2014 Ilse of Man TTLeading International road racing team and National Superstock 1000cc Championship front runners SMT Racing will return to the Isle of Man TT Races fueled by Monster Energy in 2014 with former TT Privateer’s Champion Dan Stewart again the rider on board.
The Cumbrian has long been one of the most consistent performers around the Mountain Course and enjoyed a strong first year with Robin Croft’s team last June, posting two top 10 finishes and recording a new personal best lap of 129.077mph in the Dainese Superbike Race. Indeed, only cruel luck when a stone pierced the radiator prevented him from at least matching his best ever result of sixth.The Lancashire-based team has increased its presence on the roads in recent years, with Tim Reeves and Daniel Sayle providing them with their greatest moment with their first ever TT win when they took the opening Sure Sidecar Race last June. They also achieved their maiden International victory with Michael Rutter win at the 2012 Macau Grand Prix, a result he followed up with second at the corresponding race last November. SMT Racing also gave Karl Harris his road racing debut at the 2012 TT.The team has also had a strong presence on the short circuits for many years, running regularly inside the top ten of the British Superbike Championship and more recently has been contesting the National Superstock 1000cc Championship with Adam Jenkinson only missing out on the 2013 title by three points. Swedish rider Filip Backlund will spearhead their short circuit challenge for the forthcoming season.Stewart will have a full array of machinery for this year’s TT where he will be looking to increase his impressive tally of 18 top ten finishes. The motorcycle dealer from Barrow-in-Furness will ride a Honda CBR1000RR in the Dainese Superbike and Pokerstars Senior TT Races and he will also be Honda mounted for the two Monster Energy Supersport Races. He will contest the Royal London 360° Superstock race on either a new Honda or his regular National Superstock Championship Kawasaki ZX-10R.Wilcock Consulting, long time backers of Stewart, will again continue with their support and the 38-year old will no doubt be a thorn in the side of all the factory-backed riders as he looks to better the sixth place finish he’s achieved on three occasions to date.Team owner Robin Croft commented: “We are delighted to be returning to the TT in 2014 with Dan Stewart. I’m a massive fan of the TT and it is the highlight of our year. Dan did a superb job for us last year and we plan to build upon that experience in 2014 and hopefully cause a few shocks. Dan’s not far away from a 130mph lap now and we are sure he will achieve that this year and will be a regular feature at the top of the leader boards.”Tickets are now on sale and selling fast for the 2014 TT Races. Glencrutchery Road Grandstand race day tickets are sold out but there are still TT Fan Zone Grandstand tickets available at Ballacrye, Creg Ny Baa and Nobles Park during practice and race days. Grandstand tickets are also available by purchasing VIP or Platinum Hospitality tickets. All tickets are available from www.iomtt.com or by phoning 00 44 (0)1624 640000.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!