It may be over seven months away, but the excitement is already building for the 2018 Isle of Man TT, which will run May 26 through June 8.The racing schedule and program doesn’t change from 2018, which again begins with the typical week of qualifying before race week.
Following is the 2018 Isle of Man TT Schedule (all times local):Saturday, May 26, through Friday, June 1:
6:20 p.m. to 8:50 p.m., Qualifying
Saturday, June 2:
noon: RST Superbike TT Race (6 laps)
3 p.m.: Sidecar TT Race 1 (3 laps)
Monday, June 4:
10:45 a.m., Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1(4 laps)
10:45 a.m., Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 2 (4 laps)
1:45 p.m., Bennetts Lightweight TT Race (4 laps)
4:25 p.m., SES Zero TT Race (1 lap)
Friday, June 8:
10:30 a.m., Sidecar TT Race 2 (3 laps)
12:45 p.m., PokerStars Senior TT Race (6 laps)
The IOMTT reports that over 45,000 fans are expected to visit the Isle of Man TT, which in 2018 will once again bring the battles between the two all-out leaders in 2017: Michael Dunlop and Ian Huthinson.Suzuki’s Michael Dunlop claimed his 15th TT win after earning Senior TT, which was red-flagged. The reason for the red flag? Dunlop’s main rival, BMW S 1000 RR pilot Hutchinson crashed and was air-lifted off the 37.73-mile Mountain Course. Before the final race of 2017 IOM TT, Hutchinson claimed the RST Superbike and RL360 Quantum Superstock races for a total of 16 -career TT wins.“The way I look at it is that I’ve got six more chances to win at next year’s TT and as with every other year I set out to try and take all of them, Michael Dunlop says. “I’m happy at the TT, I know the set up and what I’m doing there. The program suits me and when I’m on form and everything’s right, I feel like the races are mine to lose.”Dunlop will be ready to take on the field again, and will surely be a dominate force, butHowever, there are a host of very fast veterans clearly not ready to hang up their leathers and while 23-time TT Champion John McGuinness (three shy of the record of 26 held by the late Joey Dunlop, uncle to Michael) continues his fitness battle following a career threatening crash at the North West 200, New Zealander Bruce Anstey continues to defy the odds as he heads towards his 50th birthday and Michael Rutter comes off one of his best TT’s ever in 2017 culminating in victory in the Bennetts Lightweight TT Race.British Superbike Championship star Peter Hickman proved his credentials and signaled his intention to challenge the established order in the years to come with his first podiums in 2017 finishing with five at the end of the fortnight. Fellow British Superbike race winner and former series Champion, Australia’s Josh Brookes powered the “SG6” Norton to the marque’s fastest ever Mountain Course lap recording two top-eight finishes.Other leading contenders expected to return in 2018 include Dean Harrison and James Hillier who both added further podiums to their growing TT Race honors list earlier this year.Other star names sure to be in the mix again in 2018 include the Isle of Man’s leading riders Conor Cummins and Dan Kneen, Australian challenger David Johnson, Northern Irishmen Lee Johnston and William Dunlop and Lincolnshire’s two-time TT winners Gary Johnson and Ivan Lintin.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!