TOP 20 UNVEILED FOR NEXT GENERATION OF SUPERSPORT
The Isle of Man TT Races will once again play host to two Monster Energy Supersport races and with 60 of the best road racers in the world contesting the four laps around the Mountain Course, it’s an entry not only packed with quality, but also with a number of potential race winners in 2022.
Arguably this year’s most wide-open category, the Supersport class will not only see the major contenders from the 1000cc races contesting for victory, but will also see a number of newer names and fresher faces – plus the odd Supersport specialist – looking to make their mark at the TT Races.
That being said, it’s very much experience that leads the way on the road at least, as John McGuinness MBE heads towards Bray Hill with the number 1 onboard his own SMT Racing/Blue Earth Construction Honda CBR600RR.
DAO Racing Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison – one of only two riders to lap at an average speed in excess of 129mph in the class – is away at number two and opts to run a 600cc ZX-6R despite the Next Generation rules permitting the use of the newer and larger-engined 636cc model.
Lee Johnston follows at number 3, and after backing-up his maiden TT win in the class in 2019 with strong showings in the intervening British Supersport Championships, will start as one of the favourites on his Ashcourt Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.
Ian Hutchinson takes up the number 4 spot onboard the Boyce Precision by Russell Racing Yamaha. Back to good fitness, the man who holds a record eight Supersport TT race wins will be another pre-race favourite for the two four-lap races.
The first of the two RICH Energy OMG Racing machines starts at number 5, with James Hillier riding a Yamaha for the first time after well over ten years with ‘Team Green’. Having taken five podiums in the class since 2016 and running Lee Johnston close in 2019, he’ll certainly be gunning for victory. Team mate David Johnson lines up at number 9.
The class’s lap record holder, Michael Dunlop, starts from number 6. Dunlop hasn’t won a Supersport TT since setting the new benchmark lap time in the first race of TT 2018, and will be keen to increase his tally of seven class victories in 2022 with his MD Racing Yamaha.
Gary Johnson starts out from number 7 onboard the Moto46/Specsavers Triumph 675. He’s followed by the Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda of Davey Todd, who takes up his first-ever top-ten starting position with the number 8.
Meanwhile, Peter Hickman is the first of the ‘big names’ to experiment with the new regulations, starting from his usual number 10 spot onboard a 765cc Triumph under the banner of K2 Trooper Beer by PHR Performance.
Conor Cummins goes off at number 11 on the second Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda and will have a great target ahead of him in Hickman, but a major threat behind in Jamie Coward. Fifth in 2019, he goes at number 12 on the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Yamaha.
Behind the top 12, there are a few changes in relation to the 1000cc starting order, as although Sam West, Dominic Herbertson, Brian McCormack and Craig Neve retain their top twenty starting positions, four new names come in.
Michael Sweeney, Adam McLean – making a welcome return to the TT with Gortreagh Printing/McAdoo Kawasaki after injury ruled him out of the 2019 event – Paul Jordan, and former Manx GP winner Michael Evans are all rewarded for previous strong performances in the class, with the quartet getting their races underway at numbers 13, 14, 17 and 18 respectively.
Outside of the top twenty, Manx GP graduates include 2019 double race winner Nathan Harrison (27) and young star James Hind (31), whilst the race also sees debutantes Jamie Cringle (42), Joseph Loughlin (48) and Pikes Peak winner Rennie Scaysbrook (57) get their first taste of TT action.
THE COMPLETE TOP 20 FOR THE MONSTER ENERGY SUPERSPORT RACES:
1. John McGuinness - SMT Racing/Blue Earth Construction, Honda
2. Dean Harrison - DAO Racing Kawasaki, Kawasaki
3. Lee Johnston - Ashcourt Racing, Yamaha
4. Ian Hutchinson - Boyce Precision by Russell Racing
5. James Hillier - RICH Energy OMG Racing, Yamaha
6. Michael Dunlop - MD Racing, Yamaha
7. Gary Johnson - Moto46/Specsavers, Triumph
8. Davey Todd - Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles, Honda
9. David Johnson - RICH Energy OMG Racing, Yamaha
10. Peter Hickman - K2 Trooper Beer by PHR Performance, Triumph
11. Conor Cummins - Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles, Honda
12. Jamie Coward - KTS Racing powered by Steadplan, Yamaha
13. Michael Sweeney - EM Building, Yamaha
14. Adam McLean - Gortreagh Printing/McAdoo Kawasaki, Kawasaki
15. Sam West - Moto Hub, Ducati
16. Dominic Herbertson - Cowton Racing, Kawasaki
17. Paul Jordan - PreZ Racing, Yamaha
18. Michael Evans - Heattech Racing, Yamaha
19. Brian McCormack - Global Robots, Triumph
20. Craig Neve - Alasdair Cowan Racing, Kawasaki