Belfast Telegraph

Anstey all set for Classic defence of his TT title

By Paul Lindsay

The Manx Grand Prix gets under way today with the opening practice sessions for MGP and Classic TT competitors (5.20pm).

While newcomers to the Isle of Man TT circuit and those steeped in the amateur ranks will be looking forward to competing, supporting and watching the Junior and Senior MGP races from Monday, August 31, the main marketing focus at the Manx event for the past three years has surrounded the Classic TT weekend.

A plethora of modern day greats from the TT's June showpiece have all bought into the Classic TT Races, which are set to take place on Saturday, August 29 and Monday, August 31, which culminates with the Formula 1 and Formula 2 Classic TT Races.

Last year the winner of the F1 class was Bruce Anstey, who obliterated the field on Clive Padgett's two-stroke 500cc former Grand Prix Yamaha.

Lapping in excess of 124mph shows the level of commitment now required to win an F1 Classic TT, but Anstey has some stiff opposition in store. Michael Dunlop, the inaugural 2013 winner, will have in-form Fermanagh racer Lee Johnston as a team-mate in the Team Classic Suzuki squad.

Add to that recent TT winners Ivan Lintin and Dean Harrison on ZXR750cc Kawasakis and Ryan Farquhar and Gary Johnson on Team Winfield 1100cc Yamahas, and the lap times are sure to fall.

Practice continues all next week, with the opening race on Saturday morning (August 29) - the 350cc Classic TT.

Meanwhile, a host of local racers will be taking part in the British Superbike Championship and supporting classes this weekend, including Michael Laverty and the leading duo in the British Superstock class, Josh Elliott and Alastair Seeley.

The action continues today at Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire, with BSB qualifying (4.00pm) followed by the British Supersport Sprint Race, involving Glenn Irwin and Andy Reid (5.20pm).

Belfast Telegraph


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