2017 Lightweight Classic TT Race Preview

Two of the Isle of Man TT’s fiercest competitors, Michael Dunlop and Bruce Anstey, will go head-to-head during the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race at the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts.

Anstey, a 12-time TT winner, claimed victory during last season’s Lightweight Classic TT. The Kiwi set a lap time of 118.744 mph aboard the Padgetts Motorcycles Honda, which he returns on for this year’s race.

Dunlop, who claimed two wins at the 2017 Isle of Man TT, is a pre-race favorite, the Northern Irishman piloting a Turner Racing Yamaha TZ 250 at this year’s Lightweight Classic TT.

Bruce Anstey head to Classic TT 2017
Honda’s Bruce Anstey, last year’s Lightweight Classic TT winner.

Dunlop and Anstey are two of the favorites heading into the second running of the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts. This year’s race has attracted an increased entry of 68 riders for 2017.

The other pre-race favorite is Ian Lougher, the Welshman again riding the Laylaw Racing Yamaha.

Lougher’s teammate Dan Cooper sets off at number five and is sure to be challenging for a podium finish whilst the same applies to the John Chapman Racing duo of Dan Kneen (7) and Ivan Lintin (8) who will both ride RS250 Honda’s.

James Cowton (9) is another likely rostrum contender on his Yamaha with Phil Harvey (10) aiming for a repeat performance of 2016 when he took an emotional third place on his CSC Racing Honda.

Paul Owen (11) just missed out to Harvey last year on the Team 98 Honda and other class regulars to be back for another try are Rhys Hardisty (15) on the Kaymac Marine Engineering Yamaha, former Newcomers Manx Grand Prix winner Gary Vines (17) riding his immaculately prepared Online Lubricants Yamaha, Chris Moore (18) riding the JL Exhausts/Dafabet Yamaha and Davy Morgan (19) on his own 250cc Honda.

2016 TT Privateer’s Champion Dan Hegarty (12) makes his debut in the race riding a TZ Yamaha, while former Manx Grand Prix winner Dan Sayle is set to go at 14 on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha.

Dunlop & Anstey Battle Heads to 2017 Lightweight Classic TT
Yamaha’s Michael Dunlop

Exciting road racing prospect Adam McLean starts at number 16 and will also be Yamaha-mounted whilst other riders expected to be pushing for top ten finishes are the Clever Brown Honda pairing of Nigel Moore and Shaun Anderson, Timothee Monot (Team Baz Honda), Michael Sweeney on the second Laylaw Racing Yamaha, Tom Snow (FCL Racing Yamaha), Stuart Hall (Martyn Nelson Yamaha) and Dan Stewart (Wilcock Consulting Yamaha).

However, a spoiler in the race could well be Michael Rutter on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati with the Midlands rider setting off at number four whilst Chris Swallow also has a 750cc Ducati at his disposal, this time under the iconic Sports Motorcycles Ducati banner.

Other riders to keep an eye on include David Hewson (Obsession Engineering Yamaha), David Madsen-Mygdal (RJP Racing Honda), Neal Champion (Frasers of Gloucester Yamaha) and Michael Russell (CMB Motorsport Honda).

The 2017 Lightweight Classic TT is set for Saturday, August 26, at the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.