Road racing – fastest ever line up for TT Superbike races

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PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 7/6/2015: John McGuinness leads the Superbike race off the line on the Glencrutchery Road today on his Honda Racing Fireblade. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

This year’s TT races promises to see some of the fastest racing in the competition’s history, with the top 20 seeded riders all having lapped comfortably over 127mph.

Honda Racing’s John McGuinness is again the man leading the field away with the number one plate. The 23-time TT race winner has re-established himself as the ‘King of the Mountain’ with last year’s stunning Senior TT victory and new outright lap record of 132.701mph (17:03.567).

He will be followed by the flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey, the rider who with the exception of 2010, when he started at number one, has had the number five plate every year since 2004.

James Hillier, one of last year’s stars, moves back a place to number three on the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki, while there’s also change at four with last year’s triple race winner Ian Hutchinson moving up the order from his 2015 starting position. The Bingley Bullet has switched to the Tyco BMW for 2016 and takes over the number that he had in 2010 when he won five races from five starts.

Ten seconds behind him is another of last year’s revelations and another potential race winner in the shape of Peter Hickman. The eighth fastest rider of all time will line up on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki and has the ideal target in front of him in Hutchinson, although he could well be occupied with the rider starting behind him – Michael Dunlop.

After a problematical 2015 TT campaign, Dunlop is back at the start number that saw him claim a hat-trick of 1000cc wins in both 2013 and 2014 and he will be hoping that it proves to be a lucky six.

Previous two time Supersport TT Race winner Gary Johnson will again have the number seven plate, this time on the Penz13.com BMW, and will be followed down Glencrutchery Road by William Dunlop (CD Racing Yamaha) and the evergreen Michael Rutter (Bathams/SMT Racing BMW). As in previous years, Manxman Conor Cummins completes the top ten on the second Honda Racing machine.

Just behind the popular Manxman will be Cameron Donald, who will be number 11 on the road. The Australian took second in the Superbike race for three successive years between 2011-2013 and the Adelaide based rider will again look to be back up at the front of the field on his return to Wilson Craig Racing.

Silicone Engineering is a new team among the seeded outfits in the number 12 spot but it’s familiar territory for rider Dean Harrison who starts one position ahead of Lee Johnston on board the East Coast Construction BMW. Dan Kneen on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha starts ten seconds later with Australian ace David Johnson completing the top 15 on the factory Norton.

Going off at 16 will be Ryan Farquhar, who rides the second Tyco BMW. Dan Stewart (Wilcock Consulting Honda), Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles BMW), Steve Mercer (Jackson Racing Honda) and last year’s Bennetts Lightweight TT winner Ivan Lintin who’s amongst the Superbike seeds for the first time on the Devitt RC Express Racing Kawasaki, complete the top twenty.

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