With four wins from the last four races and eleven wins in total across the category, Michael Dunlop has been the man to beat on a Supersport machine of late. But with a change of manufacturer and his closest rivals showing strong form in the class, two tightly-fought races can be anticipated at the 2024 Isle of Man TT Races.

As the first race in the schedule, the opening Monster Energy Supersport encounter is the first opportunity for Michael Dunlop to draw alongside the record tally of 26 victories held by his uncle Joey. But 2024 has seen the 25-time TT race winner switch from his tried, tested, and lap record-holding Yamaha YZF-R6 to the ‘next generation’ MD Racing Triumph Street Triple 765 RS. Despite the change of machinery, two 3rd-place finishes at the North West 200 show how he’s quickly adapted and he’ll arrive at the TT as arguably the pre-race favourite.

The switch to Triumph means he’ll go head-to-head with main rival, Peter Hickman, who lines up on his K2 Trooper Triumph by PHR. The outright lap record holder has finished second to Dunlop in three of the last four races, and with the duo the only two to have lapped at more than 130mph in the Supersport class, the stage is well and truly set for some phenomenal racing.

A head-to-head rivalry will take place with both Hickman and Dunlop on Triumphs

As the third-fastest man in the class and having lapped just shy of the 130mph mark in 2023, Dean Harrison could easily upset the Dunlop-Hickman party. A Supersport race winner in 2018, Harrison lines up on the all-new CBR600RR but will be playing catch-up to his rivals having missed valuable track time at the North West 200, as scheduling and supply chain challenges meant his machine couldn’t be prepared in time. Nevertheless, the bike is already proving itself in the British Supersport Championship in the hands of team mate and 4-time British Supersport Champion, Jack Kennedy.

One man who hasn’t missed out on track time is Davey Todd. The Powertoolmate Ducati rider stood on the top step at the podium at the North West 200 and took a brace of podiums in the opening round of the British Championship. The 955cc Ducati Panigale V2 is unproven around the Mountain Course, but its World and British Championship title success matched with Todd’s form sees him well-placed to take a maiden TT victory.

Jamie Coward is another rider to switch manufacturer for 2024, with the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan runner also joining the Triumph ranks. Fourth and fifth was the outcome in the two races last year, along with a near 128mph lap, and with good results at the first two British Championship rounds, he’s clearly gelled with the machine and has to be considered a serious threat.

The same applies to Ian Hutchinson and Conor Cummins who line up on the two Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Hondas. Hutchinson is returning to the TT after missing last year’s event, but with eight wins in the class and an unquestionable determination to win, a strong showing can never be ruled out. And whilst he may not be best suited to the Supersport machines simply due to his height, Cummins is a front-runner in every class and one of only eight riders competing this year who’ve already broken the 127mph barrier.

The last of those leading 127mph+ runners is James Hillier, who is back with the Bournemouth Kawasaki team for the two Supersport Races. Their record together between 2010 and 2019 was nothing short of superb with five 600cc podiums, and a return to the rostrum would be somewhat of a fairytale.

Yamaha, and specifically the Boyce Precision Engineering by Russell Racing team, are well represented in the shape of Josh Brookes and Mike Browne, with Brookes set to have his first Supersport outing at the TT since 2018 when he took a brace of 6th-place finishes. He was disappointed to miss out on a podium that year and as a former World Supersport race winner, the Australian ace will be one to watch.

Browne has had a successful roadracing year so far

Team-mate Browne has started the season well with success at the Scarborough Spring Cup as well as strong results at the North West 200, so has a great chance of making a serious impression.

Craig Neve (Bathams Racing) and local ace Michael Evans (Smith Racing) add significant strength in depth to the Triumph challenge, whilst Shaun Anderson (Butterfields of Skipton with ARD) and James Hind (North Lincs Components) fly the flag for Suzuki on a pair of GSX-R750s. Hind in particular will be one to watch having excelled in the two Supersport Races twelve months ago with 6th and 10th-place finishes.

Dominic Herbertson (Burrows Engineering/RK Racing, Yamaha) and Rob Hodson (SMT Racing, Honda) are clearly top ten material, as is David Johnson, whilst TT regulars Michael Sweeney, Julian Trummer, Michal Dokoupil, Stefano Bonetti, Joey Thompson and Barry Furber are all back for more, Sweeney returning after injury ruled him out of last year’s meeting.

Hind excelled at TT 2023, so will be one to watch this year.

The races will also see Manx Grand Prix stars Joe Yeardsley (Spin Arena, Yamaha) and Marcus Simpson (JPS Racing, Triumph) make their TT bows with newcomers Kevin Keyes and Loris Majcan also getting their first taste of the Mountain Course under race conditions.

The two 4-lap Monster Energy Supersport Races at the 2024 Isle of Man TT Races are scheduled to take place on Saturday 1st and Wednesday 5th June.


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