TT 2019 launch tonight at Villa Marina
The Official Launch of the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy takes place tonight.
The now traditional TT Launch Show at the Villa Marina starts from 8pm GMT on Tuesday 19th March, tickets for just £5 from the Villa Gaiety box office.
Matt Roberts and Steve Plater front the event, which takes the form of a TV chatshow.
Peter Hickman, the TT's fastest ever rider will be one of the guests fans will be waiting to hear from on the couch. As well as reprising his role with Smith's BMW Racing it is expected he will be announcing a Lightweight TT ride with a well-known manufacturer, having trailed an announcement on his twitter feed:
No doubt there will be great interest in what Michael Dunlop, Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness, all have to say as they confirm their plans for TT 2019. John and Ian both missed racing competitively at TT 2018 as both continued their recoveries from crashes that left them with serious injuries.
Hutchinson raced for Honda but was well off his usual blistering pace while McGuinness was restricted to a few demonstration laps on the Norton V4 superbike (albeit at a pretty rapid pace).
Dean Harrison, who became the first racer in TT history to complete a lap in excess of 134mph will be on stage to talk about his incredible pace and, more than likely, will be asked about the disappointment of losing out on a big bike win after leading both the Superbike and Senior races in 2018, ultimately losing to Michael Dunlop and Peter Hickman respectively.
Ben and Tom Birchall will also be on hand to be quizzed about the incredible speeds they recorded at last year's TT. They pushed the lap record out to over 119mph - can they do a 120 lap in 2019? It would be a surprise if they aren't asked their thoughts on that one, especially as Steve Hislop, who in 1989 became the first solo rider to lap the TT Course over 120mph average, is to be celebrated at the Classic TT in August.
Sidecar legend Dave Molyneux will be asked about his new partner Harry Payne, who takes over passengering duties from Dan Sayle who is still recovering from serious injuries.
Fan favourites Michael Rutter, Conor Cummins, Lee Johnston, James Hillier, Davey Todd, Derek McGee, Gary Johnson, Dave Johnson will also provide insight into what they have been up to over the winter and their hopes and expectations for TT 2019.
Other news that is likely to get an airing on stage includes the new Arai TT helmet design, the unveiling of Bremont as official timing partner, the continuation of Honda's role as official supplier of course cars and travelling marshal bikes, and DJ Carl Cox's closing show at the TT VIP Suite following the Senior TT race.