When you think about the bulky Classic Superbikes, words that spring to mind include exotic, prominent, renowned and prestigious.
With high profile jockeys a plenty set to pilot a whole range of specialised steeds, a quite compelling 2018 RST Superbike Classic TT is more than in prospect.
Favourite for many to retain the yesteryear Superbike crown is Bradford’s Dean Harrison. Dominant last year aboard the Silicone Engineering Racing ZXR 750 Kawasaki, the Superbike TT lap record holder has enjoyed in 2018 another tumultuous International roads campaign.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Relentless pace wise 12 months ago, all fellow anticipated front runners will be keeping a close eye on his progress with his Kawasaki steed during practice week.
Amongst those hugely capable of pushing, providing an ultra competitive challenge include Greenall Racing’s Horst Saiger.
Holder of the illustrious number 1 plate, the hugely popular Saiger who finished third in last years four lap race, last month made a highly accomplished return to roads action at the famous Finland based Imatranajo meeting.
Confident in the potential on his ZXR 750 Kawasaki mount, it wouldn’t at all be a surprise if the likeable Austrian joins this month the Mountain Course winners circle.
Greenall Racing team mate Derek Sheils, making a welcome return to roads competition is another prime contender for a podium finish.
Photo by Rod Neill
Same notion applies to fitness permitting Davey Todd and fellow event debutant Paul Jordan, who lead Mistral Racing’s new look rider line up.
Keep an eye as well on Jamie Coward and the PreZ Racing backed Kraus Kawasaki, piloted in recent times by two times Lightweight TT champion Ivan Lintin.
Added notable Kawasaki mounted competitors include the Team ACR (Alasdair Cowan Racing) trio of Andy Dudgeon, Craig Neve and Paul Owen, plus Rob Hodson, TC Racing’s Julian Trummer, Dave Hewson, Wigan’s Josh Daley, Adrian Harrison, America’s Pete Murray and Sidecar TT great Dan Sayle.
Moving onto Suzuki’s powerful challenge, Team Classic Suzuki and Team York Suzuki have between them secured the services of IRRC, Thundersport, TT, Philip Island Classic victors.
Steve Wheatman’s Team Classic Suzuki outfit alongside retaining Danny Webb who will pilot one of the iconic RG 500 Suzuki’s, have added improving Mountain Course campaigner Phil Crowe to the team roster.
Whilst Team York Suzuki keep an all Johnson line up, with David Johnson, Gary Johnson jockeying the outfits 1100 Suzuki’s.
Alongside the Johnson’s, IRRC Superbike champion elect Webb, Market Rasen’s Crowe, added ones to watch on Suzuki machinery include Wilmslow’s Sam West, Tom Weeden, Ben Rea, Rhys Hardisty, Brian McCormack, Dave Moffitt, Rob Whittall, PRF Racing’s Barry Evans and Mountain Course newcomer Jay Lawrence.
As in recent times persistent front runners Padgetts Racing, has another high quality presence, provided this time solely by Ulster GP Superbike qualifying record holder Conor Cummins, who will be at the controls of an OWO1 Yamaha.
Photo by Mark Corlett
The iconic rotary Norton’s of the late 80’s/early 90’s enjoy representation again courtesy of the Wiz Racing outfit, with team mainstay Richard Wilson joined by modern day works Norton racer Josh Brookes.
Although they might not be potential podium finishers, they are certain to attract publicity a plenty with their immaculate 588cc Norton mounts.
Ducati’s Classic TT presence is lead by Stafford Evans Celeres Racing run Oxford Products Ducati team, who have retained the services of 2013 Lightweight TT winner James Hillier, plus added rapid rising roads star Joe Thompson to it’s team roster.
The overall quality of the 2017 Superbike Classic TT entry is truly top, top draw.
Photo by Mark Corlett
When you add in the likes of Matt Rees, Olie Linsdell, Mark Parrett, Dave Madsen Mygdal, John Barton, Wayne Axon, Darryl Tweed to the glittering array of stars as stated above, you just know this years big bike Classic TT, will be something, very, very special.
Words by Stevie Rial