Road Racing News

TT 2016 Preview – Part 5 – Monster Energy Supersport Races

The supersport 600’s have provided over the years many of the most enthralling, thrilling and close fought races, at the Isle of Man TT.

Expect no different at TT 2016 as in my opinion at least eleven riders could be victorious in both of the Monster Energy supersport races.

No.1 John McGuinness – Jackson Racing

23 times TT winner John McGuinness, leads away the supersport field, at TT 2016. Having shown top class form on the Jackson Racing CBR 600 Honda at the Vauxhall International North West 200, John is confident of challenging for podium finishes.

In my opinion the TT lap record holder, might just fall short of finishing on the podium, but he cannot be discounted from recording his first supersport TT podium placing since 2013.

No.2 Bruce Anstey – Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles

Bruce Anstey is without a doubt amongst the all time supersport greats between the hedges.

His supersport TT record in the 2010’s includes two victories, six second place finishes and lapping close to the 128 mph mark. He starts amongst the firm pre race favourites on the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles CBR 600 Honda.

No.3 James Hillier – Quattro Plant Muc Off Kawasaki

Tipped by many to lead the Kawasaki is third fastest rider in TT history, James Hillier.

More known for his superbike, superstock and super twin prowess, James in recent years has developed into a top three threat in the supersport 600 field, don’t discount him from sealing a maiden supersport TT podium.

No.4 Ian Hutchinson – Came BPT Yamaha

Ian Hutchinson goes into TT 2016, with the title of the most successful supersport TT rider in history, following to date series of six wins in the hugely competitive class.

Supersport action during the North West 200, provided it’s up and downs with a second place finish but also a few reliability issues.


Photo by Rod Neill

This could be the only point that could hold Hutchy and the Came BPT YZF R6 Yamaha, from making it eight supersport 600 victories around the Mountain Course.

No.5 Peter Hickman – Trooper Kawasaki

When Peter Hickman finished third in the second supersport race recently at the North West 200, it surprised many people, including himself.


Photo by Jim Gibson

Amongst the pre race superbike/senior favourites, Hicky is a dark horse for podium finishes on his own teams Trooper backed ZX6R Kawasaki.

No.6 Michael Dunlop – MD Racing

No matter what race it is or what class it is, Michael Dunlop will always start one of the riders to beat.

Perhaps though in the Monster Energy supersport races, not as much is expected of him as in the RST Superbike/Pokerstars senior races, everyone in the paddock knows though, that he could dominate on his own teams YZF R6 Yamaha.

No.7 Gary Johnson – Team T3 Racing

Without a doubt one of the most striking colour schemes at TT 2016, comes in the form of the Team T3 Racing, 675 Daytona Triumph which features a striking red, black and white livery.

The machine set to be piloted by Gary Johnson who has fond memories of his last Triumph TT experience, could well prove the package to beat.

No.8 William Dunlop – Ivan Curran/CD Racing

Regarded by many as the leading supersport rider on the roads, William Dunlop is many peoples favourite to secure series of Monster Energy supersport TT victories.


Photo by Rod Neill

Having split from CD Racing, he runs his own team at TT 2016, with backing from Ivan Curran. His teams YZF R6 Yamaha amongst the quickest 600’s on the grid, may provide the talented rider, with a long awaited first TT win.

No.9 Michael Rutter – Bathams SMT Racing

Four times TT winner Michael Rutter, back in 1998 clinched his first TT victory, on 600 machinery, in the junior race, when piloting City Motorcycles backed Honda.

Now competing on the Bathams SMT Racing ZX6R Kawasaki, he’s set to once again be a prominent figure, on the leader board.

No.10 Conor Cummins – Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles

Following a dramatic recent move from Jackson Racing to Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles, it’s fair to say Conor Cummins supersport TT preparation, has’nt been ideal.

More known for his superbike exploits, Conor whilst not regarded by many a podium threat, could well cause a surprise or two.

No.11 Cameron Donald
– Wilson Craig Racing

Two time TT winner Cameron Donald, has the credentials to propel Wilson Craig Racing, to their first international road race podium finishes since 2013.

Amongst Australia’s most successful pure road racers, Cameron will be aiming to regain his TT form of 2011, 2012 and 2013, when he previously competed for Wilson Craig Racing.

No.12 Dean Harrison – Silicone Engineering Racing

When Dean Harrison joined Silicone Engineering Racing, in November of 2015, many people where surprised at the 2014 lightweight TT winner’s decision to join an independent outfit, from Yamaha UK’s official roads team, Mar Train Racing.

