COWARD LEADS THE FIELD IN NEW ERA FOR SUPERTWIN TT
Jamie Coward will be the first man away from the Glencrutchery Road start line for the Bennetts Supertwin TT that sees new manufacturers Aprilia and Yamaha take the fight to class leaders Kawasaki and Paton across what are expected to be four closely-fought laps.
Carefully established rules introduced for 2022 sees engine capacity limits increase from 650cc to 700cc, meaning the Aprilia RS660 and Yamaha R7 compete against the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Paton S1R that have dominated the class since it’s reintroduction to the TT race schedule back in 2012. Nevertheless, Michael Dunlop is once again expected to be the man to beat.
Winner of the last two races and the current lap record holder courtesy of a 2018 lap at an average speed of 122.750mph, Dunlop starts at number 6 on the MD Racing Paton, 50 seconds after closest challenger from 2019, Jamie Coward. The KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Kawasaki rider only missed out on the win by 1.2s in 2019, and will carry the number one plate for the very first time at the TT Races this year.
Coward will be followed by two of the new Aprilias, with regular class front-runner Stefano Bonetti from Italy making the switch from a Paton and going at number 2, and Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston starting at number three.
2017 winner Michael Rutter starts at number 4 and is back on board a Paton, courtesy of Team ILR managed by ten-time TT winner, Ian Lougher.
Peter Hickman is another of the ‘big names’ to have entered and provisionally holds his customary number 10, but he has yet to confirm his machine choice for the class at the time of writing.
Three-time class winners Dafabet Racing will field Gary Johnson at number 7 on one of their highly-developed Kawasakis, with team-mate Rob Hodson getting his race underway from number 11.
Hodson will be looking to make the most of his highest-ever TT start position in a class that has historically shone the spotlight on some less well-known competitors. Dominic Herbertson, Paul Jordan, and Michael Sweeney will have a similar mindset, riding at numbers 5, 8, and 13 respectively.
Adam McLean and McAdoo Racing have a great chance of a strong result from their number 14 starting position, whilst two places ahead of him will be double Manx GP winner and Classic TT podium finisher, James Hind. He’s team-mates to Rutter on another Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton.
Austrian ace Julian Trummer (15) already has a top ten position to his name in the class and will be aiming for more of the same on the WH Racing Kawasaki.
Outside of the top 20, this year’s sole female solo competitor, Maria Costello starts at number 30 on the Mark Coverdale/RAM Safety Solutions Paton, while the three newcomers of Jamie Cringle (42), Joseph Loughlin (48), and Craig Szczypek (57) get their first taste of the smallest category.
The Top 20 entries for the Bennetts Supertwin TT:
1. Jamie Coward – KTS Racing powered by Steadplan, Kawasaki
2. Stefano Bonetti – Speed Motor, Aprilia
3. Lee Johnston – Ashcourt Racing, Aprilia
4. Michael Rutter – ILR, Paton
5. Dominic Herbertson – CC Engineering, Kawasaki
6. Michael Dunlop – MD Racing, Paton
7. Gary Johnson – Dafabet Racing, Kawasaki
8. Paul Jordan – PreZ Racing, Kawasaki
10. Peter Hickman – PHR Performance, TBC (at the time of publishing)
11. Rob Hodson – Dafabet Racing, Kawasaki
12. James Hind – ILR/Mark Coverdale, Paton
13. Michael Sweeney – KBS Kawasaki, Kawasaki
14. Adam McLean – Gortreagh Printing/McAdoo Kawasaki, Kawasaki
15. Julian Trummer – WH Racing powered by Dynobike, Kawasaki
16. James Chawke – CBG Contractors, Kawasaki
17. Brian McCormack – JT Performance by Global Robots, Aprilia
18. Michael Evans – Heattech Racing, Kawasaki
19. John Barton – Wemoto, Kawasaki
20. Michael Russell – Fraser Evans Tyre Recycling, Aprilia