The Barrow-based Wilcock motorcycle racing team, which is headed by Furness businessman Graham Wilcock, are to field a two-man team this season.

Former Manx Grand Prix winner Mike ‘Mikey’ Evans had some impressive results on the Wilcock machines in 2018 but suffered a spate of injuries in 2019.

After winning the coveted Ken Redfern Trophy last year on his first visit to Croft Autodrome, he followed it up with some great results at the pre-TT races on the Castletown Southern 100 circuit in May.

Sadly, he took a heavy fall there and this effectively sidelined him from any racing for the rest of the season.

This year, he’s to be joined by Barrow’s Mike Walker.

Evans is to concentrate on the Superbike events at the TT itself on the 1000cc BMW, while Mike will contest the Classic Pre-TT races at Castletown on the 750cc Kawasaki.

This is great news for Mike with the uncertainty of whether or not his old ‘stamping ground’ Aintree will be in use this season.

I`m sure Mike will soon be at home with the big Kawasaki, having raced similar machines for many years at Aintree, where he still holds a lap record and is one of the few riders to have lapped the 1.5-mile circuit at over 100mph.

He’s no stranger to the Castletown circuit, either, having gained a third place rostrum finish there at his first attempt on Mark Walls’ 750cc Triumph Trident in 2016. Mike Bibby from the MBR Racing concern here in Barrow will again be looking after the machines.

Plans are for Evans to contest the Ken Redfern event again at Croft in April to set up the bikes for the forthcoming TT.

Evans and Bibby have just returned from a few days testing the 1000cc BMW in Spain, and I’m pleased to report all went to plan.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting time for the team when someone shouts for ‘Mike’ and not one, not two, but three ‘Mikes’ appear!

Let’s hope it’s an injury-free year for the riders and they get the results that eluded them in 2019.

* The government recently announced that in an effort to reduce worldwide CO2 emissions they intend to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

The initial plans were to ban sales from 2040, but the date has now been brought forward and could even be implemented earlier still.

In a recent radio interview with the BBC, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it could be as early as 2032.

Figures emerged that cars actually outnumber motorcycles on the road by 24 to one and for the moment they are not deemed a problem.

To use Shapps’ words: “Motorcycles are at present outside the scope of initial plans.”

We know all too well how government ministers have a habit of changing their policies, so lets hope they don’t change their mind on this one.

* The Furness branch of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club hold their monthly meeting at the Newton Arms in Dalton tonight, starting at 8pm.

New members are always welcome. They are planning to hold their next 'Tiddler Run' for smaller capacity machines on Sunday, having had to postpone the last planned rides due to the atrocious weather we've been having.

Meet up at the Newton Arms at 10am if you`d like to join them.

n I'm sad to confirm there will be no autojumbles this year at the Crooklands Auction Mart site just off Junction 36 of the M6.

It was always popular with motorcyclists en route to the Devils Bridge meets, but poorly attended by other groups, so it is no longer viable.

Organiser Ian Sherrard has, however, secured the Penrith and Skipton sites for 2020. Dates etc will be on next week's page.

* Many of you will no doubt soon be dragging out your bikes after their winter hibernation.

Hopefully, the last of the storms that have been battering us for the last few weeks have left us.

If, like many enthusiasts, you have coated the 'shiny bits' with WD40 to protect them during the winter months, remember to give your front brake discs a good wipe down with petrol/brake cleaner and thoroughly dry them off before venturing out.

In my haste to get my little 200cc Suzuki (pictured) out for a spin on the first sunny day of 2019, I forgot to do this. The result?

The first time I hit the front brake nothing happened. My limited off-road riding skills prevented a total disaster, but the dog walkers on Biggar Bank were not impressed with my grass tracking antics!