Classic TT Preview – Part 4 – Superbike Race

Classic TT Preview – Part 4 – Superbike Race

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 2017 Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT is more than in prospect.

Despite subtle rule changes, expect 15 times TT winner Michael Dunlop to remain extremely hard to beat aboard the Team Classic Suzuki.

Winner of three of three of the last four big bike Classic TT encounters with Steve Wheatman’s team, he will be aiming to reassert his roads authority next week onwards, having endured a tough MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.

Photo by Jim Gibson

Joining the 27 times international road race winner within the Team Classic Suzuki fold, Lee Johnston and Danny Webb are both definite dark horses for at minimum rostrum finishes.

Same notion applies to Team York Suzuki’s David Johnson and Gary Johnson, whilst added notable Suzuki mounted competitors include Shaun Anderson, Ben Rea, Dan Cooper, Davy Morgan, Paul Gartland, Spain’s Raul Torras Martinez and reigning Senior Manx GP champion, Tom Weeden.

Photo by Jim Gibson

As in recent times the mighty Padgetts Racing team, will have a formidable line up, consisting of the Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey aboard the exotic YZR 500 Yamaha, plus Manxman Conor Cummins.

Another Yamaha mounted rider to keep a close eye on is rising international roads force Craig Neve, who finished runner up in the Barry Sheene Trophy race in July, at Oliver’s Mount.

Moving onto Kawasaki’s powerful challenge, favourite to lead the marques battle for race honours is the newly crowned world’s fastest road racer, Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison.

With the rule changes to allow ZXR 750 Kawasaki’s to run big bore engines, it’s certain to elevate the Bradford based riders competitiveness in the battle against Team Classic Suzuki.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Outside of the four times international road race winner, the in form Dan Kneen/Jamie Coward form a formidable line up for Mistral Racing, whilst Greenall Racing also have an all star line up consisting of Horst Saiger and Classic TT newcomer Derek Sheils.

Third place finisher last year after disqualifications, William Dunlop competing again for the Norwegian Herheim Racing team is another potential front runner.

Whilst added Kawasaki entrants capable of first class results include Ivan Lintin (Kraus Racing/RC Express) Michael Russell (DSR Racing), Andy Dudgeon, Dan Stewart (Wilcock Consulting), two times Junior Manx GP winner Michael Sweeney, plus next generation international road racer Josh Daley.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

The iconic rotary Norton’s of the late 80’s/early 90’s enjoy representation 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 bolstered this year, by Celeres Racing reincarnating the iconic Oxford Team Ducati outfit, running 2013 Lightweight TT winner James Hillier and Dave Hewson on 888cc Dukes.

Plus Michael Rutter competes for Red Fox Grinta Racing on a 750cc Ducati which will look nigh on identical to the machine his fellow multiple TT winning dad Tony rode, in the 1984 Formula 1 TT.

The overall depth of the 2017 Superbike Classic TT entry is truly never ending.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

When you add in the likes of Nick Jefferies, Dave Madsen Mygdal, Kiaran Hankin, Olie Linsdell, Mark Parrett, Matt Rees and Bimota’s Ben Wylie 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

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