Classic TT - Isle of Man

  •  Team Obsolete set to parade authentic works Honda '6' with Steve Plater at the 2017 Classic TT





    The legendary TT Mountain Course will reverberate to one of the most distinctive racing sounds from the 1960s at this year’s Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts as the iconic 250cc Honda-6 will complete a demonstration lap around the 37.73-mile circuit on Monday 28th August, the second race day of this year’s Classic TT meeting.

    Owned by Team Obsolete’s Rob Iannucci, the ‘Six’ is the first example of Honda’s ground-breaking machine and is the only surviving RC165. Jim Redman first rode it, followed by Stuart Graham before Mike Hailwood took it to victory in the 1966 Czechoslovakian Grand Prix.

    Redman raced what was the first Honda ‘Six’ at Monza in 1964 where it was rushed from Japan in the passenger compartment of a commercial airplane. The Rhodesian took third at Monza and then took the bike to its maiden victory when he won the 1964 250cc Japanese Grand Prix.

    The ‘Six’ was one of the most interesting and most technically advanced racing motorcycles of its time and was built to put a stop to the run of victories for the 250cc Yamaha which, in the hands of Phil Read, won the 1964 and 1965 250cc World Championships.

    Although the six-cylinder Honda 250 did not win the championship in 1965, it was able to put up a competitive fight against the two-cylinder Yamaha, ridden by Read and Mike Duff. Redman won the 250cc TT that year for the fourth time in a row. Yamaha’s response was to produce an updated two-stroke, four-cylinder motorcycle, built solely to stand up to the competition from the Honda. Ex-factory Honda rider Steve Plater, winner of the 2009 Senior TT Race and current presenter on the TT and Classic TT ITV4 highlights programmes, will ride the bike with the Lincolnshire rider completing a demonstration lap on Monday 28th August, ahead of the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race.

    The “Six” will first appear at the VMCC’s Festival of Jurby on Sunday 27th August for some shakedown laps. Dave Roper, winner of the 1984 Senior Classic TT, will ride the Honda at Jurby on the 27th.

    ITV4 will feature the Honda Six in their highlights programme with Plater, as expected, embracing the Classic TT spirit by riding in replica leathers and helmet, evoking memories of the machine’s 1960s heyday.

    Team Obsolete owner Robert Iannucci has supported the Classic TT with a series of iconic bikes with Mountain Circuit connections since the event was established in 2013 and both Redman and Graham will attend the Classic TT to talk about their experiences with the bikes.

    Iannucci says of the restoration of his bike: "Recently we disassembled and scrutinized the entire motorcycle again. We are carefully rebuilding the motor with new pistons and a new crankshaft assembly. We commissioned two from an Italian Formula One technology company, supplying them with the complete original crankshaft assembly which they reverse engineered. Their engineers said that they got an education from the process. "Team Obsolete has been racing classic bikes since 1978 and have now competed in 1500 races with 50 riders. Our victory in the 1984 Historic TT, and the 1989 Manx GP Milne Shield, sealed our love for the Mountain Circuit, which represents the ultimate challenge. We have made 26 starts in all, with two wins and two fastest laps.”

    "The Classic TT has now emerged as the crown jewel of classic motorcycle sport worldwide. We are honoured to have received an invitation every year since its inception to share our historic bikes with our friends. All of us come because we must. Regardless of where we hail from, we are all drawn to something very special. We all know that we belong here. We see it in each other’s faces and we feel it in our bones."

    The man chosen to ride the machine at this years Classic TT, Steve Plater added:

    “It is an honour to have been asked to ride of the most iconic and technically ground breaking motorcycles ever built on the most famous race circuit in the world. Whenever a bike like this gets demonstrated at other events, it is normally over a very short run, so you have to admire the ambition of Robert Iannucci and Team Obsolete in making this happen for a full lap of the TT Mountain Circuit. I’m sure the fans coming to this year’s event are in for an assault on their senses when this bike comes past!”

    Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £20. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 26thAugust the RST Classic TT Legends Dinner on Sunday 27th and the Classic TT Prize giving and Closing Party on Monday 28th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com or our sales hotline on (00 44) (0) 1624 640011.


    ---------------


  • Senior TT winner Michael Dunlop leads three rider Team Classic Suzuki line up for 2017 Classic TT

     

    Team Classic Suzuki will have a three-rider assault on the 2017 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with team owner Steve Wheatman having signed a formidable looking line-up of Michael Dunlop, Lee Johnston and Danny Webb for the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race.

