Southern 100 Preview Part 1 – Solo Races

Southern 100 Preview Part 1 – Solo Races

The ever-popular Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100, has attracted again another top calibre Supersport, Superbike entry which features TT stars, IRRC exponents and seasoned event regulars.

No.1 plate holder, DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison went the entire 2019 S100 unbeaten, can he showcase similar form next week?

If we go by pre-event credentials, then it is a distinct possibility. Bradford Harrison boasts a quite formidable Billown course racing CV, which includes 23 S100 victories, three successive Solo Championship victories.

Four times a podium finisher at TT 2022, it’s going to take steadfast, no errors induced, faultless displays from the esteemed opposition, to stop him adding to his ‘Friendly Races’ wins resume.

One of the strongest challengers to Harrison’s Solo Championship defence will be 21 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.

Enduring recently a disappointing Imatranajo debut, expect the Ballymoney roads great to be back on form on Manx shores, as he pilots Hawk Racing Suzuki, recent TT winning YZF R6 Yamaha machinery.

Never to be underestimated, the mercurial Dunlop who’s proven on multiple occasions that the impossible is never not possible, has the proven pace, will to win, unquestioned star quality to light-up this year’s S100.

Although not carrying the same level of Billown racing experience as Dunlop and Harrison, many believe Milenco by Padgetts Davey Todd is a firm contender for Solo Championship honours.

Starring at the North West 200, finishing runner-up in four races, TT 2022 saw the National Superstock 1000 Championship front-runner join the TT podium finishers circle, select group of those to lap over the 132-mph mark.

An impressive event newcomer in 2018, four years on it wouldn’t at all be a surprise if he chalks up next week multiple wins.

Outside of Todd, Dunlop, Harrison, others extremely capable of acquiring podium finishes include TT Privateers Champion, anticipated Super Twins class front-runners Jamie Coward (KTS Racing Powered by Steadplan), Paul Jordan (PreZ Racing) and Rob Hodson (Dafabet Racing).

The in-form Michael Sweeney (Martin Jones Racing), Sam West, Cornwall’s Forest Dunn and reigning Junior/Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Nathan Harrison.

Additional ones to watch include Stephen Parsons, Rhys Hardisty, Cookstown Grand Final podium finisher Richard Charlton, Don Gilbert, DC Racing’s Mike Norbury.

Barry Furber, Frenchman Yann Galli, Belgium’s Jean Pierre Polet, Mark Parrett, versatile racing all-rounder Michael Russell, Tom Snow, road racing returnee, former TT Privateers Championship runner-up Russ Mountford.

Improving Manx roads exponents entered include Peoples Bike Team’s Frankie Stennett, Marc Colvin, Jamie Williams, Dean Osborne, Pre-TT Classic podium finishers Joe Yeardsley, Paul Cassidy (Heattech Racing) and Senior Support race winner at Skerries Marcus Simpson.

Confirmed S100 newcomers include the Isle of Wight’s Ryan Whitehall, Magpie Racing’s Paul Magnay and 2018 Newcomers A Manx GP winner Thomas Maxwell.

With close fought, top quality competition a certainty, all the usual contenders competing, plus next generation roads forces, the stage is set for classic solo races at the eagerly anticipated, returning Southern 100.

Photo’s by Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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