The Mountain Course will again play host to some high profile and high quality newcomers in 2010 with a healthy blend of British and Irish Championship riders and talented overseas stars. A combination of youth and experience, the line up continues to go from strength to strength and the debutantes listed below have experience in World Supersport, World Endurance and British Championship racing, further proof that the Isle of Man TT Races are again attracting some of the finest racers.
Brandon Cretu - Irish road racing fans may well recall the name of Brandon Cretu after he made his real road racing bow during Ulster Bike Week. Cretu is young enough at 25 to put some serious years into a TT career, but it may surprise some people that he’s only got two full seasons of racing under his belt - a car crash ruling him out for two years. Making his racing debut in 2007, Cretu won the WERA Northeast Middleweight Championship that year before his hiatus. Cretu makes his TT debut in the Supersport class on board Mark Hamilton’s Irish Bike Suzuki.
- Fife's Tony Czyzewski started road racing in 2000 and a year later was Scottish 125cc Champion. The 26-year-old worked his way through the ranks contesting the British Junior Superstock, Scottish Supersport Championships and the Virgin Mobile R6 Cup. Has competed in a number of Irish road races, enjoying success at the Cookstown 100.
Herve Ganther - Swiss rider Ganther was a regular in the European Superstock Championship between 2001 and 2006, recording a number of points-scoring finishes, before moving into the World Endurance Championship. The 27-year-old Geneva rider finished 6th in the 2009 Le Mans 24-Hour race after finishing 11th the previous year whilst he can also count a 5th place at the 6-Hours of Albacete amongst his achievements.
Takahiro Itami - Japanese riders have been a big hit with TT fans in recent years with the late Jun Maeda leading the way. Hot on the heels of Yoshinari Matsushita, who made his debut last year, now comes Takahiro Itami - another capable rider hoping to follow in the footsteps of his compatriots.
David Johnson - 28-year-old Johnson first raced in the UK in 2002 when he finished eighth in the British Juniorstock Championship. A year later he moved up to the British Superstock Championship, placing 10th overall and went better still in 2005 when he finished 7th overall. The Australian has competed in the British Superbike Championship since 2006 with 2008 being his best season to date with seven points-scoring rides.
Hudson Kennaugh - 29-year-old Kennaugh was a South African Superbike Champion at the age of 23 before clinching the Suzuki GSXR World Cup in 2005. A move to Britain soon followed and he immediately impressed finishing third in the 2007 British Superstock Championship and runner up in the 2008 British Supersport Championship, recording numerous wins and podiums in the process. Kennaugh has also finished 5th in the World Supersport round at Brands Hatch.
Clinton Pienaar - The second South African to make his debut at the 2010 TT, Pienaar is one of his country’s most experienced and respected riders with multiple national titles to his name. Equally adept on both Supersport and Superbike machines, Pienaar has ridden factory Ducati’s and Aprilia’s during his career whilst he has also competed as a wild card in his home nation’s World Superbike round.
Daniel Hegarty - Yet another graduate of the Virgin Mobile R6 Cup, Hegarty has made steady progress in the British Superstock Championship in the last few seasons culminating in countless top ten finishes in 2008 and 2009. The 24-year-old Nottingham rider will again be a front runner in this year’s Superstock series while he also plans to contest the North West 200 and Scarborough road races.
James Hurrell - After finishing 3rd in the 2007 British Superstock Cup, where he recorded one win and five podiums, Winchester’s Hurrell has spent the last two seasons riding in the British Superstock Championship proper and will make his TT debut with the Enanjay R1 Yamaha in all three 1000cc-capacity races.
David Jones - One of the youngest riders in the field at this year’s TT, 21-year-old Jones took 9th place in the 2008 Triumph Triple Challenge before moving up to the British Supersport Championship in 2009. Jones impressed greatly and ended the year 5th overall in the Supersport Cup, scoring a podium at the final round.
Gary May - Berkshire’s May was one of Britain’s leading 250cc riders in the mid-late 1990s, scoring wins and podiums as well as a host of top six finishes. A move to four-strokes in 2001 soon saw the now 34-year-old running consistently in the top 10 of the British Supersport Championship while he also continued in the 250cc class, winning the 250cc MRO Championship in 2006.
Brian McCormack - McCormack, the 2008 Irish Superbike Champion, had hoped to contest the TT 12 months ago only for team problems to prevent him doing so. He contested the North West 200 and Killalane road races last year with impressive results.
Stephen Thompson - Still only 33, Thompson was one of Northern Ireland’s leading 125cc and 250cc short circuit riders in the late 1990s before switching to the four-strokes in 2002. A regular in the British Superstock Championship, Thompson has already scored top class results on the roads at the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau and his TT debut is eagerly awaited – could well be the rider who walks away with the prestigious Newcomer’s Trophy.
There are also a number of newcomers on the Sidecar entry list, all of whom have experience at either World or British Championship level. Leading the way is highly experienced British driver Gary Knight who finished 4th in last year’s World Championship with son Dan in the chair. The Macclesfield pairing have a strong team behind them and should be the pick of the bunch although young Carl Fenwick is also one to watch, the 21-year old having impressed on his road racing debut at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough in 2009. Meanwhile, Austrian driver Michael Grambuller brings further World Championship experience to the grid.