2014 Isle of Man TT Number Plates / Start Positions
With entries all set for the 2014 Isle of Man TT races, fueled by Monster Energy, the start numbers are confirmed for the 1000cc solo classes. These are not only number plates for the bikes; they show what position each rider will start in each solo race. The 1-20 riders feature with established race winners, front runners and some new talent.
After taking number three at the 2013 Isle of Man TT races to honor Joey Dunlop’s first TT win for Honda, 20-time TT winner John McGuinness will revert back to number one.
The Morecambe Missile has won races in 2011 and 2012 starting from the head of the field. The experienced Honda Racing rider will be expected to use the advantage of the clear road to try and break the chasing pack.
Ten seconds behind will be the man who shadowed him for much of last year’s PokerStars Senior Race, James Hillier. Having lapped in the 131mph bracket to become the fifth fastest rider ever, the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki pilot knows he’ll have to do more of the same and with McGuinness ahead on the road he’ll have no better target.
Number three will be arguably the most celebrated rider at TT2014 with Ian Hutchinson, the five-time winner of 2010, returning to a hero’s welcome. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider has been to hell and back since that achieving that magnificent feat and will be determined to get back to winning ways immediately.
He’ll be pushing for his ninth TT race win with his first chance in the Dainese Superbike Race but behind him is a man challenging for his first with Guy Martin, as in 2013, heading off at number four. It’s also the fourth year he’s been with Hector and Philip Neill’s Tyco Suzuki squad so could 2014 finally be the year?
The potential race winners come thick and fast though with the next ones to set off down Bray Hill being Bruce Anstey, Michael Dunlop and Gary Johnson. Dunlop, of course, almost swept the board in 2013, taking four race wins and a second place, but now he’s made the switch to the BMW Motorrad/Hawk Racing team all eyes will be on him to see if he can continue his winning spree.
Anstey, now the second fastest rider ever, can never be ruled out and although he failed to add to his nine wins last year, he was on the pace and is still determined to take his first Superbike Race win. Likewise Johnson, who challenged for the lead in the early stages of both the Superbike and Senior Races in 2013 before technical gremlins intervened, will be looking for his first ‘big bike’ win.
William Dunlop has made the move to the Tyco Suzuki team and gets his first 1000cc top-10 start at eight. Completing the top 10 will be Michael Rutter and local hero Conor Cummins, the latter looking to replicate his 2010 form when he led the Superbike Race for four laps. Now part of the Honda Racing squad, all of his rivals know he’s one to watch.
Dan Stewart, carrying the number 11 plate, will again be looking to get the SMT /Wilcock Consulting machines in among the factory riders while a strong lower order threat comes from number 12 in the shape of Dean Harrison. Now approaching his fourth year at the TT, Harrison is expected to be challenging for race wins on the RC Express Racing by MSS Performance Kawasaki.