This year’s Newcomers’ event will have just two classes rather than the usual three. Insufficient entries in the 250cc category have caused the Manx Motor Cycle Club to drop the class, but those who want to ride 250s can do so in with the 400s.
Forty-two-year-old plasterer Chris Douglass from Hyde rides in the 350 and 500cc Classic races and has experienced the TT Course on three wheels in the past. He was 41st in the 1994 Sidecar B event aboard a 600cc baker Honda.
2002 250cc Newcomers' winner Barry Davidson from Ballymena is back for another crack at the Manx. He was fourth in the 2003 Lightweight, 3rd in the same class in 2004 and seventh in last year’s Junior. He rides a Cleaver Browne Honda in this year’s Lightweight and has a 600cc Yamaha R6 sponsored by the Royal Hotel for the Junior. He aims to lap at 116mph.
Last year's Newcomers’ winner Sam Dunlop from Ballymoney beat all the 400s on his 125 and has a further ride in the main Ultra Lightweight this year. He also has entered a 600cc GSXR Suzuki in the Junior. He is looking to finish in the top three in either or both races.
It looks as if it may be the end of the racing road for Edinburgh taxi driver Adam Easton. He was down to make his usual appearances on his Classic Manx Nortons, but a spill on the 350 model at the Pre-TT Classic at Billown left him suffering more than originally thought. It now looks as if he may have to hang up his helmet.
Elle Forrest from Lisburn hopes to crack a 100mph lap on her 250cc v-twin Honda this year. She has two chances – the Lightweight and the Junior. Up to now, she has a 100 per cent finishing rate (four on a 125 Honda, one on a 250 Honda and one on a K4 Honda in the Junior Classic. Her sponsor is former rider Peter Berwick.
Promising local ace Si Fulton is another who will have to sit out the Manx. After a number of very creditable performances including fourth in last year's Junior, a crash at Ballakeighan in the Steam Packet Post-TT event has sidelined him for a while.
It's a long way from the cut-and-thrust of the British Supersport Championship to the MGP but 36-year-old plant hire owner Kieran Hankin is looking forward to the challenge. He has three rides in his debut year but says he feels under no pressure.
Hoping to put bad luck behind him is Mark Herbertson from Hexham. Although he has had three replicas in the Junior Classic, the 48-year-old forester has not been able to get his G50 Matchless to the finish since 1999.
Swansea’s Nigel John moves up from a 125 to a 250cc Honda this year. He rides as part of the Martin Bullock Team. Nigel certainly is an international rider, having taken part in race meetings in Estonia, Germany, Belgium, Holland, South Africa and New Zealand!