The biggest names in road racing are heading to the Isle of Man for the Official Launch of the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy at the Villa Marina in Douglas on the evening of Tuesday 19th March.
And don’t worry if you can’t get hold of one of the few remaining tickets for the event, as the whole show will be streamed live on the new official event web site, at iomttraces.com.
The debate has already started about who will be the favourite when the flag drops on Glencrutchery Road ahead of one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons, and riders will start to show their hands, and reveal their pre-season ambitions and targets, to ITV4’s presenters Matt Roberts and former double TT winner Steve Plater. Fans can also expect some discreet and not so discreet on and off track revelations.
Leading the field, as he did at TT 2018 with three wins, is Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop, who now sits on his own as the third most successful TT rider of all time with 18 wins. Hot on Dunlop’s heels – as they were last year – will be Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison. The pair took the TT to new heights with Harrison and then Hickman smashing the outright lap record in a sensational final Senior TT lap.
However, two riders who will need no introduction on the Villa Marina stage are multiple TT winners John McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson, who between them have accumulated no less than 39 TT Race wins. The illustrious pair sit second and fifth on the all-time list of winners. Both will be looking to put recent injuries behind them and they will be updating fans on their fitness as they look to return to the top step of the podium.
Race winners will be appearing thick and fast with Gary Johnson, Michael Rutter and James Hillier confirmed to attend the launch as well as three riders looking to break their race win ducks – Conor Cummins, David Johnson and Lee Johnston. Rising stars Derek McGee and 2018 RST Star of Tomorrow Davey Todd will also give insights into how they plan to move up the leaderboard.
The sidecar class has been dominated by one crew in recent years – Ben and Tom Birchall. The irrepressible Mansfield duo have ripped up the record books around the TT Mountain Course with multiple race wins and lap records – notably last year’s double win taking them to a total of 8, and a new lap record averaging 119.250mph, which was the first ever sub 19 minute lap of the TT Course by a sidecar. The question on everyone’s lips, including presenters Plater and Roberts no doubt, is will we see yet another sidecar lap record this year?
While the Birchall brothers have enjoyed recent success, the evergreen Dave Molyneux cannot be discounted. The Manx driver, who this year celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of his first TT win, has been meticulously preparing for this season and will be sharing how he and new passenger Harry Payne plan to end the Birchall Brothers recent dominance.
Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8.00pm start with tickets now available priced at £5 from the Villa Marina box office at villagaiety.com. The event will also be live streamed via iomttraces.com from 8.00pm.
Tickets for the 2019 events are now on sale via the Official iomttraces.com website including Official Grandstand Tickets, VIP Hospitality Experiences, and Official Entertainment Events.