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 range of specialised steeds, a quite compelling 2019 RST Superbike Classic TT is most definitely 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 Dunlop Senior TT winner has enjoyed in 2019 another tumultuous International roads campaign.
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.
Photo by Mark Corlett
Amongst those hugely capable of pushing, providing an ultra competitive challenge to Duke Road Race Rankings leader Harrison include Greenall Racing’s Horst Saiger.
Holder of the illustrious number 1 plate, the hugely popular Saiger who finished runner-up in last years four lap Superbike race, is quietly confident of securing this month another standout result.
Added leading names ZXR 750 Kawasaki mounted include Saiger’s Greenall Racing team mate Derek Sheils, Mistral Racing’s Paul Jordan & Michael Sweeney, Jamie Coward (Prez Racing/Kraus Racing) and the Team ACR (Alasdair Cowan Racing) trio of David Johnson, Craig Neve and Cornwall’s Forest Dunn.
Further depth to Kawasaki’s challenge is provided by the likes of Wigan’s Josh Daley, Steadplan Primus Racing’s Ben Rea & Andy Farrell, 2018 Junior Manx GP winner James Chawke, Julian Trummer (DP Coldplaning/TC Racing), Herheim Racing’s Ryan Kneen and Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed.
Moving onto Suzuki’s powerful challenge, Team Classic Suzuki and Team York Suzuki have between them secured the services of IRRC, Thundersport, multiple TT winners.
Steve Wheatman’s Team Classic Suzuki outfit alongside retaining Danny Webb who will pilot one of the iconic RG 500 Suzuki’s, have also retained Market Rasen’s Phil Crowe and welcome back to the team fold, 19 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.
Whilst Team York Suzuki’s line up sees them join forces again with Gary Johnson, plus run for the first time former TT Privateers Championship runner-up Sam West.
Alongside West, Johnson, 2018 IRRC Superbike series winner Webb, new Ulster GP 130 Mph Club member Crowe and 31 times International Road Race winner Dunlop, added ones to watch on Suzuki machinery include:
Brian McCormack, Tom Weeden, 23rd place finisher in this year’s Senior TT Jay Lawrence, Spain’s Raul Torras Martinez, Stephen Smith and new Cookson Racing signing Michal ‘Indi’ Dokoupil.
As in recent times persistent front runners Padgetts Racing now running under the Milenco by Padgetts team name, has another high quality presence.
Photo by Mark Corlett
Ulster GP Superbike qualifying record holder Conor Cummins, will be at the controls of an exotic, great sounding YZR 500 Yamaha mount, whilst team mate IRRC Superbike Champion elect Davey Todd, takes the controls of an OW01 Yamaha steed.
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 renowned two stroke specialist Gary Vines.
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 Oxford Racing Ducati/Louigi Moto supported James Hillier, who throughout the past decade has chalked up no less than 14 TT podium finishes.
The overall quality of the 2019 Superbike Classic TT entry is truly top, top draw.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
When you add in the likes of seven times TT winner Michael Rutter (Team Winfield), Dave Madsen Mygdal, Pikes Peak competitor Eric Wilson, America’s Chris Sarbora & Pete Murray (VRS Racing), Joe Akroyd to the glittering array of stars previously mentioned, you just know this year’s big bike Classic TT, will be something very, very special.
Words by Stevie Rial