Leading the way is last year’s record-breaking triple winner Dan Kneen, the Manx youngster having swept all before him in the Newcomers, Junior and Lightweight 400cc race, Dan has entered all four solo classes in the 2009 TT. The 21-year old showed great potential at the August event and a number of leading teams are expected to follow the Braddan rider’s progress.
Joining him is another winner from the 2008 event, Tenby’s Adam Barclay who won the delayed and shortened 2-lap Senior Race. Barclay came as close to the magical 120mph lap as you possibly could (119.996mph) on his 750 Suzuki and, armed with a 1000cc Suzuki this time around, he’ll be looking to achieve that particular milestone and make an impression on the results. The experienced Barclay will line up in the Superbike, Royal London 360 Superstock and Senior events.
Runner up that day to Adam Barclay was Irishman James McCullagh and the 28-year old has joined forces with former World Sidecar Champion Klaus Klaffenböck for his TT debut. McCullagh, a regular on the roads in his homeland, has rides in all 5 solo Races.
2006 Junior Manx GP winner Derek Brien makes a welcome return to racing and will finally take his place in a TT race for the first time having defeated Craig Atkinson in a photo finish back in ’06. Like McCullagh, he goes in all five races whilst another Irishman, Andrew Neill, is also on the TT entry list for the first time having previously impressed at the Manx. Still only 26 years of age, Neill was one of the favourites for the 2008 event only for a practice spill to remove him from proceedings.
Mickey Fitzpatrick is yet another Irishman who has shone at the Manx and, after impressing greatly with 3rd and 4th place results in the 2008 Senior and Junior Races, he steps up to the TT, again having entries for all five of the solo races.
Wigan’s Russ Mountford, 3rd in the 2007 Newcomers race, has already lapped in excess of 115mph and is one of the latest breed of youngsters switching his attention to the roads so is sure to make an impression whilst Jules Croft brings considerable racing experience to the TT. The 2003 ACU Star Champion placed 9th and 11th respectively in the Senior and Junior Manx GP races of 2008.
Other riders to make the move up from the Manx are Steve McDonald, Rodger Wibberley and Rod Lynn. McDonald has improved both his results and lap speeds in recent years as part of the impressive PRF Racing set up whilst Manx-based Yorkshireman Wibberley has done the same, also chalking up many laps around Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough. Lynn, meanwhile, made his debut at the 2008 Manx GP, having recorded up a number of points scoring finishes in last years Henderson Yamaha R1 Cup Championship.
Hon Martyn Quayle MHK, Minister for Tourism and Leisure, Isle of Man Government commented:
“It’s great to see so many talented riders coming through the Manx Grand Prix and shows the strength and success of the event and the work that the Manx Motorcycle Club is doing to promote road racing on the Isle of Man.”