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 intriguing 2022 RST Classic Superbike Manx Grand Prix is in prospect. Victorious in 2019, Aussie ace David Johnson pilots the same Team ACR (Alasdair Cowan Racing) Kawasaki, that helped propel him to a maiden Mountain Course success. Speaking recently about his upcoming road racing return, he stated: “It’s been a long 3 years away from riding the TT course. Injuring myself weeks before TT 2022 was a tough pill to swallow. Now I’m back to race fitness and I’m ready to get back to the Manx GP and get on track! I can’t wait to get back on the Alasdair Cowan Racing ZXR 750 (Kawasaki). Alasdair has been working hard to improve the bike since it’s last race in 2019. Big thanks to my main team Rich Energy OMG racing for letting me loose on another machine. I’m very keen to prove to them and all my supporters that I’m worth the wait after such a long time away.” Victorious in the inaugural yesteryear Superbike race at Armoy, KTS Racing Powered by Steadplan’s Jamie Coward is another hugely capable of contending for class spoils. Added leading names ZXR 750 Kawasaki mounted include two plate holder Paul Jordan, Mistral Racing team-mate Michael Sweeney, Ryan Kneen (Herheim Racing), Michael Browne (Alasdair Cowan Racing). The Greenall Racing trio of Brian McCormack, Rob Hodson, Nathan Harrison plus Craig Neve (Alasdair Cowan Racing), Shaun Anderson (Wilcock Consulting) and TC Racing’s Julian Trummer. Moving onto Suzuki’s powerful challenge, Team Classic Suzuki, Team York Suzuki and Cookson Racing have between them secured the services of racers boasting TT, IRRC, European Hill Climb success. Steve Wheatman’s Team Classic Suzuki outfit alongside running 21 times TT winner Michael Dunlop, on the new GSX-R750 SRAD steed have also retained Market Rasen’s Phil Crowe. Team York Suzuki’s challenge is fronted by former TT Privateers Championship runner-up, Sam West, whilst Cookson Racing are running Czech, Italian stars Michal ‘Indi’ Dokoupil, Stefano Bonetti on 1992 spec Durex GSXR 750’s. Alongside West, Dokoupil, 2019 Senior Classic runner-up Bonetti, Armoy ‘Race of Legends’ top five finisher Crowe, 33 times International road race winner Dunlop, added ones to watch on Suzuki machinery include: Macau GP wins record holder Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing), Michael Evans (AC Racing), ‘Tommy Club’ member Dan Ingham, Rhys Hardisty, Barry Furber, Jamie Cringle, Tom Weeden and newcomer, Oliver’s Mount Scarborough specialist Keith Pringle. 1990’s TT icons the RC45 Honda and rotary Norton enjoy representation courtesy of Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston and Wiz Norton Racing’s Richard Wilson. The overall quality of the 2022 Superbike Manx GP entry, despite missing the likes of Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, Davey Todd and Conor Cummins is truly top, top draw. When you add in the likes of ten times TT winner Ian Lougher (Team CK Racing), Dave Madsen Mygdal, inaugural TT XGP victor Rob Barber, VRS Racing’s Pete Murray, Dave Hewson, James Chawke to the glittering array of talents previously mentioned, you just know this year’s big bike MGP, will be something very, very special. Photo’s by Nick Wheeler, Mark Corlett Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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