'˜Morecambe Missile' John McGuinness getting back down to action

This year's Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race will be headed by 2016 winner and legendary Morecambe speed demon John McGuinness.

John McGuinness
John McGuinness

The ‘Morecambe Missile’ – who is a 23-time TT Races winner – will return to action on the Team Winfield Paton and after almost 18 months out of action due to a badly broken leg. The twin-cylinder Paton has won no less than four of the five previous Senior Classic TT races but there are plenty of other riders capable of stopping the team’s domination.

Ten-time TT winner Ian Lougher (ranked No.5) on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta won the race in 2014 and will certainly be aiming for the top step again.

Maria Costello (No.10), third in 2016 and fourth last year, will again be mounted on the Team Beugger Racing Paton while another threat will come from the three pronged attack of the Davies Motorsport Honda team.

Works Honda TT rider Lee Johnston will arguably be their strongest challenger as he sets off at No.13 but both Alan Oversby (No.2) and Dominic Herbertson (No.8) will be pushing for a podium – at least – with the latter finishing in fifth place 12 months ago.

The field is packed with potential rostrum men riding British machines led by last year’s runner-up Jamie Coward (No.3) on the Ted Woof/Craven Manx Norton.

Six-time TT winner Michael Rutter (No.4) will again ride the Ripley Land Racing Matchless with former World Championship 125cc and Moto3TM competitor Danny Webb (No.17) on board the Dunnell Racing Norton with Michael Russell (No.19) riding a similar machine for Izzard Racing.

Olie Linsdell, the maiden winner of the Senior Classic TT race in 2013, will again be on the Flitwick Motorcycles/Steve Bond Royal Enfield, this time with the number nine plate, while the CSC Racing Honda pairing of Daniel Cooper (No.11) and James Hillier (No.14) also feature in the top 20, alongside the father and son duo of Bill and Chris Swallow. Bill goes at No.15 on a Ducati while Chris is a place behind on the grid on another Royal Enfield.

Austrian ace Horst Saiger rounds out the top 20 on the Egli Motorradtechnik Vincent machine.