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

TT News

Top Riders for TT 23 April 2004

Stefano Bonetti certainly comes to the TT with a good pedigree. The 27-year-old mechanic from Castro was Italian 125cc champion in 2001, Italian 250cc champion in 2002 and runner-up in the Italian 600cc championship last year. He has entered 600cc GSXR Suzukis in the Junior and 600cc Production events.

"More and more fun" is how 2002 World Endurance Champion Bruno Bonhuil views his return to the Isle of Man. The 44-year-old professional rider from Reims has a 600cc Honda for the Junior TT, and probably will easily qualify for the Senior, having previously lapped in 19 minutes 47 seconds.

Preserving her chance of again riding in the Manx Grand Prix, Northamptonshire Golden Girl Maria Costello has entered the TT Production races on 600cc GSXR Suzukis. Before the season started, she was on the Island recording an interview for Men and Motors TV with 2003 World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson, who is now riding in Moto GP. Neil is a resident on the Island, living in a palatial residence near the former Majestic Hotel, once the base for the factory MV Agusta and Ducati teams. Maria's best lap is 113.52mph during last year's MGP aboard a 600cc Honda. The 26-year-old is doing the TT and the Manx alongside a full British short circuit campaign.

Adrian Archibald is the man they will all be chasing this year. The 26-year-old Ballymoney joiner was freely acknowledged to have been the very soul of composure by keeping focussed on the task of winning after team-mate David Jefferies lost his life two days before the Formula One event. He went on to win the race and doubled it up with victory in the Senior, along with fourth place in the 600 Production.

Quickly up from the Manx Grand Prix ranks comes Alex Donaldson from Limavady, Northern Ireland. The 34-year-old mechanic was third in last year's 750 Newcomers MGP behind Ian Hutchinson and Jonathon Ralph, then finished sixth and best newcomer in the main 750 Senior event headed only by Paul Duckett, Ian Pattinson, Liam Quinn, Dean Silvester and Craig Atkinson. Alex's best lap is 115.81mph and he has entered 400 and 1000 Kawasakis and a 1000 GSXR Suzuki. Jonathon Ralph will ride a 750 Suzuki for the Chris Dowd Team as well as the rebuilt Crescent Suzuki crashed last year by Milky Quayle.

Slovenia's Mirko Kalsek makes a welcome return and has entered Suzukis and may come with a Kawasaki too. The 47-year-old mechanic impressed many fans with his stylish riding and has lapped at over 117mph.

Evergreen Steve Linsdell says he would love to win the 400cc Lightweight class before he retires. The 48-year-old motorcycle shop owner has campaigned long and hard with a variety of bikes over the years, including the Flitwick Yamaha with centre-hub steering. He has a second and five third places in the TT to endorse his claim for a further tilt at the 400.

Alan Langton from Willaston in the Isle of Man knows what TT sidecar racing is like from drivers' and passengers' perspective. He passengered Irishman Lowry Burton to second place in 1985 and was sixth with lap record holder Dave Molyneux in 1988. Switching to the driver's controls has not yet yielded quite as much success, but Ray Sansbury's DSC Honda will be pressed to greater glory this year, the object being a top 25 finish.

A new flag signal will be used this year. To distinguish types of lack of road adhesion, a white flag with diagonal red cross will signify wet roads. Other lack of adhesion factors, such as oil, will be notified by the usual red-and-yellow vertical striped flag.

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