TT legend John McGuinness is again expected to be the man to beat in the 2010 TT Races as he looks to add to his list of 15 solo titles on the Isle of Man. John is now second on the all-time winners list behind only Joey Dunlop’s 26 victories.
However there could be 10 other riders with TT wins lining up against him next year, led by Relentless by TAS Suzuki team-mates Bruce Anstey and Cameron Donald. The Northern Ireland based team are one of the few leading outfits to have announced their team in 2010 and they will be looking to benefit from confirming their line-up at the earliest opportunity. Cameron Donald will be particularly keen to make his mark in 2010 as an injury sustained during last year’s practices robbed him of the chance to defend his Superbike title after he’d set an unofficial lap record during qualifying.
The names of some of the stars due to race in 2010 were announced at the Carole Nash International Motorcycle Show on Thursday.
Michael Dunlop will be looking to build on his first TT success in 2009, when he won the Relentless Supersport Race while his brother William will be keen to add his own name to the Dunlop dynasty honours board.
Steve Plater will be hoping to defend the inaugural TT Championship title that he won in 2009, which he clinched with his win in the blue riband Pokerstars Senior TT on the final day but a number of riders are expected to challenge him for the title - none more so than double TT 2009 race winner Ian Hutchinson who lost the outright Championship title on the final lap of the Senior Race.
Other former winners expected to appear again in 2010 include Ian Lougher, Ryan Farquhar, Chris Palmer, Adrian Archibald and Michael Rutter. There are also a group of riders who achieved podiums in 2009 and will be looking to make the top step in 2010, particularly fans favourite Guy Martin who is still looking for his first TT victory.
Local favourite Conor Cummins will be aiming to become only the fourth Manx TT solo race winner ever after his outstanding performances at TT 2009, culminating in his runner-up spot in the Senior TT. Gary Johnson and Keith Amor are also expected to be challenging the front-runners following their TT podiums last year.
There will also be a chance for riders further down the field to claim a title in 2010 with the creation of The TT Privateer Championship. This new introduction to the TT Races allows solo teams and solo riders of independent status to compete with recognition at the highest level in the world’s premier closed public roads motorcycle race. Entries will be accepted against predefined criteria and points will be awarded to the first fifteen riders in the Superbike, Superstock, Supersport and the Senior TT Races using a world championship points scoring system with awards for the top three finishers at the end of Race Week.
The two sidecar races are again expected to be extremely competitive with former and current world champions lining up against 14 time winner Dave Molyneux and new partner Gary Partridge. Molyneux will be competing in the famous green colours of Kawasaki and the manufacturer will be hoping to record their first sidecar TT victory.
The Birchall Brothers, Ben and Tom, will be returning to the TT as current World Champions and will be looking to build on their fastest lap of 110.615 whilst former World Champion Tim Reeves has a new partner in experienced competitor Dan Sayle and will be looking to emulate his third place as a newcomer in 2008. Simon Neary and Stuart Bond will also be quietly confident of building on their 2009 podium with the backing of newly formed race team run by outright lap record holders Nicky Crowe and Mark Cox.
Meanwhile a host of talented newcomers are set to join the entry list for 2010 in both the solo and sidecar classes. The DTL Rider Recruitment Team headed up by TT aces Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle and John Barton have been discussing debuts with a number of leading riders from the British Superbike Championship paddock as well as riders from Europe and further a field and several have already visited the Island to begin learning the 37 and ¾ mile course ahead of a debut in June 2010.
Tourism and Leisure Minister Martyn Quayle said:
'We already think that we will have one of the strongest line ups at the TT in living memory. With the return of a host of lap and race record holders, current champions and former winners fans can expect fast laps and close racing on the Isle of Man in 2010.