked up 13 wins in different classes over the years equalling Joey Dunlop and he's only 2 behind the all time record number of 15 wins held by Robert Dunlop. Rutter's been going about his business in MCE BSB so he's certainly warmed up and ready for this. Definitely one of the favourites.
The wee wizard has become a master round here over the last few years. He's totted up 10 wins across the classes and will definitely want to increase that. Expect some epic battles between him and Rutter.
Hutchy returns to the Northwest ready for battle after a few years off with that horrific leg injury. He's already shown what he can do back on the roads when he won the Macau grand prix at the end of last year. He's been riding in MCE BSB this season thanks to his team manager Shaun Muir so should be ready for action. As long as he keeps it shiny side up I don't see why he can't be on the podium.
MCE BSB regular and the TT's fastest newcomer last year, Josh returns for his second year at the Northwest. He was disappointed last year after the Superbike race was cancelled due to rain so he didn't get to show his true worth. He's moved teams and manufacturers this year to Milwaukee Yamaha, so things could be a little different for him. Expect fast times and a massive determination to win from Brookes, he never gives up.
The Northwest has never been Michael's strongest event but last year was his most successful winning the second Supersport race. He was due to race in MCE BSB in the first two rounds as a warm up for the season but after an off at Brands he missed Oulton Park to give himself time to recover before this event. We'll get an indication of how he's going after some practice time, you never really know with Michael.
Having a little more success than his brother, William thrives on the smaller class machines. With three wins to his name the last in being in 2012, William looks to build on that. Keep an eye on him in the Supersport class, he'll be up there on his Tyco Suzuki.
The fast talking tea drinker has never won a Northwest but he's back again this year with Tyco Suzuki hoping to change all that. It's been a very busy year for Guy doing all sorts of telly; it will be interesting to see if this has affected his riding...I doubt it very much.
Another MCE BSB star that enjoys a bit of road racing. Martin's done a few laps round here and can claim to hold the fasted ever recorded speed of 208mph. He's never won a race here though and will be looking to kick off his roadracing season well as he debuts at the TT in a couple of weeks time.
One of the most determined riders out there. Simon has suffered with many injuries over the years but keeps getting back on the bike. He recently had an off at MCE BSB round 2 at Oulton but he's recovered and is ready for the Northwest. Keep it rubber side down please Simon.
Round the TT John is the man to beat but here at the Northwest he's not so strong. His strongest races are in the Superbike classes which he has won a number of times; expect him to be up there on the bigger bikes.
There are plenty more riders on the list that could make an impact, these are just my picks. It's going to be a fantastic week of racing (as long as the weather stays good!) and a great warm up to the TT which is imminent.
For more information and race updates visit the Northwest website.
Live streaming is available from BBC NI, tune in and watch it all!
14.05.2014 - MCE Insurance