Morecambe Missile McGuinness heads field at Classic TT

John McGuinness.
John McGuinness.
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Morecambe Missile John McGuinness will again lead the field at this year’s Classic TT on the Isle of Man.

A near 90-strong field of TT stars and established classic racers will take on the iconic 37 and ¾-mile Mountain Course at the fourth running of the event.

McGuinness, a 23-time TT winner, will take the number one plate for the curtain-raising Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race on Saturday, August 27.

The resort racer, now 44, has been out of luck in the three Classic TT events but he’s returning for another attempt on Roger Winfield’s Paton.

Having lapped at more than 112mph in practice in 2014, he’ll be hoping for better luck this time around and will be targeting a podium place as a minimum.

With Ryan Farquhar continuing to recover from the injuries he received at this year’s North West 200, McGuinness has a new teammate in the race with his regular Honda Racing partner Conor Cummins lining up on the second Winfield Paton.

The Manxman, who has his usual number 10 plate, has made sporadic appearances at the Classic TT and he certainly has the machine to go for the race win this time around.

Dean Harrison took the victory 12 months ago on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta and the Bradford rider, again starting at number 12, will be putting everything into retaining his title.

Laps in excess of 110mph showed what the combination is capable of and with a great season under his belt, Harrison will want to make sure his Italian machine is first past the chequered flag.

It’s intended that he will be joined in the squad by Lee Johnston again although the Irish rider sustained a broken collarbone at the Ulster Grand Prix which has put his appearance in jeopardy.

Ian Lougher will also support the MV challenge. The Welshman, who won the race in 2014 on the Giovanni Cabassi/Flitwick Motorcycles Paton, sets off at number five on the John Chapman Racing machine.

Regular competitors Team Molnar are missing from the entry list which means that Michael Dunlop, three, is still searching for a ride but the top 20 is still packed with potential race winners including the Davies Motorsport duo of William Dunlop, six, and long-time Classic race exponent Alan Oversby, eight, who continue on Honda machinery for the fourth successive year.