TT 2016 set for spectacular launch
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Many of the burning pre-season road racing questions will start to get answered at the launch of the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy this Thursday 14th April on the Isle of Man.
Tickets are still available for the launch event, which will take place at the Villa Marina in Douglas, hosted by TT TV commentators James Whitham and Steve Parrish who will use their insider knowledge of the riders, teams and the TT Mountain Course to establish the early favourites for 2016 honours.
The presenters will also be taking questions from the public via the TT’s official Twitter account (@iom_TT) while fans can follow the event worldwide with the chat show streamed live on the TT’s official YouTube channel.
This year’s evening will see a number of riders with new teams and manufacturers including notably Ian Hutchinson whose close season switch to BMW machinery with TAS Racing is expected to see him challenging for honours in all five main races. The Bingley bullet was undoubtedly the man of the meeting in 2015, winning three races and returning to the top step at the Isle of Man for the first time since 2010.
Also favouring BMW, Michael Dunlop will again race for Stuart Hicken’s Hawk Racing outfit with the Northern Ireland rider a certainty to again challenge for big bike race wins with strong preparation and a return to full fitness.
Michael’s old team-mate at Honda Racing John McGuinness re-established his ‘King of the Mountain’ credentials in 2015 with his stunning PokerStars Senior TT Race win. The Morecambe Missile was written off and virtually ignored in 2015 but responded not only with victory in the Senior TT, his 23rd TT win, but also reclaiming the outright lap record from Bruce Anstey.
John’s Honda Racing teammate Conor Cummins performed consistently in 2015 with four top ten finishes but the Manx rider will be looking to challenge at the very front of the field in his third year with the factory backed outfit.
TT race winners will be appearing thick and fast on the stage with Gary Johnson (Penz13.com), and Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering) lined up to discuss their new rides this year while another winner Ivan Lintin will be returning with the RC Express Racing outfit, one of Harrison’s previous teams, for a second season.
Harrison’s new Sarolea TT Zero teammate Lee Johnston remains at East Coast Construction for the conventional classes and the Northern Ireland rider will be looking to build on his victories at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix by winning his first TT Race.
James Hillier is another rider who is looking to benefit from racing for the same team as he will outline what makes his partnership with Quattro Plant Kawasaki so successful as he looks for his first Superbike win after several close challenges while fellow Kawasaki rider Peter Hickman, who represents the GBMoto outfit, will be sharing his thoughts on how he intends to continue his meteoric rise on the Isle of Man.
William Dunlop will be hoping that his switch to CD Racing will provide him with the elusive first win while David Johnson is jetting in from Australia to talk about the Norton challenge that he’ll be spearheading in 2016.
Some of the more intriguing, and invariably amusing, stories will come from the veteran riders and none more so that Ian Lougher, who returns to the TT after a two year absence on the Swiss backed Suter Racing 500 machine. Much debate has centred on how the two-stroke bike will tackle the Mountain Course, while almost as much pre-event debate has centred on Ryan Farquhar and his switch to the Tyco BMW team. Michael Rutter, (Bathams SMT BMW) is another rider who favours the German manufacturer’s machines.
In the sidecar class seventeen time TT Race winner Dave Molyneux, who reclaimed the outright record in 2015, will be appearing with fellow Manxman Dan Sayle, himself the holder of eight race wins around the Mountain Course and the pair will be one of the teams to beat in 2016. Fellow race winners Ben Birchall/Tom Birchall and Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance, Conrad Harrison with new passenger Dean Kilkenney and John Holden and the returning Andy Winkle will also outline their plans on attempting to return to the top step.
Interest will undoubtedly fall on the high profile TT newcomers who will be introduced for the first time on the Isle of Man including Italian former WSB rider Alex Polita, a former European Superstock Champion and England’s Ben Wilson, a regular on the British Supersport podium.
Doors open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start with tickets priced at £5 available from the Villa Marina box office at www.villagaiety.com- fans who can’t attend will be able to watch the proceedings on a live stream hosted on iomtt.com