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

TT News

TT Riders On Form 7 May 2004

Early indications of TT form are being obtained from the opening events of the Irish calendar, with TT competitors Richard Britton and Bruce Anstey demonstrating early prowess at the Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100.

In fine conditions, Enniskillen's Britton moved to second in the Duke Road Race Rankings with victory in the Tandaragee feature race, including establishing a new lap record of over 104mph. Last year's TT Formula One and Senior TT winner Adrian Archibald did not ride, but his team-mate for the TT Bruce Anstey was third on his production specification private Dawson Suzuki behind Duke series leader Darran Lindsay.

The main tryout for the TT will come at the North West 200 to be held on Saturday May 15, when it is expected that Hector and Philip Neill's top two, Archibald and Anstey, will turn out on the Temple Auto Salvage Suzukis they will campaign in the Isle of Man.

The crew which finished second overall to Nick Crowe and Darren Hope in last year's Sidecar TT are hopeful of at least similar things this year. Andy Laidlow from Appleby in Cumbria will again be passengered by Patrick Farrance of Ossett, West Yorkshire, with a lap at over 108mph already to their credit. After last year's TT aboard the ex-Colin Edwards World Superbike-winning Honda, six-times TT winner Ian Lougher reverts to Mark Johns' machines for the two big races this year. He has a CBR998RR for the Formula One and Senior races, to go with the Manton Group's 600cc Honda for the Junior and 600 Production, Black Horse Motorcycle Finance Fireblade for the 1000 Production and the usual Lloyds TSB Offshore Finance 125 Mannin Collections Honda for the Ultra Lightweight. Besides his Island successes, Ian has 71 wins at Scarborough, 29 at the Southern 100, nine at the Ulster Grand Prix and five at the North West 200!

Making a welcome return to the TT this year is Carl Rennie. After an absence of two years the 33-year-old panel beater from Burscough in Lancashire has entered five races on PRF Racing Suzukis. In 2000 Carl was fifth in the Production, eighth in the F1 and 10th in the Senior.

The move to ensure a full grid for the Senior TT seems to have paid off. In recent years the 80 fastest qualifiers from practising were invited, but many of those were unable to compete as machine mortality from previous races took its toll. Now, riders have entered in advance the same as the other classes, and a field of 90 has been attracted. Those wishing to compete in the Manx Grand Prix will no longer be ruled out, providing they stick to Production bikes throughout the TT.

Almost without saying, Adrian Archibald will carry the prestigious No. 1 plate in all his five races, with Dave Molyneux and Daniel Sayle taking the honours in the Sidecars. In the Ultra Lightweight 125 first away will be last year's winner Chris Palmer, while the concurrent Lightweight 400 race will be headed by 2004 winner John McGuinness carrying No. 41.

Lightweight 250cc machines are naturally getting thinner on the ground now that the class has been discontinued in its own right. But the vee-twin two-strokes will still have a small but distinguished presence. Among those still galloping such mounts will be Chris Palmer, Paul Owen, Bud Jackson and Norman Kneen, with Owen optimistically even sticking to his for the Senior.

The Lightweight 400 looks like being quite a tear-up this year. Jason Griffiths, Richard Britton, Jim Hodson and John Barton all have a good chance of a first TT win if they can overcome John McGuinness on the RLR Motorsports Honda. Britton also goes for a Honda, while Griffiths and Barton opt for Yamahas.

New Zealander Shaun Harris and chief sponsor Des Collins have signed a TT "Treaty of Non-Aggression"! The pair have "shaken hands" by telephone guaranteeing that any differences which arise in the heat of battle will be set aside in the interests of getting results. Shaun has turned down the 750cc Kawasaki used by Mark Parrett to win last year's Senior Manx Grand Prix, opting instead for the newer 1000cc ZX10 from the same Wilson and Collins stable. Somewhat surprisingly, Shaun also has an entry in the 125 this year, where he will take on Ian Lougher, Chris Palmer, James Crumpton and Robert Dunlop. All 22 entries are on RS Hondas!

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