    All three riders will ride identically-prepared GSXR1100 Suzuki-powered XR69’s in the four lap race which will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, August 28th with Dunlop hoping to make it three wins in a row and four in total at the event.

    The 15-times TT winner took victory in the inaugural event in 2013 before retiring in 2014 but he bounced back to take victory in both 2015 and 2016, setting a new lap record last year with a stunning speed of 126.808mph. With that kind of pedigree, he goes into this year’s race as the red-hot favourite for the win although an incredibly strong entry means nothing is guaranteed.

    He’s joined on the immaculately prepared Suzuki’s by fellow Northern Irishman Johnston who is eagerly looking forward to making his return to the Classic TT having missed last year’s event, as well as this year’s TT Races, due to injury. The now Hull-based rider took fifth in 2014 and seventh in 2015 whilst he’s also lapped at 123.636mph so, with a victory already to his name in the Junior Classic TT Race, he’ll be hoping to add the Superbike title to his list of considerable achievements around the Mountain Course.

    Completing the line-up is former 125cc and Moto3 World Championship contender Danny Webb who aims to be fully fit after a crash at Laurel Bank during qualifying for this year’s Isle of Man TT Races left him nursing a dislocated shoulder and back injuries. The 26-year old was part of the squad in 2016 and lapped at 121.289mph on his way to an impressive sixth place.

    Dunlop may start as the race favourite but such is the strength of the squad, both Johnston and Webb have every chance of joining him in the top three and making it an all Team Classic Suzuki podium.

    Team owner Steve Wheatman commenting on his line up for the 2017 Classic TT said:

    “The Classic TT has quickly turned into a prestigious event with a high quality entry, so we expect a very hard challenge from the rest of the opposition in the Superbike Race. In Michael we have a consistent race winner and he will be looking to add to his win tally and we will be providing him a bike capable of doing that. Lee and Danny are both coming off the back of injuries from the TT, but both expect to be fully fit in time and we know they are both capable of featuring at the front of the race.” 



    Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £20. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 26th August the RST Classic TT Legends Dinner on Sunday 27th and the Classic TT Prize giving and Closing Party on Monday 28th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com or our sales hotline on (00 44) (0) 1624 640011.

  • Sports motorcycles set to make competitive return to the mountain course at the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts

     


    39 years since the legendary Mike Hailwood won the Formula One TT, the iconic Sports Motorcycles Ducati team are set to return to the Isle of Man in August this year where they will contest the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with Chris Swallow.

    Guided by the skilful hand of Steve Wynne, Mike’s spectacular achievement - 11 years after his last race in 1967 - is firmly stamped into the ledger of motorcycle racing history and although Wynne is now enjoying his well-earned retirement, a fortunate quirk of fate has sparked an exciting new era in the team’s history.

    His long-time friend and engineer from Yorkshire, Glyn Robinson is now carrying the Sports Motorcycles baton and producing a whole series of very special parts for the classic 1980’s Ducati race scene, even as far as creating whole factory replica bikes of the day.


    As was always the case at Sports Motorcycles in Manchester, racing is still central to the proceedings. The team are currently enjoying tremendous success in the Antipodean regions but have recently cast their sights on maintaining important historical matters - the Isle of Man.

    As a result, Sports Motorcycles Ducati will return to the Isle of Man in 2017 where they will contest the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race on a newly built 750cc TT1 with another Yorkshireman, Chris Swallow, in the saddle.

    His pedigree at the island – which includes two podiums at the Classic Manx Grand Prix races and fifth in the 2015 Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race - on a raft of historic single cylinder machinery is proven, and he has also competed very successfully on Glyn’s Sports Motorcycles Ducati 600 TT2 in NZ for the previous four years. Chris is now looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself on the mountain course on a 750cc twin.


    The Sports Motorcycles-entered Ducati TT1 is built from scratch entirely in house having a host of special parts which are all manufactured in their own machine shop using a wide range of CNC production equipment. These include Marzocchi replica 41mm magnesium forks and adjustable yokes, brake discs, footrests and controls, dry clutch assembly and housing, rear spindle clamp assembly and caliper carriers. The frame itself, swing arm, exhaust system and fuel tank are also hand crafted by Glyn.


