As they did twelve months ago, the team will run two riders with last year’s Locate.im Junior Classic TT Race winner Dominic Herbertson being joined once again by Lee Johnston, who himself tasted victory on the TT Mountain Course recently after claiming the spoils in this year’s opening Monster Energy Supersport Race.
The young duo will contest the Locate.im Junior Classic TT Race on the team’s latest-spec and immaculately prepared Hondas, where they will again line up on Glencrutchery Road firmly amongst the pre-race favourites. Johnston will also be Honda-mounted for the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race where Herbertson will be on board a 500cc Yamaha.
The team have been a mainstay at the event since the inaugural year of 2013, with Alan Oversby and the late William Dunlop taking four podiums between them from 2013 to 2017. They had one of their most successful campaigns at the Classic TT last year when Herbertson gave them their first win in superb style.
The Northumbrian took the lead of the Junior Classic TT Race when early leader Michael Rutter retired but, aided by the fastest lap of the race at an average speed of 104.082mph, which makes him the third quickest rider ever in the class, he ran out victory by more than ten seconds from Jamie Coward.
The team’s joy was further increased with Johnston joining him on the rostrum in third, further confirming the quality and craftsmanship the team put into their machinery. The Ulsterman’s podium finish came two days after he had already given the Burton upon Trent team the same result in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race, where he lapped at 108.913mph to finish third behind John McGuinness and Coward.
Johnston is the joint most successful rider at the Classic TT with six podiums, a total he shares with Mountain Course legends Bruce Anstey and Ian Lougher, and he still holds the Junior lap record at 105.239mph. In his second year with the team, he’ll be keen to emulate the feats of Herbertson and challenge for his third Classic TT win
Meanwhile, rising star Herbertson finished fourth and fifth in the 2017 Junior and Senior Classic TT Races for the team and in addition to his victory last year, he enjoyed his best ever TT earlier this year as he lapped at close to 130mph on his way to tenth in the Dunlop Senior Race when riding the Davies Motorsport Kawasaki.
With both riders having proven pedigree around the Mountain Course, they’re sure to be amongst the race favourites for the two four-lap races.
Davies Motorsport have been long-time front runners on the Classic racing scene and is headed up by John Davies, who sponsored numerous riders in the 1980s and 90s including Alex Bedford, Kevin Mitchell, Neil Hodgson and Steve Thompson.
Davies himself was a regular competitor at the Manx Grand Prix between 1978 and 1997, with his best finishes being second in the 1978 Senior Newcomers Race and a brace of fourths in the 1986 and 1987 Lightweight 250cc Races. He also campaigned a 500cc Grand Prix Harris Yamaha for the Padgetts team.
Specialising in Honda machinery, nephew Colin Davies handles all the technical aspects for the team and he too has a wealth of experience at all levels including numerous years as technician to Kevin Schwantz at Lucky Strike Suzuki, where together they won the 1993 500cc World Championship. As well as his commitments with Davies Motorsport, he is currently working as crew chief for Jason O’Halloran in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
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