SUPERBIKE TOP 20 CONFIRMED: JOHNSON LEADS THE WAY
With just over 60 days to go, anticipation for 2023 Isle of Man TT Races has been ramped up a notch with the race organiser confirming the top 20 seeded riders for the 1000cc RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock, and Milwaukee Senior TT Races.
Leading the field away at number 1, just as he did in 2017, will be David Johnson on the C&L Fairburn Properties by Jackson Racing Honda, with the Australian getting his first TT action since 2019 after injury forced him out of last year’s event.
Johnson is back at the TT and carrying the number 1 plate for the first time since 2019
He’ll be followed at number 2 by 2019 Senior TT winner Dean Harrison, who continues in his familiar starting position onboard the DAO Racing Kawasaki ZX-10RR. Harrison starts ten seconds ahead of 23-times winner John McGuinness who assumes the number 3 spot once more for Honda Racing UK, after being the first man on the road for his 100th TT start twelve months ago.
At number 4 is Jamie Coward, who has been rewarded with a big step up the order after four top-six finishes and an impressive showing at TT 2022. Coward will ride a new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade for the same KTS Racing team, switching from Yamaha.
Coward will join many of the Top 20 on the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade
James Hillier goes off at his regular spot riding with number 5 for OMG Racing Yamaha, whilst Michael Dunlop will once again start at number 6. Continuing with Hawk Racing for another year, Dunlop is another rider to switch to Honda for the new season, the first time he’s campaigned the Fireblade since 2013.
A returning Josh Brookes will get his race week underway from number 7 on the FHO Racing BMW M 1000 RR, ahead of expected front runner Davey Todd. Like 2022, the rising star who took a maiden TT podium in 2022 will start at number 8 on the Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles Honda.
Lee Johnston moves up the order from his familiar number 13 to number 9 on the Ashcourt Racing Honda, and ten seconds behind him will be the outright lap record holder, Peter Hickman, who takes his customary number 10 position for another year. Riding the FHO Racing BMW M 1000 RR once more, Hickman is expected to run in different livery to the usual black and green.
The second Milenco by Padgett’s Honda of Conor Cummins will again be aiming to reel in Hickman from his starting position of number 11. Just behind him is Bathams Racing’s Michael Rutter, who drops outside the top ten but will still stand out courtesy of the howling V4 in his MotoGP-derived Honda RC213V-S.
With Johnston moving up four spots, the number 13 plate has been taken by Dominic Herbertson on the APERO BMW M 1000 RR and he’ll be closely followed down Glencrutchery Road by Phillip Crowe at 14.
Behind him, two of last year’s sensations, Nathan Harrison (Honda Racing UK) and Mike Browne (Burrows Engineering/RK Racing) are deservedly elevated up into the seeded numbers for the first time at 15 and 16 respectively, and their progress will be eagerly watched.
Harrison makes his debut in the seeded top 20
Two-time winner Gary Johnson had an understated year on the Island in 2022 and subsequently drops down the order to number 17, with the high-quality top twenty completed by Shaun Anderson (Team Classic Suzuki), Sam West (Street Diner Racing BMW) and Rutter’s team-mate Craig Neve (Bathams Racing).
Fans will be able to find the full entry lists for all races exclusively in the 2023 Official Programme. This year’s programme will be available to buy online as well as in-store on the Isle of Man from the end of April and is set to be bursting with all the exclusive features, insights and race information you need for the complete TT experience. Fans can sign up here to the TT’s Official Newsletter to be the first to know when the programme goes on sale.
The complete top 20 for the RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock, and Milwaukee Senior TT Races is:
1. David Johnson – C&L Fairburn Properties by Jackson Racing, Honda
2. Dean Harrison – DAO Racing, Kawasaki
3. John McGuinness MBE – Honda Racing UK, Honda
4. Jamie Coward – KTS Racing powered by Steadplan, Honda
5. James Hillier – OMG Racing, Yamaha
6. Michael Dunlop – Hawk Racing, Honda
7. Josh Brookes – FHO Racing, Honda
8. Davey Todd – Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles, Honda
9. Lee Johnston – Ashcourt Racing, Honda
10. Peter Hickman – FHO Racing, BMW
11. Conor Cummins – Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles, Honda
12. Michael Rutter – Bathams Racing, Honda
13. Dominic Herbertson – APERO, BMW
14. Philip Crowe – Nigel Appleyard / Agri Wash, BMW
15. Nathan Harrison – Honda Racing UK, Honda
16. Mike Browne – Burrows Engineering / RK Racing, BMW
17. Gary Johnson – Smith’s Motors / JR Performance, Honda
18. Shaun Anderson – Team Classic Suzuki, Suzuki
19. Sam West – Street Diner Racing, BMW
20. Craig Neve – Bathams Racing, Honda