IOM Classic TT Ramping Up

IOM Classic TT Ramping Up

As August approaches, news from racers and teams heading to the Isle of Man Classic TT is coming in fast. Some very big names have already confirmed their participation at the illustrious event, with the competition for the mountain course guaranteed to be the best yet!

IOMTT 2019 Senior TT race winner Dean Harrison will be riding a Kawasaki ZXR750 in the four-lap RST Superbike Race for the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki team, aiming for a third successive victory in the class. Having joined forces for the first time in 2016, the combination of Harrison and the Silicone Engineering team has enjoyed major success at the International Road Racing events and the Classic TT has been no exception, with their first victory coming in record-breaking style in 2017.

Team Winfield, one of the most successful Classic teams of recent years, will return to the TT Mountain Course in 2019 – continuing with the experienced John McGuinness and Michael Rutter in a highly experienced line up for the Classic TT presented by Bennetts. The team will split their efforts between the Bennetts Senior Classic TT, where reigning champion McGuinness will again ride the rapid 500cc Paton, and the RST Superbike Classic TT Race, which will see this year’s SES TT Zero Race winner Rutter on board one of Roger Winfield’s FJ1200 Harris Yamaha’s.

Dunnell Racing will make their return to this year’s Classic TT, with former 125cc and Moto3 World Championship rider Danny Webb once again riding 350cc and 500cc Manx Nortons. Maintaining his association with the team which began in 2016, the 28-year old will ride Tony Dunnell’s immaculately prepared machinery in both the four-lap Locate.im Junior Classic TT and Bennetts Senior Classic TT races. The Tunbridge Wells rider has achieved excellent results to date at the Classic TT finishing all four of the races he has started on the distinctive green machines – three of which have been inside the top ten.

Five-time podium finisher Jamie Coward is set for an extremely busy campaign at this year’s Classic TT Races, with the Hebden Bridge rider set to contest all four solo races. Having already announced his ride with Binch Racing in the Lightweight Classic TT, the 28-year old will also ride a 350cc Craven Honda and 500cc Craven Manx Norton for Ted Woof Racing in the Locate.im Junior Classic TT and Bennetts Senior Classic TT races which take place on the UK Bank Holiday weekend. In addition, he’ll be on board a 750cc ZXR Kawasaki for Kraus/PreZ Racing in the four-lap RST Superbike race and is sure to be challenging for the race wins in all four of this year’s races.

This year’s Classic TT will also see the appearance of one of the most iconic racing machines in motorcycling history as Honda celebrate their 60th year both on the Mountain Course and in racing. It was in 1959 when the Japanese giant appeared at the Isle of Man TT Races for the very first time with their 125cc Honda RC142 and one of those rare and unique machines will return to the Island in the hands of renowned Classic racing expert Ferry Brouwer to be displayed at the August event later this year. Having carried out a reconnaissance trip to the Isle of Man TT in 1958 and, having closely studied the single-cylinder 125cc FB Mondial, Honda returned to the island in 1959 with their own twin-cylinder, four-valve design, the RC142.

Ten-time TT Race winner Giacomo Agostini is also confirmed to appear at the 2019 Classic TT. The legendary Italian, who has 15 world championship titles to his name, will ride the iconic Robert Iannucci owned 350cc MV Agusta ‘Quattro Cilindri’ that was first introduced in the 1972 World Championship season – the bike that replaced the hugely successful MV Agusta triples that won the 350cc World Championship every year from 1968 to 1973. Giacomo Agostini’s name is synonymous with the iconic Italian MV Augusta marque that he represented from the 1965 season. He won the 500cc World Championship seven times in a row for the Italian manufacturer – also winning six successive 350cc titles on MV’s and no less than ten TT Races. His career record included 62 500cc and 48 350cc Grand Prix race wins on MV Agustas. The bike that he will ride in a parade lap at the Classic TT epitomises archetypal mid 70’s cutting edge Grand Prix racing technology. It is the one that was raced in the 1976 season, where Agostini formed his own team with backing from tobacco company Marlboro. 

Photos: Dave Kneen / IOMTT Races