Daley Mathison will head into the 2017 International road race season with every intention of producing his best ever year to date having secured the TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix winning machines of Ian Hutchinson.
Mathison, who will ride under the Eddie Stobart Racing banner, will campaign the ex-Tyco BMW S1000RR Superbike that Hutchinson took to victory at the Ulster Grand Prix along with a new outright lap record and also the Superstock BMW that the Bingley Bullet won on at all three International road races. He will continue to use the same GSXR600 Suzuki that he rode in 2016 for the Supersport races.
The County Durham rider will contest the 2017 Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix races along with all meetings at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough. He will prepare for the International road racing season by taking in the opening three rounds of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship and is eagerly looking forward to the season ahead.
“I’m definitely looking forward to riding the BMWs this year and it’s without doubt the best set-up I’ve ever had. The bikes are proven and I’m definitely aiming to move up a level in 2017. I’ve been training hard and am probably four or five times fitter than I’ve ever been and the International road races are our main focus in 2017. The TT will be my main event and everything’s been built around that so I’m hopeful of improving upon the results and speeds I’ve achieved so far,” he said.
Mathison made his Mountain Course debut in 2013 when he finished fifth in the Newcomer’s Manx Grand Prix before moving up to the TT a year later when he picked up two bronze replicas in the two Supersport races. A heavy spill at the North West 200, through no fault of his own, saw him miss the 2015 meeting but he bounced back last year to win three more bronze replicas and take a best finish of 21st in the opening Supersport race. He also posted a new personal best lap of 123.214mph in the Superbike race.
“I wanted to race at the TT since I was about 15 and 2017 will be my third year there although, having missed the 2016 event, last year was like another learning year. My main problem was with straight line stability but that shouldn’t be a problem with the new bikes so having already lapped in the 123-124mph bracket I’ll be looking to add 2-3mph on to that and break into the top 20. To make the top ten you need to be lapping comfortably over 130mph which is pretty crazy and I’m still very much learning the course, particularly over the Mountain where it’s hard to pick any reference points, so won’t be near that. But if I can go a fair bit quicker and get some top twenty finishes, or even top 15, I’ll be more than happy.”
The North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix will also feature prominently as will Oliver’s Mount and, again Mathison is looking to better his previous achievements with his results at Dundrod, in particular, already making impressive reading. Fourth place in the 2010 250cc race was an early highlight before victory in the 2014 125cc race superseded that. However, perhaps his most impressive result at the ‘Prix came in the feature Superbike race that same year when he took sixth (and lapped at close to 127mph) backing this up with sixth in one of the Supersport encounters.
“The Ulster GP has certainly been the International meeting where I’ve had my best results so far and the circuit seems to really suit my style. It doesn’t seem to matter which bike I’m riding, I go well. The North West 200 has never been the kindest to me though. I don’t have any real short circuit background so it might be due to the chicanes that I don’t gel with it but I’m more than hopeful of giving a better account of myself this time around. And whilst I’ve already had some strong results at Scarborough, particularly in the wet, I need to start winning more races. It was where I had my first race on the roads and although Dean (Harrison) is on fire round there at the moment, hopefully I can do that.”
Having finished third in last year’s TT Zero race, the double European Champion will again compete in the one-lap race around the Mountain Course on the University of Nottingham entry and has firmly embraced the challenge the electric motorcycles have to offer.
“The highlight for me last year was finishing on the podium in the TT Zero race and I’ve really enjoyed riding the bike in the European Championship. It won’t be easy but we’re looking to challenge the Mugens this time around and with the work that’s going on behind the scenes, it could be possible. It’s another class to ride in and another challenge and whilst they won’t be taking over the sport, it’s nice to be involved at the front end of this particular technology.”