Isle of Man TT organisers have confirmed the startlist for the Supersport TT Races in 2014, having recently announced the Superbike category entry list.
All eyes are expected to be on Michael Dunlop, who rode to a dominant brace of victories, breaking both the race and lap records in the process, raising the latter to a blistering 128.666mph. However, despite the success of 2013, Dunlop is eyeing even greater speeds in 2014.
“I’ve proved I can win TT’s on a Supersport bike and I’ve also got the lap and race records,” said Dunlop, who will once again ride off from sixth position. “But what I really want is to be the first person to lap at over 130mph on a 600cc bike and I think it is within my reach. I need to take about 11 seconds off my best lap, which is a big ask. But my bike is going to be stronger this year and when I set the lap record I made a few little mistakes and lost quite a lot of time. So I know it is possible, it’s just about putting that perfect lap together for 37 and ¾ miles.”
Looking to stop Dunlop’s charge will be fellow Honda riders John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey on the pair of Padgetts Motorcycles machines, starting from first and fifth respectively. Anstey came closest to beating Dunlop in 2013, holding the lead for much of the second race before Dunlop came through to take the win.
Meanwhile four-time Supersport class winner Ian Hutchinson will be back at the Mountain aboard a Milwaukee Yamaha, starting from third again. The last time Hutchinson rode a Supersport bike was in 2008 in only his second TT, but it’s impossible to count him out. The same can also be said for his team-mate Josh Brookes, who will ride off from 14th, who took the 2008 World Supersport Championship.
Flying the flag for Tyco Suzuki will be fan favourite Guy Martin and master of the 600cc category William Dunlop, although the Suzuki hasn’t been a winner for the last few years. Martin will set off down Glencrutchery Road from fourth while Dunlop will ride from eighth.
A new addition to the Isle of Man TT comes in the form of Smiths Triumph, with Gary Johnson, riding from number seven, and Michael Rutter, riding from number 15, looking to put the 2012 British Championship winners on the TT podium.
Other notable entries include James Hillier, who will ride second on the road, local hero Conor Cummins, who takes his usual number 10, and the returning Keith Amor, riding for the first time since 2011 and ninth on the road.
The top 20 will ride in number order, while the remainder of the record-field of 99 approved entries will be determined by qualifying times. Despite the mammoth number of entries, there will be only two newcomers in the race.