Manxman Michael 'Mikey' Evans is to stay with the Barrow-based Wilcock racing team for the 2020 season.

The 2017 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner showed great promise early last year at the Croft circuit near Darlington when 'testing' the 2019 machines, as he beat all the local opposition to walk off with the prestigious Ken Redfern Trophy.

He already has his eye on retaining that magnificent trophy again this year if all goes to plan.

After setting some good practice times at the pre-TT event at Castletown in May, he got caught out by a damp patch whilst challenging the leading group and crashed heavily in the Superbike race, sustaining a broken collarbone that effectively curtailed his TT programme.

A mere five weeks later, he contested the Southern 100 races, again at Castletown, and was soon mixing it with the top runners Michael Dunlop, Jamie Coward, and TT winner Dean Harrison until a brand new steering damper failed, putting paid to any further progress.

Undaunted, he upped his fitness and training levels in readiness for the team's assault on the Classic TT in August, but sadly that was not to be either.

A training spill re-broke the injured shoulder, sidelining him from that event too.

Barrow businessman Graham Wilcock who runs the team is synonymous with the TT course and provided machines for local TT course expert Dan Stewart, who had many top ten placings during his career and in 2012 won the Privateers Cup award on Wilcock machines.

Graham has stood by Mikey throughout all his problems this year and is to supply him with a1000cc BMW and a 600 Honda for next season.

Mike Bibby of MBR Racing will again be looking after the machines and there could be another rider joining the team too, but more on that late.

Let's hope next year brings a change of fortunes and they get the results they richly deserve.

*Heavy rain at the final round of the STP National Drag Racing Championships at the Santa Pod Raceway near Northampton put paid to any chance of Ulverston`s Dave 'Rocket' Peters regaining the ACU National Funny Bike title he won there in 2016.

After qualifying third in the preliminaries with a 7.93-second run, he was a mere fraction of a second down on Dutchman Kars van den Belt, who recorded 7.15 seconds down the quarter-mile strip.

Despite having been fraught with irritating mechanical issues throughout the season, coupled with other events being postponed again due to the weather, he still managed third place and was confident of beating van den Belt in their final run.

However, rain at lunchtime gave the organisers no choice but to abandon the meeting, letting the results stand on qualifying times, thus giving the title to van den Belt.

*Great news for motocross fans, as the Bassenthwaite track is to hear the roar of motorcycle engines again next year.

The East Cumbria Motocross Club, who lost the use of their facility at Brampton last year, have plans to run a meeting at Bassenthwaite on May 23, during the Bank Holiday weekend.

The club are planning a major upgrade, with the paddock area being relocated in the centre of the track with hard core access.

Extensive drainage works are also being planned, which will enable racing in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions.

Many of the original narrow corners are also to be widened, along with the ‘table top’ areas, which should make racing safer for the riders and more spectacular for spectators.

The meeting will mark 60 years of racing at the North Cumbria venue.

* It's a long way off, I know, but tickets for the ninth Dead End Rally, organised by the Furness Branch of the Motorcycle Action Group, on July 10-12, 2020, are now on sale.

The 200 limit is always reached well ahead of the dates and no tickets are available on the gate.

Live bands are planned for both nights with the usual Charity Raffle etc.

The rally boasts indoor washrooms and showers, along with catering facilities. The venue at the Dalton United football ground on Beckside Road has grown into one of the most popular on the Rally scene, with riders coming from far afield.

Sorry lads, no fires, barbecues or cars (except Blue Badge holders by arrangement ). This would make a great Christmas present for someone.

At £15 each, the tickets are great value for money, so book your place now via their Facebook page or by calling 07583 001181 for further information.