Fast Bikes - - UPFRONT -

By the time you read this the TT will be but a stone’s throw away and we at Fast Bikes can’t wait to see the great­est show on earth get its wheels rolling (May 26 to June 8). The an­nual pil­grim­age to the Isle of Man sel­dom dis­ap­points, and while we’re col­lec­tively dev­as­tated to hear of Bruce An­stey’s poor health and con­cerns sur­round­ing both John McGuinness’ (re)dam­aged leg, plus Hutchy’s con­tin­ued fight for fit­ness (read his ex­clu­sive in­ter­view inside), we’re op­ti­mistic that the rest of the best road rac­ing glad­i­a­tors will be keener than ever to grasp glory with both hands.

Ar­guably, con­sid­er­ing the col­lec­tive bril­liance of An­stey, McGuinness and Hutchy, their ab­sence pretty much leaves the door wide open for the likes of Hil­lier, Har­ri­son and Hick­man to come of age and claim big bike vic­to­ries. All th­ese ea­ger young­sters have clocked in ex­cess of 130mph av­er­age laps, and con­sid­er­ing they’re all back rid­ing on fa­mil­iar mo­tor­cy­cles with the same teams as last year, this could turn out to be their best chances ever to take the top spot.

Well, as­sum­ing mul­ti­ple Tourist Tro­phy win­ner and 2018 favourite Michael Dunlop doesn’t have any­thing to say about it. As some­one put it to us, ‘that guy could win round there on a sea­side don­key’, and who are we to ar­gue? Fol­low­ing his re­cent de­ci­sion to ditch Suzuki and head back to his roots with Tyco on a Beemer, you’d have to be pretty brave to bet against the Ul­ster­man. But even if he reigns in the litre bike races, the big ques­tion’s whether he could ever mir­ror Hutchy’s five in a week mas­ter­piece – only time will tell. One thing’s for sure, the 2018 TT is set to be one to re­mem­ber, as much for its ab­sent rid­ers as it will be for its po­ten­tial new vic­tors. Let’s have it!

Hil­lier’s fly­ing at the mo­ment. An­stey will be missed.

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