LEE JOHNSTON JOINS DEAN HARRISON ON MV AGUSTA’S FOR 350cc CLASSIC TT RACE
Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston, two of road racing’s brightest young stars, are to join forces at Black Eagle Racing for next month’s Okells 350cc Classic TT Race. The ‘dream team’ will see the pair on board exotic MV Agusta machines.
Harrison and Johnston, both 25 years old, are two of the most exciting new talents on the road-racing scene. Harrison achieved his debut TT podium in the 2013 Lightweight Race before going on to lead this year’s corresponding race from start to finish. He also took second behind Michael Dunlop in the RL 360 Superstock TT and is no stranger to the classic scene, winning the Motorsport Merchandise Formula Classic Race in the inaugural meeting last year. Dean will also ride in the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT Race for Black Eagle Racing.
Johnston made his name on the short circuits, winning the National Superstock 600cc title in 2008, but has focused his efforts recently on the roads to devastating effect, clinching the 2013 TT Privateer’s Championship before going on to claim a double victory at this year’s North West 200. He also recorded his best ever TT finish, fifth, in this year’s RL360 Superstock TT.
Renowned classic racing specialists David and Mark Kay formed Black Eagle Racing in 2008. With their high specification machines, a two-rider effort at the Classic TT is their prime focus for the season and a major coup for the Classic TT.
The team is managed by another well-known figure in the Classic world, Brian Richards, a former racer who has achieved numerous top ten finishes in the Classic Manx Grand Prix races.
Commenting on the ride, Lee Johnston said:
“When Brian (Richards) called and offered me the chance to ride this amazing motorcycle, I didn’t have to think twice before saying yes. It is amazing to think I will be following in Giacomo Agostini’s footsteps by racing one of these amazing bikes around the TT Course. I am really happy to be riding as teammate to Dean as well. We get on great, and he will be starting ten seconds ahead of me in the race, so that will be a massive carrot for me to chase down.”
More, from a press release issued by Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling Press Office:
TT LAP RECORD HOLDER ANSTEY TO RIDE VALVOLINE BY PADGETT'S MOTORCYCLES EX FACTORY YZR YAMAHA IN FORMULA 1 CLASSIC TT RACE
Fresh from shattering the outright lap record around the Mountain Course during this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, New Zealand legend Bruce Anstey will line up for the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 Classic TT Race on board an ex-factory YZR500 Yamaha GP bike. The bike will be liveried in the Valvolene by Padgett's Motorcycles team colours.
Re-affirming the organisers desire to make the event the biggest, most prestigious Classic Race in the world, the Mountain Course will reverberate to the wailing sound of the two-stroke Yamaha which will, without doubt, be one of the most exotic bikes to have tackled the 37 and ¾-mile circuit.
The machine, owned and run by Padgett's Motorcycles, is identical to the bikes ridden by the likes of Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, John Kocinski, Niall Mackenzie, Juan Garriga and Randy Mamola in the 500cc World Championship and, despite being over 20 years old, produces more than 150bhp. Weighing just 115kg, compared to 170kg for a modern day Superbike, its power-to-weight ratio makes the YZR500 a formidable weapon.
With Anstey, the Padgett's team has the ideal rider to be on board the YZR500 Yamaha with the Kiwi not only being one of the most versatile riders in the paddock but also one of the sport’s most successful competitors. Forty-four year old Anstey, the current TT outright lap record holder, after setting a stunning lap of 132.298mph in this year’s Dainese Superbike Race, has taken no less than 9 wins at the TT while his 31 podiums have only been bettered by John McGuinness and Joey Dunlop.
The team themselves also has an illustrious track record at the TT and is one of the most successful to have competed at the Isle of Man. The Batley-based outfit has been prolific in recent years with Anstey, McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson taking 11 wins and 26 podiums between them since 2007. Hutchinson’s five-timer in 2010 remains the most wins in a single meeting.
Padgett's are no strangers to running 500cc two-strokes around the Mountain Course either with Jim Moodie having ridden a 500cc V-Twin NSR Honda in the 1997 Senior TT, finishing second and posting a best lap of 121.91mph. Nigel Davies also took a Harris-framed YZR500 Yamaha to sixth place in the 1998 Senior TT.
Ian Lougher set the fastest two-stroke lap around the course, 122.93mph, on a 500cc V-Twin NSR Honda in the 1999 Senior TT.
