The 2018 Isle of Man TT is underway and Asphalt & Rubber has you covered to get up to date with some of the biggest names at the Isle of Man TT.
The road racing capital of the world is rarely called a paradise, but it is hard to look past that word when the sun shines on this 200 square miles of rock in the Irish Sea.
This week the sun is certainly shining, and practice week has already been one to remember. Lap records look set to be shattered as this past winter is banished from memory by the burning sun.
A lot of action has occurred for this year’s Isle of Man TT, and yet not a single bike has circulated the Mountain Course in anger yet.
We saw the unfortunate news that Bruce Anstey would sit out this year of racing, as he starts a new battle with cancer. We also saw John McGuinness jump ship from Honda to Norton, and then join forces with rival Michael Dunlop in the supersport class.
Adding to the news, Team Mugen announced an unheard of three-rider lineup for the TT Zero race, though today we learn that those plans have had to change, with now Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter headlining a two-man team for Mugen.
The cause for this change? John McGuinness re-fracturing his healing leg (14 months after initially breaking it), and thus unable to compete on the electric superbike.
Unfortunate news for road racing fans, as we get word that Bruce Anstey will miss this year’s Isle of Man TT (and likely the rest of the 2018 road racing season), because of multiple tumors found on his lungs, as well as a tumor on his spine.
The news came on social media, with Anstey’s partner, Ann Ramsey, posting to Facebook the news of the cancer’s return, and what it meant for Bruce’s racing season. She said that Anstey also had “a blood clot on the lung just to kick him while his [sic] down.”
The Bothan Spy Network is strong this week, as we have learned some more about Mugen’s latest TT Zero entry, the Mugen Shinden Nana.
Mugen was tight-lipped on its spec-sheet for the Mugen Shinden Nana though, with the specs for the Nana mimicking those seen on last year’s bike, the Mugen Shinden Roku. That isn’t exactly the case, however.
Yes, Mugen will run its special aerodynamic fairing for the 2018 Isle of Man TT, which is a piece that has been under development for over a year now. But, the Japanese brand has other tricks up its sleeve as well.
What happens when an immoveable object joins forces with an unstoppable force? The result might look like the latest news from the Isle of Man TT, where this year’s race will see Michael Dunlop onboard with Tyco BMW.
Of course, Michael Dunlop is a top favorite to win at this year’s TT, and the Tyco squad is certainly no stranger to making the BMW S1000RR go lightning fast around the Mountain Course.
To make matters worse for the competition, the BMW S1000RR is already a machine that Dunlop has shown good results with, in past TT fortnights, and as such we expect big things from the collaboration.
Take a good long look at it, because here is the electric motorcycle that is going to win this year’s TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT.
That might seem like a presumptuous thing to say, but with Mugen fielding a three-rider lineup, and no real competition coming out of the woodwork, it would be hard to imagine a different result.
The question of course is which riders will be onboard the Mugen Shinden Nana when it takes the #1 position? John McGuinness? Bruce Anstey? Or, Lee Johnston?
Your guess is as good as ours, as all three road-racers are more than capable of putting down a race-winning lap on the Mugen.
The sound of two-stroke race bikes will once again thunder through the streets on the Isle of Man, as Ian Lougher is set to race the Suter MMX 500 at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
The 576cc V4 two-stroke Suter has already made its debut during the TT, last racing during the 2016 edition of this iconic road race, though with lackluster results (121+ mph best lap) due to mechanical issues.
Hoping to right that wrong, Lougher will once again climb aboard the Suter MMX500, and no matter what the result sheets say, we are sure the fans along the Manx hedgerows will enjoy his effort.
It was a bit of shock when we learned that John McGuinness would not be riding for the Honda Pro Racing outfit at this year’s Isle of Man TT, instead getting a gig riding with Norton for the Superbike and Senior TT races.
Now, we get news that the 23-time Isle of Man TT race-winner has another trick up his sleeve, this time involving his Supersport TT plans.
We still can’t believe we are saying this, but John McGuinness will mount his 600cc campaign hopes with Michael Dunlop’s team, riding an MD Racing Honda CBR600RR in this year’s Supersport TT races.
We had to check today’s date to be certain, as McGuinness and Dunlop are fierce rivals, and both are chasing the outright record of TT race wins (26), set by Joey Dunlop. Seeing them race under the same colors will certainly be a sight for this year’s Isle of Man TT.
We are still about three weeks away from the official unveiling of the Mugen Shinden Nana, the seventh iteration of the Isle of Man TT winning electric superbike, but news is starting to trickle in about this racing effort.
In case you didn’t know, Mugen is looking to make the 2018 Isle of Man TT its fifth-straight victory at the iconic road race, and the chances are very good of that result happening.
This is because with scant competition coming from the other race teams, Mugen is set to race itself again this year, but for 2018 it will be with not one, not two, but three riders on the grid for this year’s TT Zero race, as the company confirmed via Twitter.
The move is a bit of a surprise, as McGuinness has made his career as a diehard Honda rider, which has lead to 23 TT race wins at the Isle of Man.
But, things started to get interesting last year, when in December McGuinness wasn’t named as one of Honda’s road racing riders. To further fuel the fire, McPint was seen on social media checking out the Norton SG7.
Now officially official, John McGuinness will campaign on the Norton in the Superbike TT and Senior TT races at the 2018 Isle of Man TT. Boom goes the dynamite.