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Practice Week: May 26th - June 1st 2012
Race Week: June 2nd - June 8th 2012

TT News

Expected Flurry of Late Entries 2 April 2004

The expected flurry of late entries produced the welcome addition of a number of star riders, including Ian Lougher, Bruce Anstey, Jason Griffiths, John McGuinness, Richard Britton, Mark Parrett, Greg Lambert, Ian Bell and Roy Richardson.

But the very last-minute sensation was the entry of former Sidecar World Champions Klaus Klaffenblock and Christian Parzer from Austria. They are hoping to acquire use of a Molyneux-built outfit. The pairing took the championship in 2001 and finished second last year.

Provisionally, there are 10 former winners in a top class field, which sees increased numbers in all classes bar the Ultra Lightweight 125. Dave Molyneux leads the way with eight past victories, followed by Ian Lougher (6), Robert Dunlop (5), John McGuinness (3), Shaun Harris (2), Bruce Anstey (2), Adrian Archibald (2), Ian Bell (1), Chris Palmer (1) and Roy Hanks (1). Other top competitors yet to win a TT include Jason Griffiths, Ryan Farquhar, Richard Britton, Mark Parrett, Gordon Blackley, Roy Richardson, Nigel Davies, Ben Dixon, Tony Baker, Johnny Barton, John Holden. Steve Linsdell, Paul Owen, Thomas Montano and Jun Maeda.

There are at least 14 female entries, 37 foreign participants and nearly 50 riders from the Isle of Man. A total of 12 nations are represented Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, United States, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.

Former TT winner Michael Rutter is the only top name missing from the ranks. He pulled out at the last minutes last year, but this time made it plain that he would be concentrating on the British Superbike Championship, where he got off to a winning start at Silverstone on the Honda Fireblade last weekend. He won the first race and finished third in the second.

Gordon Blackley is to enjoy first class treatment for his TT rides. He will practice in the early part of the week before heading to Thruxton to take part in the British Superbike Championship the weekend of the Formula One TT. He'll then immediately return to the Isle of Man courtesy of his employers the Royal Air Force, who plan to fly him in on one of their Hercules transport planes. Sky News are to send a camera crew to record the exploits.

Two 1000cc F4 AGO MV Agusta machine are presently being tested on Spanish tracks in readiness for Belgian champion Geert Lambrecht's TT debut. Giacomo Agostini, whose name the new bikes carry, along with one of the Castiglioni brothers who are the force behind the models, will deliver the bikes to Geert on April 8th. American Dwight Mitchell rode a couple of MVs in the TT two years ago and attracted much attention.

John McGuinness, who has three wins to his credit already, has entries for six races, but is a long way from clear as to whose bikes he will be riding. Last year he won the Lightweight TT on a bike he acquired by the simple process of asking its owner could he borrow it! His 600cc bikes are the only ones nominated so far - Hondas in the Junior and Production. He has lapped at 125.98mph and was third in the Formula One and second in the Senior last year.

Ian Lougher will be hoping for better things than last year in the Ultra Lightweight 125. His Lloyds TSB Offshore two-stroke single was down on power and he had to give way to Chris Palmer and Michael Wilcox. The 600cc Production lap record holder won in 1997, 1999 and 2002 and is second fastest to Palmer at 110.21mph. The Dromara-based Welshman has sponsorship from Mark Johns Motors for his Formula One and Senior CBR998R Hondas, Black Horse Motorcycle Finance for his similar machine in the 1000cc Production, and the Manton Group for his 600cc Hondas for the Production 600 and Junior races.

Practising for the TT starts eight weeks tomorrow -- Saturday evening May 29th.

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