The top twenty seeded riders for the opening race of the Classic TT presented by Bennetts, the Bennetts Senior Classic TT, have been confirmed.
Kicking off proceedings at 11:30 on Saturday, 24th August, the 4-lap race contains a stellar line-up with a combination of regular TT front runners and Classic Racing specialists on a variety of single cylinder machines such as Norton and Matchless, twin cylinder bikes including Honda and Paton, plus hi-revving triples and four-cylinder bikes from MV Agusta and Honda.
First away will be the familiar name of John McGuinness, who lines up on the Team Winfield Paton once again. With the exception of 2017 when he was forced out by injury, the 23-time TT winner has campaigned Roger Winfield’s machine every year since the inaugural Classic TT in 2013, winning the race in 2016 and 2018.
Dean Harrison, the reigning Dunlop Senior TT champion, returns to the 500cc class following his absence in 2018 and will start at number 2 on board the LSS Waste Management Norton for the first time, having previously won the 2015 encounter on-board an MV Agusta.
He’ll be followed down the Glencrutchery Road by the highly experienced pairing of 2015 race winner Ian Lougher (John Chapman Racing/MV Agusta) and Michael Rutter (Ripley Land Racing/Matchless) at number 3 and number 4 respectively.
James Hillier starts from number 5 with the CSC Racing team’s Honda 500-4 and he’ll be followed by Michael Dunlop at his customary number 6, but the four-time Classic TT race winner has yet to announce what machine he will ride.
Number 7 is Maria Costello on the Beugger Racing Paton. Costello finished third in the 2017 edition of the race and was battling for a podium position in 2018, before a misfire dropped he out of the running. Thankfully, it wasn’t the shoddy pit-boarding Team BikeSocial were responsible for at Creg-ny-Baa!
Jamie Coward follows Costello at 8, riding the Ted Woof/Craven Manx Norton on which he has taken three of his five previous Classic TT podiums. Coward has enjoyed a rich run of form so far in 2019; breaking the 130mph barrier for the first time at the Isle of Man TT, taking his first TT podium in the Bennetts Lightweight Race, and winning the 2019 TT Privateer’s Championship following a string of top ten results.
One of the paddocks most interesting characters, Dominic Herbertson, winner of the 2018 Locate.im Junior Classic TT, starts at number 9 for Davies Motorsport on-board the only Yamaha TX500 in the field. His team mate, Lee Johnston, is riding a Honda 500-4 and is back to his usual start number of 13.
The top ten is completed by Chris Swallow on the Flitwick Motorcycles Royal Enfield, who finished less than four seconds off the podium last year.
Numbers 11 to 20 feature further classic racing talent in Alan Oversby (Ireland Honda/Honda) at 11, the vastly experienced Bill Swallow on-board the only 500 Ducati for Gleve Racing/John Poyner at 14, and Michael Russell (Izzard Racing/Norton) starting from number 15.
Danny Webb (Dunnell Racing) makes a return to TT Mountain Course action having missed the TT Races earlier this year and starts from number 12. Honda Racing’s David Johnson is at number 14 but has yet to confirm what machine he will take to the start line on. Horst Saiger (Egli Motorradtechnik) and Derek Sheils (Greenhall Racing) start at 17 and 18, with Rob Hodson (Geoff Bates Racing) completing the top 20.
Joey Thompson makes a return to Road Racing on-board the second John Chapman Racing MV Agusta, and slots in at 19.
The complete top twenty line-up like this:
Tickets for the 2019 Classic TT are now on sale via the Official iomttraces.com website including Official Grandstand Tickets, VIP Hospitality Experiences, and Official Entertainment Events including the Counterfeit Stones Classic TT Party Performance. You can stay up to date with all the latest Classic TT news by subscribing to the Official Isle of Man TT Races Newsletter.
Don't forget if you're travelling over to the Classic TT this year, that the Isle of Man isn't part of the UK or the EU – it's a self-governing British Crown Dependency with its own parliament, government and laws. This means that you don't get automatic access to free healthcare through your EHIC card, but UK residents can take advantage of a reciprocal emergency healthcare agreement. However, repatriation is not included as part of this agreement, so the Isle of Man government still strongly recommends adequate insurance is in place.
So if you’re travelling to the IoM from the UK or beyond, you still need travel insurance to cover medical emergencies. Your bike insurance will (or should…check your policy) cover damage to your bike or a third party, but your medical needs are not fully covered. Find out more here.