The Bennetts Lightweight TT Race, now in its fourth year, is again the fourth solo class on the programme at the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy. With over 70 entries received for the 3-lap race, including two former race winners, it promises to be another competitive battle.
Gary Johnson on the Chinese WK Moto machine will lead the field away ten seconds ahead of 2013 race winner James Hillier. The Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider has finished on the podium in all three Lightweight races, never finishing lower than second.
Michael Dunlop is scheduled to go off at number three on the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki machine and just behind him is another manufacturer, the ILR Paton machine of Michael Rutter. The bike lapped in excess of 116mph last year in the hands of Olie Linsdell and Rutter will hope to add a couple more mph on to that in order to challenge the podium finishers.
2012 winner Ryan Farquhar goes at number five on the first of four SGS International/KMR Kawasaki’s in the field with Ivan Lintin, fastest in practice in 2014, ten seconds behind him on the RC Express Racing Kawasaki.
Three young guns will be in hot pursuit with Jamie Hamilton (BE Racing Kawasaki) at seven, James Cowton – third in last year’s race at eight on the DTR powered by Stuart Smith Racing Kawasaki machine and Connor Behan (SGS International/KMR Kawasaki) at nine. Another young charger, former 125cc British Champion Dan Cooper, completes the top ten.
There’s plenty of talent in seeds 11-20 too with Martin Jessopp, Michael Russell and Lee Johnston the next three to head off down Glencrutchery Road with the latter, in particular, in with a great chance of the podium on a third KMR Kawasaki.
Dan Kneen, David Johnson and Michael Dokoupil are the next three to go with Danny Webb, Michael Sweeney, Cameron Donald – fourth in 2012 – and Sam Wilson completing the seeded riders.
TT Rider Liaison Officer John Barton will have the number 22 plate while other riders to keep an eye on include Jamie Coward, Ben Wylie, Steve Mercer, Timothee Monot, last year’s Manx Grand Prix winner James Neesom, Colin Stephenson and AJ Venter. Other riders to graduate from the ‘Manx’ include Andy Lawson, Ben Rea, Bjorn Gunnarsson, Gavin Lupton and Jack Hunter.
The race also sees four newcomers in the shape of Northern Ireland pair Derek McGee and Gareth Keys, English youngster Daniel Harrison and Belgium Champion Geoffrey Vankoekelbergh.