The blue riband race of the 2016 Manx Grand Prix, the senior sees up to in my opinion at least ten riders in contention for race victory and multiple others hugely capable of securing podium finishes.
Established amongst the Isle of Man’s fastest rising stars Andy Dudgeon, has to start one of the favourites on the Slick Bass backed GSX-R 600 Suzuki.
Third place finisher in last years senior race, Andy has since only competed once on the roads, at the Post TT Races, where he finished an excellent fourth in the supersport race.
Determined to stand on the top step of the podium for the second time at the Manx GP, having won the 2012 newcomers B race, he’s a man on a mission.
New Zealand’s Michael Moulai who has lapped the Mountain Course at over 119 mph, has the proven pace to challenge for race victory.
His mount for the Senior Manx GP is the Team Collins & Russell ZX-7RR Kawasaki. Another pre race favourite is Andy Farrell, all set to compete for B&W Racing, on an ex Keith Amor CBR 600 Honda.
Photo by Louis Porter
Since making his Manx debut in 2013, Tom Weeden has gradually developed into one of the leading lights of the iconic meeting.
Now entering his fourth year of competition on the TT course, 675 Daytona Triumph mounted Tom has high expectations as he aims for at least a spot on the senior podium.
Glenn Harrison on the Chris Preston Racing GSX-R 600 Suzuki is a dark horse for a podium finish, as is the rapidly improving Davey Lambert, Richard Wilson, Jamie Hodson and Martin Bullock Manxsport’s David Lumsden.
The first three finishers in the 2015 newcomers A race Peter Wilkinson, Barry Evans and Darren Cooper are all capable of recording stand out results.
Same applies to fellow Manx newcomer from last year Logan Racing’s Neil Kernohan, the recent winner of the lightweight race at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix.
Don’t discount either PRF Racing’s Allan Brodie, Magic Bullet Racing’s Gareth Evans, Mike Minns, Richard Charlton, Rodger Wibberley, Dennis Booth, Steven Procter, Justin Collins, Rhys Hardisty and Adrian Hartog from springing a surprise or two.
Last night saw it announced that Rad Hughes would be piloting Cowton Racing’s CBR 600 Honda. Rad has the ability and machinery to score a significant result.
This notion also can be attributed to Murray Mcconnachie, Oilee Racing’s Joe Akroyd, Damian Horan, Sean Connolly, Moira Racing’s James Chawke, Colin Croft, Christian Slater, Sam Johnson, Andy Fenton, Jason Corcoran, Steve Moody and Robert Nelson.
Overseas competitors to watch out for include Germany’s Thomas Gottschalk, who impressed hugely at the Southern 100, where he recorded supersport B race victory.
The true international nature of the Manx GP is showcased in full in the senior entry list.
Norway’s Erik Kjuus, Japan’s Masayuki Yamanaka, USA’s Alan Cunningham, France’s Frederic Besnard, Australia’s Royce Rowe, New Zealand’s Rob Whittall and Greece’s Andreas Pyschogyios all compete.
Newcomers all set to compete in the four lap race are Spain’s Raul Torras Martinez, Michael Evans, Jamie Williams, Paul Williams, DP Coldplaning/TC Racing backed Julian Trummer, Dan Beighton, Chris Watson, Shaun Wynne and France’s Richard Vuillermet.
Since the first Senior Manx Grand Prix in 1930, many a famous name has gone to win one of pure road racing’s most historic and coveted races.
This includes Ryan Farquhar, Simon Beck, Nick Jefferies, Geoff Johnson, Les Trotter, Sam McClements, Nigel Rollason, Davy Morgan, Craig Atkinson and the 2015 winner the late but great Malachi Mitchell Thomas.
In what’s set to be one of the most open senior Manx GP races of recent years, it’s extremely hard to say as to who will be victorious.
Aspects that are guaranteed is tight competition, close fought action and great battles throughout.
Words by Stevie Rial