Dean’s a shrewd operator though and he showed at the North West 200, in particular in the supersport class, that he’s more than capable of adding to his current tally of three TT podium finishes, on the Silicone Engineering Racing ZX6R Kawasaki.

No.13 Lee Johnston – East Coast Racing

Lee Johnston’s 2016 roads campaign, did not get off to the greatest start at the Spring Cup National Road Races, at Oliver’s Mount, where he endured a high speed incident in the feature spring cup race.


Now pretty much back to full fitness, general Lee has the international road race winning craft, to be a race winning contender on East Coast Racing’s immaculately turned out 675 Daytona Triumph.

No.14 Dan Kneen – Mar Train Racing

On the cusp of the North West 200, Dan Kneen sustained an arm injury following a mountain bike accident, this incident not only curtailed his North West 200 action, it could also make him a non starter for TT 2016.

If he is fit enough, Dan has the determination, desire and talent, to despite the obvious pain barrier he will have to go through, to fight for at least top five finishes.

No.15 David Johnson – Tsingtao Racing MV Agusta

Fastest Australian around the Mountain Course, David Johnson is set to be one of only two MV Agusta riders on the start line.

Davo lines up for Tsingtao Racing, who he previously competed for 2013, when he lead the WK Bikes/CF Moto challenge.

No.16 Dan Cooper – Dan Cooper Racing

Reigning TT privateers champion Dan Cooper, has the talent to chalk up series of stand out results.

Anticipated to be one of the leading Triumph runners, the two time Welsh open champion at Aberdare Park is more than capable of finishing in front of many a leading light.

No.17 Dan Stewart – Wilcock Consulting

The ever reliable Dan Stewart, has been without a doubt one of the most consistent performers, in the last years on the Mountain Course.

Backed by long term sponsors Wilcock Consulting, the 2012 privateers champion, is CBR 600 Honda mounted for the Monster Energy supersport encounters.

No.18 Martin Jessopp – Riders Motorcycles

Martin Jessopp, Riders Motorcycles 675 Daytona Triumph, could well prove to be one of the surprise packages.

But would he be a surprise package? given how impressive he was in the supersport races at the North West 200, one to watch for definite.

No.19 James Cowton – Cowton Racing by Radcliffe’s

2014 Duke Road Race Rankings champion James Cowton, is seeded for the first time, as he carries the number 19 plate.

Piloting an ex Gino Rea world supersport Honda for Cowton Racing by Radcliffe’s, James has the machinery, drive and determination to push for top six finishes.

No.20 Ivan Lintin – Devitt RC Express Racing

Super twins giant Ivan Lintin, leads the Devitt RC Express Racing challenge.

Set to pilot the same ZX6R Kawasaki that he competed on during TT 2015, albeit with significant improvements, Ivan’s another potential top six finisher.

The quality of the entry is endless, outside of the top twenty starters include the likes of Derek McGee, Jamie Coward, Steve Mercer, Davy Morgan, Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils, Robert Wilson, Mark Miller, Brian McCormack, Rob Barber, Wayne Kirwan and Ben Wylie.

Rising stars entered include Ryan Kneen, Sam West, Dan Hegarty, Chris Dixon, Joe Newbould, Colin Stephenson, Matthew Rees, Mark Goodings, Dominic Herbertson, Daley Mathison, Ben Rea and super twins Manx Grand Prix winner Rob Hodson.

An international element to the field is added by Horst Saiger, Kamil Holan, Timothee Monot, Julien Toniutti, Morgan Govignon, Tuukka Korhonen, Hudson Kennaugh and AJ Venter.

Plus Alex Pickett, Xavier Denis, Stefano Bonetti, Bjorn Gunnarsson and the returning Antonio Maeso.

Seasoned competitors in the entry list to watch out for include Ian Pattinson, Paul Shoesmith, John Ingram, Jim Hodson, James Ford, Anthony Redmond and George Spence.

Manx Grand Prix stars Craig Neve, Karl Foster, Dave Sellars, Barry Furber and Paul Smyth, all have the potential to enjoy many a world class result as does Adrian Harrison, Michael Sweeney, Kiaran Hankin and Callum Laidlaw.

Round Up:

Supersport races always provide close competition, in particular in pure road racing.


For many including me in my opinion Ian Hutchinson, starts favourite in both Monster Energy supersport races, but the competition is strong, multiple riders are confident of been victorious.

Could we see one if not two first time TT winners, or will the established guard continue their dominance of the supersport class, they are just two of multiple questions set to be answered soon.

Words by Stevie Rial

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