Dunlop taking strong line-up into Isle of Man TT, aims to create the 133mph Club
The Isle of Man TT gets underway on Saturday 4 June, with a strong line-up of road racers confirmed to run on Dunlop rubber. The brand is irrevocably tied to the event having participated at every event since the first race in 1907.
Dunlop has helped riders to win plenty of races and break many records in its 108-year tenure. In 2015 John McGuinness claimed his 23rd outright TT victory, equalling Mike Hailwood’s record of seven Senior TT wins and claiming a record-breaking 44thpodium finish along the way.
McGuinness also secured the outright lap record, with a 132.701mph lap around the 37.73 mile Mountain course. In 2016 Dunlop aims to go one better and create the 133mph club. It’s not just McGuinness that bids to improve his record. Joining him in the elite 132mph club are two other Dunlop-shod riders, Bruce Anstey and Michael Dunlop.
While Dunlop-shod riders will be bidding to break more records and win races across the motorcycle classes at this year’s event, the company’s bid for honours doesn’t end there. Dunlop has teamed up with another of the event partners, Subaru, to tackle the IOMTT Mountain course for a record-breaking attempt on four wheels.
Three-time British Rally Champion Mark Higgins will drive the purpose-built Subaru WRX STi time attack car, jointly developed by Subaru of America and Prodrive. This year the car will be fitted with Dunlop’s medium compound BTCC Sport Maxx race tyres in a bid to break the existing record set in 2014, an average speed of 117.510mph, in a time of 19:15.88.
Among the 100-plus motorcycle entry this year across Senior TT, Superbike, Supersport, Superstock, Lightweight and TT Zero five of the top ten seeded riders are on Dunlops. Seeded first is arguably the most successful rider on Dunlops, reigning Senior TT champion, 23-time TT winner and outright lap record holder (132.701mph) John McGuinness.
The second fastest rider around the TT course, fittingly seeded second, is rapid New Zealander Bruce Anstey. The ten-time winner of the TT stays faithful to Valvoline Racing by Padgett’s Motorcycles and looks set to enter the history book this year aboard a race-prepared version of Honda’s MotoGP RC213V-S. He topped a staggering 209mph on the North West 200.
Taking the #5 slot, is Kawasaki rider Peter Hickman, twice a podium finisher on the recent NW200, and who holds the record for the fastest ever lap by a newcomer around the Mountain course, with his 1:29.104mph lap set in 2014.
Returning to the Dunlop fold for 2016 is 11-time TT winner Michael Dunlop. The Northern Irishman returns to the lucky #6 on which he twice secured a hat-trick of 1000cc wins in 2013 and 2014 and comes fresh from superbike victory, and a 123.20mph record lap on Dunlop’s KR106/KR108 tyres at the NW200.
Manxman Conor Cummins, six times a podium finisher on home turf, partners McGuinness at Honda Racing aboard a CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, and joins Anstey at Valvoline Racing by Padgett’s Motorcycles in Supersport and Superstock, seeded #10.
Among the other confirmed riders on Dunlop tyres are: Cameron Donald, Lee Johnston, David Johnson, Dan Stewart, Steve Mercer, Daniel Cooper, Sam West, Daniel Hegarty, Ryan Kneen, Mark Miller, Robert Barber, Davy Morgan, Michael Sweeney, Paul Shoesmith, John Ingram, Brian McCormack, Christopher Dixon, Ben Wylie, Kiaran Hankin, James Ford, Derek McGee, Derek Shiels, Rob Hodson, David Sellers, Philip Crowe, Eric Wilson, Davd Madsen-Mygdal, Dominic Herbertson, David Hewson, Brandon Cretu, Mark Goodings, Colin Stephenson, Anthony Redmond, Ben Rea, Alan Connor, Craig Neve, Forest Dunn, Seamus Elliott, André Pires, Robert Wilson and Simon Fulton.