This year’s Locate.im Junior Classic TT race is set to be one of the most closely contested classes at this year’s Classic TT Races and with 75 entries received, the line-up contains a number of potential race winners.
Honda, with almost 75 per cent of the field on the legendary K4, lead the manufacturer interest. Last year’s winner Dominic Herbertson will start as slight favourite for honours having put in a scintillating ride 12 months ago.
Herbertson, who starts at number 9, is one of only five riders to lap at more than 104mph in the class. The North East rider continues with the Davies Motorsport team who will be confident of retaining the top spot especially as they also have Lee Johnston (13) in their ranks again.
Third last year for the Burton upon Trent based team, Johnston also won the race in 2014 on the Black Eagle MV Agusta and remains the class lap record holder with a speed of 105.239mph.
He will be keen to get back onto the top step of the podium but so too will Michael Rutter (4) who has already tasted victory in the race in both 2015 and 2017. He also took second to Michael Dunlop in 2016 and, continuing on the Ripley Land Racing Honda, the Midlands veteran is in with a great chance of taking win number three.
Although Alan Oversby (11) is no longer with Davies Motorsport he certainly can’t be discounted for the race win on the Pipe Werx Exhausts Honda either, while Jamie Coward (8), who once more rides the Ted Woof/Craven Honda, is another race win contender after taking second place for the last two years.
Paul Jordan, on the Ripley Land Racing AJS previously ridden by Chris Palmer and Cameron Donald, has the honour of setting off first down Glencrutchery Road while Chris Swallow (10) is another one of the few non-Honda riders as he opts for the PKP Bladon Enterprises/Hall Green Velocette.
Chris’s father Bill, who sets off at number 17, is another Honda pilot though as he rides the Gleve Racing/John Poyner machine and the Japanese giant are further represented by the CSC Racing pairing of Michael Sweeney (3) and Maria Costello (7), Greenall Racing’s Derek Sheils (6) and Craig Neve (5) who makes a welcome return from injuries sustained at the North West 200 riding for JK Construction.
Joey Thompson (2) will again ride for the John Chapman Racing outfit and sets off ten seconds behind fellow youngster Jordan whilst the only other rider in the top 20 seeds not to be Honda mounted is former 125cc Grand Prix rider Danny Webb (12) who campaigns the Dunnell Racing Norton for the third time.
All of the other seeded riders will be on board the favoured 350cc single cylinder Honda with Hefyn Owen (14, Owen Racing), Alex Sinclair (15, Fox Classic Racing), David Madsen-Mygdal (16, Gimbert Racing), Steve Ferguson (18, RJP Racing), Rob Hodson (19, Geoff Bates Racing) and Richard Wilson (20, Chris Hughes Racing) all more than capable of getting into the top six.
Other riders who will be looking for at least a top ten finish include Mark Herbertson (23), Dave Matravers (27), French visitor Lancelot Unissart (35), former Manx Grand Prix podium finisher Chris McGahan (45) and TT star Conor Cummins (36) who’ll have his regular 350cc Honda at his disposal,
A number of other regular TT runners are also entered including Davy Morgan, Barry Lee Evans, Ben Rea, Dave Moffitt, Scott Wilson and former Senior Manx GP winner Tom Weeden who rides the Goathland Garage Norton. Current Manx GP front runner, and victor in the second Lightweight race last year, Andrew Farrell, will also be on the grid.
Charles Rhys Hardisty will be on one of the few 250cc machines in the field, riding a 250cc Ducati for his regular Kaymac Marine/Wilson and Wilding team, as will Gary Vines who’ll contest the four-lap race on the only Kawasaki in the entry.
The four-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 10.15am on Monday 27th August.