RR » 13 March 2014
Stellar line-up confirmed for Isle of Man TT
John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop head star-studded entry for 2014 Isle of Man TT races
A sensational line-up has been confirmed for this year's Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, with all the top names and manufacturers represented.
Entries closed for the world-renowned road race meeting on the awe-inspiring Snaefell Mountain Course at the end of February, with the Dainese Superbike, Royal London 360 Superstock and Monster Energy Supersport classes over-subscribed.
Topping the star-studded cast is Honda Racing's John McGuinness – the outright lap record holder following his new Superbike benchmark last year of 131.671mph – and Ulsterman Michael Dunlop, who will ride a factory-supported BMW S1000RR this year.
Twenty-time TT winner McGuinness is joined in the official Honda roads team by Manx rider Conor Cummins, while Northern Ireland team Tyco Suzuki holds a strong hand with Guy Martin and new signing William Dunlop, with both riders determined to achieve their first victory at the greatest road race in the world this year.
Bruce Anstey shows no sign of slowing down and is back again in Clive Padgett's highly-respected Honda team plus the waiting is over for the eagerly-anticipated return of Ian Hutchinson to the Island on the Milwaukee Yamaha machines.
Hutchinson is partnered by Aussie British Superbike contender Josh Brookes, who became the fastest TT newcomer in history in 2013.
Young guns Lee Johnston (East Coast Honda), who was top privateer last year, plus Jamie Hamilton on the Wilson Craig Honda and Bradford's Dean Harrison on the RC Express Kawasaki/Mar-Train Racing Yamaha machines add strength in depth along with Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier and Gary Johnson, Michael Rutter, Simon Andrews, Dan Kneen and Dan Stewart.
An impressive list of new names poised to make their TT bow include British Superbike Championship contenders Martin Jessopp and Peter Hickman, former Moto3 Grand Prix frontrunner Danny Webb, and overseas stars including Belgians Vick de Cooremeter and Laurent Hoffmann, Canadian Dan Kruger and Frenchman Franck Petricola.
Past winner Ryan Farquhar also returns with his KMR Kawasaki team of Scotsman Keith Amor and ex-GP rider Webb, who will ride alongside the Dungannon man in the Bikesocial.co.uk Lightweight race. Amor will also compete in the Supersport class on his own 600cc Honda.
The Lightweight race for Supertwin machines attracted 80 entries, including last year's winner Hillier, plus Farquhar, Harrison, Rutter, Michael Dunlop, Ivan Lintin, Hamilton, Amor and Guy Martin, who is entered in the class for the first time.
Sixty-six of this year's solo riders have lapped in excess of 120mph, leaving the organisers with the tough decision of having to turn down a number of riders who may previously have received an entry in years gone by.
The Formula Two Sidecar class continues to thrive, receiving over 60 entries including 16-times winner Dave Molyneux, again with Patrick Farrance in the chair, and last year's first time race winners, former World Champions Tim Reeves and Ben Birchall, who will again be partnered by Dan Sayle and Tom Birchall respectively.
Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Development Manager, said: “Not only do we have an increasingly impressive entry list at the front of the grid, with all the leading contenders competing and significant commitment from the leading manufacturers, but we also have a incredible strength in depth throughout the field.
“I expect this year's races not only to again have thrilling finishes with races decided by split seconds but to also see solid performances from a talented group of newcomers.”
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