The start numbers for the 2016 lightweight TT, have been announced.
Martin Jessopp seeded for the first time in the superbike, superstock and senior races, is set to embark on a great opportunity as he holds the coveted number one plate on the Riders Motorcycles ER6 Kawasaki.
Second away is a rider everyone associates with the super twins class, Ryan Farquhar. Although not the dominant force he was in the early 2010’s on the 650’s, he will still prove extremely difficult to beat, on his own teams ER6 Kawasaki.
2013 winner James Hillier, is away at number three, as he bids to keep up his highly impressive lightweight TT record, which is as follows second in 2012, winner in 2013, second in 2014, second in 2015.
James will start one of the pre race favourites, whilst a dark horse for victory is Cameron Donald (number four) who returns to the lightweight TT fold with KMR Kawasaki.
Newcomers to super twins action around the Mountain Course Peter Hickman is next up at number five, we all know his ability and pace, a podium contender no doubt about it, on the Cookstown BE Racing ER6 Kawasaki.
Reigning lightweight TT winner Ivan Lintin carries the number six plate, as he aims to provide RC Express Racing with a hat trick of class successes.
Next up at number seven is Gary Johnson, set to compete for the third time for CF Moto, as the manufacturer from China, bids to challenge the all conquering ER6 Kawasaki’s.
Eighth away is JHS Racing’s Michael Russell, anticipated to be the leading Suzuki runner.
Four time TT winner Michael Rutter is scheduled to be away at number nine, Michael is still to confirm the machinery that he will be piloting.
Completing the top ten starters is 2015 TT privateers champion Dan Cooper, who is one to watch on CMS Racing’s ER6 Kawasaki.
2014 Duke Road Race Rankings champion James Cowton number 11 and Connor Behan number 12, both have the talent to be in contention for podium placing’s.
Mark Miller secured a personal TT Races finish of eighth place in last years lightweight TT, holding the number 13 plate, he’s set to compete once again for Splitlath Motorsports.
Danny Webb next up at number 14, will be looking to break into the top six on the leader board, having finished an excellent tenth in 2015.
Ice Valley Racing’s Sam West, Ryan Kneen and rising star Malachi Mitchell Thomas are all ones to watch at numbers 15,16 and 17.
The top twenty starters is finalised by DP Coldplaning/TC Racing’s Bjorn Gunnarsson.
Additional stand out entrants include Rob Hodson (21), Derek McGee (22), Michal Dokoupil (23), Michael Sweeney (24), Tuukka Korhonen (25), Hudson Kennaugh (26) John Barton (32) and CF Moto mounted Craig Neve (69).
Four newcomers are entered, Michael Booth (66) competing for Stewart Smith Racing, Olaf Romijn (66), Alastair Fagan (64) and Canada’s Darren James.
Words by Stevie Rial