Road Racing News

Bennetts Lightweight TT Seeds Unveiled

With just over two weeks till TT 2019 takes centre stage, the start numbers for what’s certain to be next month a compelling, drama filled Bennetts Lightweight race, have been unveiled.

Carrying the prestigious number 1 plate, will be reigning Irish Road Race Super Twins champion Derek McGee.

Part again of the KMR Kawasaki set up, Mullingar’s McGee who’s already claimed this season Super Twin race victories at Cookstown and Tandragee, is widely tipped to contend for race honours.

Two of the three strong works Norton entry follow McGee on the entry list, rapid rising star Davey Todd (2) and 23 times TT winner, Mountain Course great, class returnee John McGuinness (3).

Fourth away behind the Superlight Norton’s, is Italian star Stefano Bonetti who’s been in regular contention in recent times, for podium finishes.

Five plate holder is former TT Privateers champion Dan Cooper, whilst six plate holder is none other than reigning class champion, outright Lightweight lap record holder Michael Dunlop.

Remaining with the factory SC Project Paton team, the ever determined Ballymoney racer is ultra keen to add retention of the Lightweight class crown to his already golden, stellar, ultra lucrative TT CV.

Photo by Mark Corlett

Two times TT winner Gary Johnson (7), eight times Macau GP winner, former class champion Michael Rutter (8), complete KMR Kawasaki’s seeded rider line up.

No racer presently carries the nine plate, which had been intended to be used by McAdoo Kawasaki’s Adam McLean, who has been ruled out of TT 2019, following a recent incident at the Around A Pound Tandragee 100.

Finalising the first ten starters is outright Mountain Course lap record holder Peter Hickman. Finalising Norton’s all star team alongside Todd, McGuinness, it’s going to be intriguing to see how competitive ‘Hicky’ is aboard the striking, brand new Superlight model.

11, 12, 13 plate holders respectively Ian Lougher, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Paul Jordan, Michael Sweeney are all dark horses for top five finishes or better, as is class debutant, the hugely popular Horst Saiger (14).

Rounding out the seeded riders are Hebden Bridge’s Jamie Coward, three times Manx GP winner Michael Evans, Rider Liaison Officer for the TT Races John Barton, current Junior Manx GP champion James Chawke, Daley Mathison and Dominic Herbertson who leads the Cowton Racing challenge.

Outside of the 20 seeded competitors, added notable start numbers include Lee Johnston (51), Barry Furber (23), Timothee Monot (30) and Cornwall’s Forest Dunn (24).

Words by Stevie Rial