Road Racing News

TT 2019: Preview – Part 5 – Royal London 360 Superstock Race

Often regarded as the most important race for the manufacturers, your always guaranteed racing of the highest order when it comes to Superstock Mountain Course competition.

It’s looking like the battle for class honours will be between again BMW and Kawasaki with possibly a few Honda’s, Suzuki’s and Yamaha’s in the mix for standout results as the five manufacturing giants, go head to head around the Mountain Course.

One of the firm pre race favourites has to be a rider who’s progress at the TT Races, since his event debut in 2014, has been nothing short of seismic, lap record holder, reigning Superstock TT champion Peter Hickman.

Dominant in the opening Superstock encounter at the North West 200, the Smiths Racing rider tipped by many to bank this June, at minimum two victories or better, looks in quite formidable form going into TT 2019.

Only beaten once within the last three Superstock races at international roads events, he has no weaknesses, collectively having an ice cool temperament, strong race fitness, talent, pace, determination and perhaps most of all the ability to get quicker as a race goes on.

Fellow anticipated class leading force Dean Harrison, unquestionably has the ability, the team in the form of Silicone Engineering Racing and a proven stock steed in the form of Kawasaki’s ever improving ZX-10RR, to produce the race winning goods.

Photo by Tommy Vennard

Others capable of dominating this years Royal London 360 Superstock race include 18 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.

Again competing under his own teams MD Racing banner with strong backing from Carl Cox Motorsport, the Ballymoney racer has an excellent Superstock TT record which includes three wins from 2011, 2013 and 2014.

For once perhaps a touch under the radar, it would be just like the fiercely determined, ultra competitive racer to surprise various roads aficionados, and scoop next month class honours in record breaking fashion.

Photo by Tommy Vennard

Others capable of providing front running challenges include North West 200 ‘Man of The Meeting’ James Hillier, Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing), Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing) and Gary Johnson (RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki).

Additional notable riders piloting BMW and Kawasaki machinery include IRRC Superbike series leader Davey Todd, Penz 13 BMW team mate Daley Mathison, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Paul Jordan, Phil Crowe, PRL Racing’s Sam West and Impcross Engineering backed Dan Cooper.

Plus 2018 Duke Road Race Rankings champion Derek McGee, Dominic Herbertson (Davies Motorsport), David ‘Action’ Jackson, Shaun Anderson (Noel Williamson Racing), Frank Gallagher (Performance Racing Achterhoek), Brian McCormack and Michael Sweeney (Martin Jones Racing).

Photo by Allister Dickson

Yamaha’s modest presence is lead by PreZ Racing’s in form Jamie Coward, 2017 Privateers champion Horst Saiger, whilst Honda’s improving SP2 Fireblade enjoys representation from Milenco by Padgetts Conor Cummins, and the factory duo of Ian Hutchinson/David Johnson.

Talented racers GSX-R 1000 Suzuki mounted include PRF Racing’s Barry Evans, plus BE Racing In Conjunction With Richardson Kelly Racing’s Derek Sheils and Tom Weeden.

Ambitious Manx GP graduates entered include Matt Stevenson (Peoples Bike Team), James Chawke (Chawkie Racing) and rising local star Dean Osborne.

Overseas racers adding further quality to the 65 plus strong entry include Italy’s Stefano Bonetti, Optimark Road Racing’s Xavier Denis, Raul Torras Martinez and new Buildbase Suzuki signing Jay Lawrence.

We must not forget as well the sole Mountain Course debutant, set to sample the four lap Superstock encounter, Switzerland’s Lukas Maurer who impressed on his North West 200 debut, clinching an excellent fifth place finish in the Anchor Bar Superbike race, finishing in front of the likes of Glenn Irwin and John McGuinness.

With the Superstock TT lap record, presently standing at in excess of 134 mph, providing the weather is correct and everything falls into place, could 135 mph laps by stock steeds be on the horizon this June?

A whole host of determined, hungry International road racing giants, are capable of this unique feat in what is set to be a gripping four lap Royal London 360 Superstock TT.

Words by Stevie Rial