Perennially regarded as the most important race for manufacturers, your always guaranteed racing of the highest echelon when it comes to Superstock themed, Mountain Course competition. The battle for class spoils in next month’s three-lap races, looks like being between BMW and Honda with the odd Kawasaki, Yamaha also in the mix for forthright finishes. Without question, a firm pre-race favourite has to be lap record holder, nine times winner, reigning Superstock class Champion Peter Hickman. Widely tipped to add to an already golden TT CV, there’s not much if anything missing from his racing acumen. Possessing 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, the opposition knows they will have to be at their best to dethrone the FHO Racing BMW rider. Others extremely capable of dominating this year’s Royal London 360 Superstock encounters, include 21 times TT victor Michael Dunlop. Competing again under his own outfit’s MD Racing banner, the Ballymoney ace has a fantastic stock 1000 TT record, featuring triple successes in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Astride Honda’s latest generation Fireblade, he showed at the North West 200, capturing third, second place finishes that the hunger, strive for creating moments of pure road racing brilliance, remains in bucket loads. Honda’s CBR 1000RR-R Fireblade SP model will also be raced by last year’s National Superstock 1000 Champion, Davey Todd. Established now as a roads ‘Alien’, Todd’s stock continues to rise and rise, as illustrated across last month via another superb North West 200 campaign. Milenco by Padgetts team-mate Conor Cummins, like Todd has strong designs on race wins. Can you imagine the reaction on Manx shores, if he achieves a long-awaited ambition. Names not showcased yet who will also have an eye on podium finishes include DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison, Australia’s fastest TT exponent Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW). LAMI OMG Racing’s James Hillier, KTS Racing Powered by Steadplan’s Jamie Coward and closing in on 110 TT starts, John McGuinness MBE (Honda Racing UK). Adding extra depth to the stock 1000 field include seven times TT winner Michael Rutter, Bathams Racing team-mate Craig Neve, Sam West, Dominic Herbertson, Michael Browne (BE/RK Racing). Fitness permitting Nathan Harrison (Honda Racing UK), Brian McCormack (Roadhouse Macau by FHO), Phil Crowe, Shaun Anderson (Team Classic Suzuki), Rob Hodson (SMT Racing), Michael Evans, Paul Jordan (PreZ Racing). Jim Hind (North Lincs Components), Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Stephen Smith (DP Coldplaning/TC Racing), Stephen ‘Trevor’ Parsons, Forest Dunn, Richard Wilson (Team Kibosh), James Chawke and solo rider, Sidecar driver Michael Russell. Overseas stars competing include David Datzer (MTP Racing), Julian Trummer (WH Racing), Stefano Bonetti, Raul Torras Martinez, Chris Sarbora, AJ Venter, Xavier Denis and newcomers Matthieu Lagrive, Finland’s top real road racer Erno Kostamo. 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, ambitious, driven international road racing giants, are capable of this unique feat in what are set to be high-quality RL360 Superstock races. Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler, Tommy Vennard Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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