It’s here! The 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy bursts into life today with the first practice session.
After tonight’s session, the teams have a day off tomorrow to get ready for five days of practice ahead of the first racing next Saturday.
It promises to be one of the most competitive TTs ever, with all the big names of road racing returning, plus a fascinating line-up of newcomers.
John McGuinness, the 17-times winner, is expected to be the man to beat on the Honda TT Legends Superbike, but he will face strong challenges from the likes of Guy Martin, for Tyco Suzuki, Wilson Craig Honda’s Cameron Donald and the resurgent Ryan Farquhar on his own KMR Racing Kawasaki.
Plus, of course, Ian Hutchinson, who won all five races in 2010, cannot be discounted on his return, riding the Swan Yamaha.
Padgetts Honda’s Bruce Anstey is chasing a Superbike victory, and must start as a favourite in the Supersport and Superstock classes. However, Michael and William Dunlop, Gary Johnson and Dan Kneen are also hungry for more TT success.
TT legend Dave Molyneux returns to the sidecar class for 2012, partnered by Patrick Farrance. Their Kawasaki-powered outfit will be chased hard through by the pairing of John Holden and Andy Winkle, winners last, three-times World Champion Tim Reeves, with Dipash Chauhan and the Birchall brothers. Ben and Tom, riding for the team run by former World Champion and three-times TT winner Klaus Klaffenbock.
The SES TT Zero clean emissions race moves to a new level in 2012, with former winners MotoCzysz, returning with Michael Rutter and Mark Miller, now facing challenges from the likes of McGuinness, on the Team Mugen entry, and James Hillier, riding the Kawasaki UK-backed Bournemouth Racing/Zytek Automotive machine.
Adding extra spice this year is the return of the Lightweight class, now featuring SuperTwins.
Once again there is a strong entry, featuring the likes of Martin, Hillier, Donald and the Dunlop brothers, but Farquhar, who has dominated this class at other circuits, must be pre-race favourite.
The Official Website of the Isle of Man TT has everything you need to get the most of the festival, whether you are travelling to the Isle of Man or not.
TT Live! is back, providing live sector times, speed trap data, positions, commentary and more. Once again, this incredible service is free.
Plus, we have the full practice and race schedule, road closure information, advice on where to watch and will post pictures, reports and results as soon as possible after every session.
You can check out the conditions with ourweather centre, join the chat in the forum, watch action footage and interviews in the video library and get your hands on official TT merchandise from the official online TT shop.
And don't forget to follow the TT action through Facebook and Twitter.