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Dunlop, Johnston up for Classic challenge

By Paul Lindsay

Published 09/12/2015

Prize fighter: Michael Dunlop toasts his Classic TT success in 2015 and (inset) Lee Johnston is aiming for podium places
Prize fighter: Michael Dunlop toasts his Classic TT success in 2015 and (inset) Lee Johnston is aiming for podium places

Top local road racing stars Michael Dunlop and Lee Johnston will ride Suzuki GB supported XR69 machinery in next year's Classic TT on the Isle of Man.

The immaculately liveried Team Classic Suzuki XR69s are owned and run by self-confessed Suzuki aficionado Steve Wheatman, who took 11-time Isle of Man TT winner Dunlop to Classic TT wins in 2013 and 2015.

The team will contest a number of events throughout the year, including the Classic TT, which Fermanagh ace Johnston is delighted to be a part of.

He said: "I love the relaxed atmosphere at the Classic TT, which is growing year on year.

"The big three internationals are obviously my main focus in a season and I'll be aiming to add to my debut TT podium in June and my wins at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, but it's also an honour to be asked to ride for Steve's team."

Speaking of the Classic TT, where he has already been victorious in the 350cc class, Johnston added: "The new livery on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69s is absolutely mint.

"They are beautiful bikes to ride and Michael has already shown how capable they are with two wins.

"My aim now is to hopefully see both of Steve's bikes on the podium next season at the Classic TT."

The support for Wheatman's team will come from Suzuki GB's Vintage Parts programme for 2016. Suzuki GB After Sales Marketing Co-Ordinator Tim Davies said: "Being involved with Steve and Team Classic Suzuki is a perfect fit for us.

"Racing is a hugely important part of Suzuki's heritage and even though bikes and technology are always moving forward, we don't forget about the bikes that got us to where we are.

"It's the same with our road bikes too, which is why we're so committed to supporting the team next season.

"We're sure we'll be celebrating some good results together in 2016 with both Michael and Lee onboard."

In conclusion, team owner Wheatman said: "In 2015 Michael Dunlop raced our XR69 to victory at the Classic TT, which was his second win in three years on our bike, and we'll be aiming for the top step again at every event we enter in 2016 with both Michael and Lee Johnston."

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