    The sight and sound of a Ducati twin wearing the distinctive Sports Motorcycles Ducati colours on the island will surely evoke some memories of that magical moment in 1978.

    Speaking ahead of this year’s Classic TT, Sports Motorcycles rider Chris Swallow commented:

    “When I head off down Glenclutchery Road on this bike it will be the proudest moment of my relatively short TT Mountain Course career so far. We tested the bike at Pukekohe in New Zealand recently and the bike Glyn has produced is some thing. The attention to detail is simply brilliant, it's quick and it handles very well. It's a real credit to Glyn and the Sports Motorcycles name.” 


    Project leader Glyn Robinson added:

    “It’s indeed a great honour to have the opportunity to represent Sports Motorcycles at the Isle of Man with Steve Wynne’s blessing and we are all looking forward to making our debut at the Classic TT.”

  • 15 times TT winner Michael Dunlop joins Daniel Cooper at Turner Racing for Lightweight Classic TT race


    Turner Racing will make a two-pronged attack in this year’s Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race at the 2017 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts, having secured the services of Michael Dunlop and Dan Cooper for the four-lap race, with the duo sure to be among the pre-race favourites

    Owned by Roger Turner, the team will supply a pair of TZ 250cc Yamahas for Dunlop and Cooper with the latter back with the team for a second year and hoping for another strong result around the Mountain Course.

    Dunlop will be making his debut on a 250cc machine at the event but he does have considerable pedigree on the Lightweight machines - none more so than in 2008 when he took a highly emotional and, arguably, career defining victory at the North West 200, his first ‘international’ win. His first appearance on the 37.73-mile course also came on a two-stroke machine when he took the win in the 2006 Ultra-Lightweight Newcomers Manx Grand Prix.

    It means the 15-times Isle of Man TT race winner and current outright lap record holder will compete in all four Classic TT races having also been confirmed for Black Eagle Racing in the Bennetts Senior and Sure Junior Classic TT Races and Team Classic Suzuki in the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race.

    Cooper campaigned the 2008-spec TZ Yamaha for Turner Racing at last year’s Classic TT although problems during practice week meant he was unable to make the start grid. With a year’s experience under their belt though, the team are confident of giving a good account of themselves this time around and providing the two riders with a great chance of success.

    Like Dunlop, 2015 TT Privateers Champion Cooper has a vast amount of two-stroke experience having won the 2006 125cc British Championship on the KRP Honda.

    Team owner Roger Turner commented:

    “We are very excited about this years Classic TT and are delighted to be working with undoubtedly the best TT rider around at the moment in Michael Dunlop. Michael has a lot of two-stroke experience and is excited about riding in the Lightweight Race. We are working hard to make sure we put a bike under him capable of winning the race. With Dan there is a lot of unfinished business after last years disappointment, but we have put that bad luck behind us and will be aiming to have two bikes on the podium.”

  • Herbertson joins Dunlop and Oversby at Davies Motorsport for Classic TT races presented by Bennetts




     


    Midlands based Davies Motorsport will continue their association with the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts, increasing their line-up for 2017 from two riders to three with William Dunlop, Alan Oversby and new recruit Dominic Herbertson contesting the Bennetts Senior Classic TT and Sure Junior Classic TT Races on their latest-spec Honda machines.

    The team has been a mainstay at the event since the inaugural year in 2013 with Dunlop and Oversby lining up for their fifth year with the team, the duo again lining up in both the Bennetts Senior and Sure Junior races while County Durham’s Herbertson joins them after a successful debut for the team at the Pre TT Classic Races earlier this year.

    The undoubted highlights have been three podiums for the team with Dunlop taking second in the 2013 Bennetts 500cc Classic TT, where he lapped at an excellent 109.401mph and Oversby’s similar result in the Okells 350cc Classic TT Race in 2014.


    The Grange over Sands rider led in the early stages and lapped at an impressive 104.140mph before having to settle for second place behind eventual race winner Lee Johnston and he added another podium to his name in 2016 with third in the same race. He was also holding onto a rostrum position in the Senior Race, after lapping in excess of 107mph, before slipping back to fifth on the final lap.

    Dunlop has been out of luck in recent years but Herbertson enjoyed an excellent ride last year when he took sixth in the Senior Race with a near 106mph lap and he also experienced his best ever TT earlier this year, lapping at more than 126mph on his way to a top twenty finish in the PokerStars Senior TT Race.