Speaking about the news, Padgett's Motorcycles Team Manager Clive Padgett commented:
“We are delighted to be able to support the Classic TT and are looking forward to getting back to the Isle of Man later in the year off the back of another successful TT for our team. To be able to come with something as spectacular as the YZR500 Yamaha has got the whole team motivated including Bruce who, as most race fans will know, made his name on two stroke machinery. The Classic TT was a massive success in its first year and we really want to be part of it going forward.”
Paul Phillips, TT & Motorsport Development Manager, Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development added:
“This is great news for the event and great news for the fans. To have one of the most successful teams in TT history come to the event in only its second year gives enormous credibility to what we are building with the Classic TT. And Padgett's Motorcycles really have pushed the boat out with their entry; Bruce Anstey on a factory spec 500cc Grand Prix two stroke racing around the Mountain Course should be a spectacular sight.”
The Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 TT Race takes place on Monday 25th August. The 2014 Classic TT presented by Bennetts also includes the Bennetts 500cc Race and Okells 350cc Race as well as the Joey Dunlop Road Racing Legends – The Rivals Parade Lap sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and the Classic Racer Magazine Lap of Honour.
More, from a press release issued by Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling Press Office:
11 TIMES TT WINNER MICHAEL DUNLOP HEADS ENTRY FOR MOTORSPORT MERCHANDISE FORMULA 1 CLASSIC TT RACE
The Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 Classic TT Race at this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts is eagerly anticipated. Over 70 entries have been accepted for the four lap race, with a number of high quality entrants more than capable of 120mph+ laps.
After taking the victory and posting a stunning near 124mph lap in last year’s race, which he followed up with his second successive four timer at the TT in June, Michael Dunlop is the clear favourite for the race win, particularly as he will again be racing Team Classic Suzuki’s GSXR1100 powered XR69. However, there’s further strength in depth this year with an increase in both the quality and quantity of the field.
Starting from number one on the road, Dunlop's challengers come thick and fast with James Hillier and Dean Harrison at numbers two and three respectively on the grid. The duo will both be mounted on ZXR750 Kawasaki’s, Hillier with Jackson Racing and Harrison for Mistral Racing, and are sure to be major contenders. Guy Martin is scheduled to start at number four on another GSXR1100 XR69. Riding the Trident Engineering machine, it will be the Lincolnshire rider's first outing around the Mountain Course on a classic machine since finishing second in the 2009 Post Classic Manx GP Race.
Possibly the most exciting rider and machine combination on the grid comes in the form of outright TT Lap Record Holder Bruce Anstey on board the Padgett’s Motorcycles YZR500 Yamaha. Having made his name on two stroke machinery, the Kiwi should be right at home of the exotic ex GP machine.
Team Winfield provides a double-pronged attack with Ryan Farquhar and Gary Johnson on their 1100cc Harris Yamaha’s and the pairing will certainly push Dunlop hard at the head of the field while last year’s third placed finisher Ryan Kneen will be expecting to challenge again on the DMR OW01 Yamaha.
Suzuki will provide further challengers with Lee Johnston on the second Team Classic Suzuki GSXR1100 XR69 and Dan Kneen and Paul Shoesmith on the RLR Motorsports Suzuki’s while Russ Mountford riding another GSXR1100 XR69 for Team York Suzuki and the returning Carl Rennie on a GSXR750 Suzuki are all expected to post fast laps.
Kawasaki's ZXR750 is one of the more favoured machines in the field with Jamie Coward, Harrison’s team-mate at Mistral Racing, Dan Stewart (Wilcock Consulting) and John Barton (Wemoto) all more than capable of getting into the top three with Paul Duckett and Fabrice Miguet also anticipated to perform well around the 37 and ¾ mile course.
Olie Linsdell (Flitwick Motorcycles/Steve Bond FZ Yamaha), Ben Wylie (YB4 Bimota), Graham English (Tiva Engineering XR69 Suzuki), Mick Godfrey (Alfs Motorcycles 888 Ducati), David Bell (Graham Turnbull FZ750 Yamaha) and Chris Dixon (GSXR750 Suzuki) further illustrate the strength and variety of the field with class regulars Paul Baleta, Chris Petty, Andy Lovett, Ken Davis and Paul Coward all lining up on Glencrutchery road once more.
The iconic RC30 Honda is expected to feature prominently in the hands of former TT winner Nick Jefferies, current TT star Dan Cooper (CSC Racing), Kiaran Hankin, Daniel Sayle (Bob Jackson Racing), David Madsen-Mygdal (Gimbert Racing) and Timothee Monot (Optimark Road Racing).