Ian Lougher will lead the Lincolnshire-based team on a 500cc MV Agusta in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race and he’ll be joined on a similar machine by Joey Thompson who makes his return to Mountain Course action.
Thompson will also ride a 350cc Honda in the Locate.im Junior Classic TT Race as well as a Honda RS250 in the Dunlop Lightweight TT Race. Completing the line up is local rider Dan Sayle who will make an emotional comeback, also on a Honda RS250, after suffering serious injuries in the race twelve months ago.
Chapman, a staunch supporter of the Classic TT, first enlisted the services of ten-time TT winner Lougher for the 2016 meeting and although he’s been out of luck on the MV Agusta in the years since, his pedigree in both the Senior class and around the TT Mountain Course speak for themselves.
The Welshman, who took his 29th TT podium in this year’s SES TT Zero Race, has been well to the fore since the inaugural Classic TT of 2013 and has the joint highest number of podiums with six. He won the 2014 Senior Race on a 500cc Paton lapping at an average speed of 111.523mph and followed that up with a close second place a year later. If the teething problems of recent years can be overcome with the MV Agusta, he’s sure to be featuring prominently on the leaderboard.
York’s Thompson, meanwhile, has been absent for much of 2019 and will be getting his first taste of the MV Agusta, but he impressed greatly on his Senior Classic TT debut last year with tenth place and a lap of 103.362mph on a single cylinder Manx Norton. He also took a fine fifth place and a near 112mph lap in the Lightweight Classic TT Race on the same 250cc Honda he’ll ride this year.
Third team member Sayle returns to the Classic TT after crashing heavily at Ballaspur on the first lap of the Dunlop Lightweight Race last year. The crash left him with serious injuries and there were doubts he’d ever race again, but thankfully they haven’t come true and he’s returning this year to firmly lay the ghosts to rest.
The Sulby rider, eight times a TT winner as a sidecar passenger, has tremendous pedigree in the 250cc class and was running in second place to Bruce Anstey for the first half of the 2017 encounter. Having lapped at an excellent 117.740mph on the 250cc Yamaha he was riding that year, he was well on course for a second-place finish until being forced to retire on the third lap.
Having previously campaigned a 250cc Honda at the Manx Grand Prix, winning the Lightweight race in both 2008 and 2009, he’ll certainly be one to watch and along with Thompson, the team have a great chance of success in the four-lap race.
Tickets for the 2019 Classic TT are now on sale via the Official iomttraces.com website including Official Grandstand Tickets, VIP Hospitality Experiences, and Official Entertainment Events including the Counterfeit Stones Classic TT Party Performance. You can stay up to date with all the latest Classic TT news by subscribing to the Official Isle of Man TT Races Newsletter.
Images courtesy of Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press