THE added prestige of this year being one before the TT’s centenary ensures that the action will remain as hot as ever.¬†And with local riders Adrian Archibald, a three-times winner, and William Dunlop leading the local assault, Ballymoney, as ever, will be well represented.

An upsurge of interest among riders and factory teams, thanks to the concerted efforts of the organising Manx Motorcycle Club, has given the event a significant boost in recent times.
This time established names such as John McGuinness, Ian Lougher and Bruce Anstey will be joined on the grid by notable newcomers like Dunlop, Mark Miller and Conor Cummins.
With just four solo races on the card this year, the top riders will be keener than ever to secure those precious race wins and coveted places on the podium.

Heading the entry list will be last year’s double winner McGuinness, who has dominated the Superbike class in recent years.
The Morecambe man rides for the HM Plant Honda team and will start as favourite to extend his winning run.

Lougher will provide stiff competition aboard his Stobart Honda in the Superbike and Senior races, and Black Horse Hondas in the Superstock and Supersport classes.

TAS Suzuki runner Bruce Anstey is joined by three-times winner Adrian Archibald who replaces the injured Ryan Farquhar and the New Zealander and the Northern Ireland man are well capable of adding to his tally of wins.

Englishman Guy Martin rides under the AIM Yamaha banner this year and has a good chance of claiming at least one rostrum finish.

Island veterans Jason Griffiths and Raymond Porter are also on Yamaha machinery and will, all being well, in the running.

Martin Finnegan became the fastest Irish rider ever to lap the Mountain Circuit last year, at over 127mph, and his Klaffi Hondas should be competitive on the Island.
Australian Cameron Donald has taken the road racing scene by storm and signalled his intentions with wins at Tandragee and two fourth places at the North West 200.
Riding for the Uel Duncan Racing team, Donald made an impressive debut last year and will be a major threat to the established stars.
His team-mate Les Shand suffered a broken collarbone at the North West and is fighting to be fit to make his second TT appearance.

Ian Hutchinson is set to be a major TT star of the future and his Supersport success at the North West in May showed the potential he has to become one of the giants of the road racing game.
He rides for the Northern Ireland based McAdoo Kawasaki team, who have previously tasted victory with Farquhar in the 600cc class.

Another experienced Island campaigner, Carl Rennie, occupies the Hawk Kawasaki berth, Mark Parrett returns after a year out through injury and former Manx Grand Prix winner Davy Morgan is in DMRR Honda colours.
Japanese ace Jun Maeda produced some stunning displays last year and his return this year is much anticipated.

Manx residents Chris Palmer, Paul Hunt, John Barton, Chris Heath, Nigel Beattie and Gary Carswell all have the advantage of year-round access to the circuit and always produce consistent displays.
William Dunlop, son of Robert, will be the object of much attention as he makes his circuit debut, and former AMA Superbike rider Miller will be keen to make an immediate impression.

And a word also for New Zealand rider, Daniel Jansen, who has become something of an adopted son of Ballymoney.
The Kiwi returns to the Isle of Man following his showing at the North West, and many local bike fans will have more than a keen eye on how the likeable Antipodean gets on.
Dave Molyneux will start as favourite for the two Sidecar events but Nick Crowe and the returning Tom Hanks will not let him have things all his own way.

Practice for the Isle of Man TT started on Saturday 27 May, with the first race, the TT Superbike, this weekend.





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