    Those performances fully justify his inclusion in the team and, with all three riders having proven pedigree around the Mountain Course they are sure to be amongst the race favourites for the two four-lap races.

    Davies Motorsport have been long-time front runners on the Classic racing scene and is headed up by John Davies, who sponsored numerous riders in the 1980s and 90s including Alex Bedford, Kevin Mitchell, Neil Hodgson and Steve Thompson. Davies was a regular competitor himself at the Manx Grand Prix between 1978 and 1997, with his best finishes being second in the 1978 Senior Newcomers race and a brace of fourths in the 1986 and 1987 Lightweight 250cc races. He also campaigned a 500cc Grand Prix Harris Yamaha for the Padgetts team.

    Specialising in Honda machinery, nephew Colin Davies handles all the technical aspects for the team and he too has a wealth of experience at all levels including numerous years as technician to Kevin Schwantz at Lucky Strike Suzuki where together they won the 1993 500cc World Championship.


    Team owner John Davies commented:

    “The Classic TT has become the big event of the year for Classic racing and we are coming with an increased rider line up and a set of bikes that have improved year on year. We want to be challenging for the podium in both the Senior and Junior Races and we have both the machinery and the riders to be able to do just that.”


  • Rutter returns to Classic TT with Ripley Land Racing.


     


    Michael Rutter will have a strong chance of another race victory at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts with the Midlands ace contesting the Sure Junior Classic TT and Bennetts Senior Classic TT races for Ripley Land Racing.

    The Bridgnorth rider has ridden for the Guildford-based team since 2014 and gave them a famous victory on their 350cc Drixton Honda in the 2015 Junior Classic TT race before taking a close second to Michael Dunlop in the corresponding race twelve months ago. The duo had a race-long battle with Rutter lapping at 103.974mph on his way to the runner-up spot.


    In addition, Rutter will also ride Ian Garbutt’s MkII 500cc Seeley G50 Matchless in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT race, having ridden the machine for last two years. Rutter broke the 500cc single cylinder record in his first year on the bike in 2014 with a stunning lap of 109.102 mph and was leading the race and on course for a fairytale victory until a minor problem on the third lap caused him to retire on the Mountain Mile.

    Problems on the opening lap last year saw him lap at just 60.975mph but he gamely carried on and lapped in excess of 106mph before retiring on the final lap. He was also forced to retire from the race in 2016 when lying fifth after more 106mph+ laps.

    Rutter will be one of the favourites for victory in both of the races, further highlighting the credibility and importance of the Classic TT while Ripley Land Racing’s intentions are clear to see.

    Team owners Ian and Janet Garbutt are staunch supporters of the Classic TT and, with one of the finest Mountain Course riders on their books, they have a strong chance of adding to their already impressive track record, which also includes two race wins with Chris Palmer.

  • TWO BRITTENS SET TO FEATURE AT 2017 CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS


    The iconic New Zealand-built Britten machine will make its return to the Isle of Man in August with not one but two of John Britten’s ground-breaking creations taking to the Mountain Course once more at the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.

    The pink and blue Britten and CRS Britten, owned respectively by Kevin Grant and Bob Robbins, were both campaigned at the 1994 Isle of Man TT races and will be ridden this year by Bruce Anstey and fellow Kiwi Stephen Briggs in the Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Retro Parade on Monday 28th August.


    Grant’s machine won the BEARS World Championship in the 1990s and was ridden by Nick Jefferies at the 1994 Isle of Man TT Races with the 1993 Formula One TT winner lapping at more than 118mph from a standing start in the 1994 Senior Race before being side-lined with a gearbox issue.

    The machine has continually been demonstrated around the world since and returned to the TT in 2004 with triple World Champion and double TT winner Hugh Anderson MBE on board. It was last seen on the island in 2014 when Anstey paraded the bike during the Classic TT festival and the 12-time TT Race winner will again put the bike through its paces.

    The CRS Britten competed at the TT on more occasions than any of the other Britten machines with Shaun Harris’ ride in the 1996 Senior being one of the most popular finishes of recent times. The machine has only recently returned from being on museum display to being demonstrated at events internationally.

    Briggs, who competed in the Supersport 600cc TT races in 1994 and 1996 will ride the equally striking black and yellow CRS Britten. Both bikes have been rebuilt completely to ensure there are no issues and are sure to be one of the most popular attractions at the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts.