Previously dominated by 400 machinery and last year by Moto 3 mounted Dan Sayle, the Lightweight class has undergone a significant face lift for this year’s Manx Grand Prix.
The four lap race which will now incorporate the Super Twins, is in my opinion one of the toughest races to call with multiple riders capable of winning.
Which includes Martin Bullock Manxsport’s David Lumsden. Runner up in last year’s Super Twins race, “The Hammer” since making his Manx debut in 2007 has developed into one of the events most accomplished competitors.
Like the vast majority of the field, ER6 Kawasaki mounted it would not at all be a surprise to see him secure Lightweight honours.
Same applies to recent third place finisher within the Dundrod 150 National race at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, Jonathan Perry.
One of road racing’s next generation riders, Jonathan last year came close to securing Newcomers B victory, only for misfortune at the pits to halt his challenge.
One year on and with excellent results at Billown and Dundrod on 650 machinery, he could well prove the dominant force in late August.
Anticipated Junior/Senior race front runners Darren Cooper, Richard Charlton, Andy Farrell and Barry Evans, plus Scarborough’s Nick Anderson and 1993 Formula 1 TT winner Nick Jefferies are additional potential rostrum finishers, as is Australia’s Royce Rowe.
Regarded as one of his nations most talented up and coming pure road racers, Royce’s stock on the Mountain Course in recent years, has grown and grown.
Photo by Jim Gibson
Piloting a Ducati Monster! he’s quietly confident of springing a surprise or two, similar thoughts are echoed by fellow countryman Paul Van Der Heiden.
The reigning Newcomers B Manx GP race winner is another one to watch, whilst fellow standout debutants from 2016 Marc Ironside, Dave Butler and Jamie Williams piloting the Cowton Racing Kawasaki could well contend at minimum for podium finishes.
Talented newcomers such as Lee Bass, Dave Quine, Martin Currams, Matteo Bardelli and Ben Rosendaal add further depth to the entry, as does experienced Mountain Course exponents Rad Hughes and Nigel Rea plus overseas stars such as Rob Whittall, Denmark’s Carsten Svendsen and Spain’s Victor Lopez Santos.
Photo by Jim Gibson
Leading 400 runners include France’s Lancelot Unissart, Dan Ingham, Gavin Brown, Wayne Martin and Manx GP stalwart Bob Farrington.
There’s also the odd Moto 3 and 250 entered in a race, which is guaranteed to provide close fought, top draw Manx GP competition.
Words by Stevie Rial