STEPHEN SMITH STEPS UP TO TT FOR 2023
Stephen Smith, winner of last year’s Senior Manx Grand Prix, will make the step up to the Isle of Man TT Races later this year, competing in all three 1000cc races.
The 37-year old will campaign a Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade for the highly-experienced TC Racing by DP Coldplaning team in the RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock and Milwaukee Senior TT Races.
It will be the first time Smith has ridden a 1000cc machine around the Mountain Course, but having established himself as one of the leading protagonists at the Manx Grand Prix and taken a start-to-finish victory at last year’s event, he’s ideally placed to make an impression at the TT.
Smith made his Manx Grand Prix debut in 2013 and made strong progress year on year, both in terms of results and lap times. 2019 saw him claim his first podium with second in the Junior Race; just three seconds off victory whilst setting his first 120mph lap of the TT Course in the process.
The Liverpudlian was set to make his TT debut in 2022 but was forced to withdraw at the eleventh hour. That led to a return to the ‘Manx’ where he dominated the Senior Race, lapping at 121.767mph on his way to a near 40-second victory.
Smith took a commanding victory in the 2022 Senior Manx Grand Prix
“I’m really looking forward to stepping up the TT and especially getting the opportunity to do it on a 1000cc bike. The Supersport bike is all I’ve ridden around the TT Course but I’m over six-foot-tall and it’s difficult to get tucked in, so the big bike should better suit my stature.”
“It’ll obviously be on a steep learning curve with the big bike as it’ll be a lot different to the 600cc machine and I’ll be racing against the best road racers in the world out on track. But there aren’t any expectations so I can go with a clean slate with the aim of progressing throughout the fortnight.”
“I’m excited to be working with TC Racing and (Team Manager) Mick Charnock as I have always been impressed by their professionalism - they put a good bike together! I hope to find a good set up with the Fireblade during qualifying to make me as comfortable as possible, and then we can look to give a real good account of ourselves in the races.”
The 2022 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner caught up with Peter Hickman, the 2022 Senior TT winner, at the recent London Motorcycle Show.
Spearheaded by former racer Mick Charnock, the TC Racing by DP Coldplaning team have been a fixture at the Isle of Man TT Races for almost two decades and can count Cameron Donald, David Johnson, Paul Jordan and Julian Trummer amongst their former riders.
Last year saw them work with debutante Milo Ward where they recorded a best finish of 17th in the opening Superbike Race. With three finishes from his three races, Ward was named the RST Star of Tomorrow.
Smith, who works as a nutritionist for a range of world class athletes, plans to contest the opening rounds of the British Superstock Championship in preparation for his maiden appearance at the TT.