The machines to be used by Ryan Farquhar for his debut in the Classic events have now been detailed. The 30-year-old double TT winner will ride a 350cc Aermacchi in the Junior and a 500cc Petty Manx Norton in the Senior.
With a fastest TT lap of 125.7mph to rely on, the Ulsterman obviously has the pace, but how he will take to the single-cylinder Classic machines is yet to be discovered. However, other TT stars such as Ian Lougher, Chris Palmer and Martin Finnegan are also entered, so Ryan will not feel out-of-place when he lines up on Glencrutchery Road. He aims to lap at 110mph.
Last year's 250cc Newcomers' winner Nigel John will ride 250cc v-twin Hondas for the Martin Bullock team. In the Lightweight Race he should be well to the fore, while his aim in the Junior will be to be the best rider on a 250cc machine against the 600cc models which make up the majority of the field.
The extension of time allowed for entries has boosted the ranks, and an exciting line-up is now in place for nearly all of the ten classes.
Former British moto-cross champion Arthur Browning intends maintaining his 100 per cent finishing record. Again riding a Czechoslovakian Jawa engine housed in a Metisse frame, he is going for his fourth consecutive finish in the Senior Classic.
Former TT and Manx Grand Prix Travelling Marshal Jimmy Creer, of Douglas, is making a comeback to racing. He will campaign a 250cc RS Honda in the Lightweight.
Maria Costello returns to the Manx, having finished third in last year’s Ultra-Lightweight race, the first female solo machine rider to finish on the rostrum of a TT or MGP. Again riding for RLR Motorsports, she has the same 400cc Honda, along with a 600cc CBR Bering Honda for the Junior race.
'I'd give up all my finishers’ medals for one replica', is the claim by Stephen 'Cargo' Carr from Greenisland, demonstrating the esteem in which winning the coveted replicas is held. He has a 400cc Kawasaki for the Ultra-Lightweight and a 600cc Suzuki for the Junior. He was out of luck in 2005 when the engine of his only bike blew up and sidelined him.
After last year's win by Sam Dunlop, another Newcomers’ victory for the great Dunlop family may be on the cards. Son of five-times TT winner Robert Dunlop, Michael Dunlop from Ballymoney has already ridden on the Isle of man when he took part in the Steam Packet national races at Billown in June. He has three rides in his MGP debut – a 125cc Honda for the Newcomers and Ultra Lightweight and a 250cc Honda for the Junior, where he will come up against Nigel John in a bid to be first 250 rider home.
Kiwi Paul Dobbs is always keen to ride any variety of racing bike and has obtained a Manx Norton for the Junior Classic. He also hopes to have either a BSA or Drixton Honda for the Senior Classic. He has raced in the TT since 1999 with fair success, including a lap at 118mph.