Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 07 Jul 2015
In a change to the 2016 Isle of Man TT schedule, the Bennetts Lightweight TT will move to Wednesday 8th June and be run over a distance of four laps.
The Lightweight’s traditional Friday morning slot will be filled with the second Sure Sidecar race as organisers move to make both races more prominent features of the TT schedule.
The Lightweight class as it is known was introduced to the TT calendar in 2012, with riders taking to the 37.73 mile circuit on 650 twins such as Kawasaki’s ER-6.
The race has grown in credibility over the years with the lap record now sitting at an impressive 120.848mph.
In the past, the race has run over three laps with riders given the choice whether to pit for fuel on the first or second circulation. Under the new four-lap distance, riders will be forced to pit together at the end of the second lap.
It is hoped by moving the race forward to Wednesday more leading TT riders will participate. Previously, big named-riders including 11-times TT winner Michael Dunlop have signed up for the race only to withdraw at the last minute to save energy for the blue-riband Senior TT later that day.
The Lightweight TT will now share its race day with the second Supersport outing.
"Increasing the Lightweight Race from three laps to four is an obvious step and highlights the growing importance of this class in our race programme and will ensure the riders go head to head over the race distance with everyone having to stop for fuel on the same lap," said TT boss Paul Phillips. "This change will also help us attract more of the leading Superbike riders into the class by moving the race away from the Senior Race in the schedule."
Ivan Lintin took victory in this year’s race ahead of James Hillier and Michael Rutter.