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McGuinness to lead TT charge from the front

Twenty-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness reverts back to number one as organisers confirm 2014 starting order
Honda Racing's John McGuinness will be the first rider to plunge down Bray Hill at the Isle of Man TT races this year as the 20-time winner reverts back to the number one plate.

McGuinness carried number three last year as part of a Honda tribute to mark the 30th anniversary of Ulsterman Joey Dunlop's maiden victory on the Mountain Course, but the Morecambe rider will be first away in 2014 with an open road ahead of him as he attempts to break the chasing pack.

The 41-year-old fractured the scaphoid bone in his right wrist during a dirt bike accident this week but the injury is not expected to interfere with his road racing plans.

Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier will set off ten seconds behind McGuinness, while the returning Ian Hutchinson on the Milwaukee Yamaha goes at number three.

Next up will be Tyco Suzuki's Guy Martin with his traditional number four ahead of Bruce Anstey with his familiar number five on Clive Padgett's Honda.

Northern Ireland's Michael Dunlop retains the number six plate from 2013 as he bids to give BMW a famous victory in the Dainese Superbike and PokerStars Senior races on a factory-supported S1000RR.

Dunlop won four races last year to boost his TT tally to seven and all eyes will be on the young Ballymoney man to see how he performs on the German machine in the premier class.

Behind Dunlop, Lincolnshire's Gary Johnson remains at number seven with new Tyco Suzuki signing William Dunlop at number eight.

The top ten is completed by Michael Rutter and McGuinness's Honda team-mate, Conor Cummins.

Dan Stewart on the SMT/Wilcock Consulting Honda is number 11 followed by Dean Harrison at 12 on the RC Express MSS Kawasaki and Mar-Train Racing machines.

Last year's leading privateer, Lee Johnston, is at number 13 for East Coast Honda with British Superbike star Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) and Steve Mercer completing the first 15 seeded riders.

New Norton signing Cameron Donald starts at number 19 - the same number used by Steve Hislop when he famously won the 1992 Senior race following a race-long battle with Carl Fogarty.

The start numbers remain mostly unchanged for the Superstock event, although Brookes, Hutchinson and Donald have opted not to compete in the race, which means the riders below them will advance up the order.

Practice for the Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy commences on Saturday, May 24 with race day one – including the Dainese Superbike race – a week later on Saturday May 31.

Related Pictures

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John McGuinness on the Honda TT Legends Fireblade

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