With 12 different makes of machinery represented, alongside a truly star studied entry the stage is set for a quite compelling Sure Junior Classic TT.
Having dominated last years race, 15 times TT winner Michael Dunlop starts for many the firm favourite for race honours.
Aiming to put the disappointment of a tough MCE Insurance Ulster GP campaign behind him, he’s proven time and time again his prowess on classic machinery around the Mountain Course.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta team mate Dean Harrison arguably the most in form road racer worldwide, will without a doubt prove one of the biggest threats to much his well decorated team mate.
You can’t discount as well the third member of the Black Eagle team, six times international road race winner Lee Johnston.
Leading Honda mounted riders include the Davies Motorsport trio of Alan Oversby, Dominic Herbertson and William Dunlop, four times Aberdare Park Welsh Open winner Dan Cooper, Olie Linsdell, Conor Cummins and TT Privateers Championship runner up Jamie Coward.
Photo by Jim Gibson
It’s four times TT winner Michael Rutter though who looks the most likely to lead the big H’s challenge. Competing for Ian Garbutt’s Ripley Land Racing team, the eight times Macau GP champion is enjoying a golden summer within the international roads scene.
Bringing positive memories a plenty from TT 2017 with him to the Classic TT, he will once again be a prime contender for more Mountain Course glory.
Two times Lightweight TT winner Ivan Lintin and Chris Swallow head the AJS entry, whilst two of the leading Norton mounted riders will be ex Moto 3 World Championship star Danny Webb and 1993 Formula 1 TT winner Nick Jefferies.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
The strength in depth of the entry is endless with proven classic racing exponents such as Alex Sinclair, Chris McGahan, Phil McGurk, Ewan Hamilton, Steve Ferguson, Peter Boast, Alex Whitwell, Keith Dixon and the Owen’s Hefyn and Meredydd all set for competition.
Looking towards the overseas challenge, France and the USA enjoy representation courtesy of the likes of Lancelot Unissart, Timothee Monot, Yuri Barrigan and Alex McLean.
Although there not as quick as the exotic post 80’s Superbike machinery and the rasping 500’s, the entry received for this years Junior Classic TT, is sheer proof of the growing popularity of 350 machinery, whether it’s in Japanese, European or British form.
Words by Stevie Rial