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Read the exclusive profiles of those riders that have taken to the Isle of Man and left behind a legacy…
From: Morecambe, England
TT Debut: 1996
Best result: 23 wins, 44 podiums
Fastest Lap: 132.701mph
Having madder his debut back in 1996, winning his first race in 1999, McGuinness has been the number one rider at the TT for more than a decade now and with his name littered throughout the record books, he’s without doubt one of the greatest TT riders ever. However, the wrist injury of 2014 had all but wiped out his season and he was a shadow of his former self so this year was going to be a telling year. Would he be back to his best or would it mark the beginning of the end?
The answer was most definitely the former and he was quietly confident when he arrived at the TT. Fourth in the Superbike race wasn’t in the script though and there’s no denying he was disappointed so he had to dig deep for the remainder of the week. He did more than that though and responded in devastating fashion where after winning the TT Zero race with another lap record, his performance in the Senior was simply devastating.
He won the race, his 23rd win and 44th podium, leading from start to finish and reclaimed his outright lap record with a phenomenal lap of 132.701mph. It was a reminder to all those that had written him off that he still has what it takes to win big bike races at the TT and without doubt, more wins lie within the McGuinness locker. The success story of the Morecambe Missile still has a long way to run.
Watch McGuinness set the new lap record…
From: Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
TT Debut: 2007
Best result: 11 wins, 20 podiums
Fastest Lap: 132.515mph
Having won his first TT in 2009, the youngest of the Dunlop clan has since gone on to establish himself as a TT great with the distinct possibility of claiming many records in the years ahead. Four wins were taken in both 2013 and 2014 and he now has the distinct honour of having won races on Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda and BMW machinery, no mean feat indeed.
Still only 26, no rider has won more races or stood on the podium at that age and whilst the self-named maverick has established somewhat of a reputation for not playing the team game – the last three seasons have seen him ride for three different manufacturers – there’s no doubt he’s very much the man of the moment and a rider in constant demand. His pace around the Mountain Course is there for all to see and he has all the talent to dominate the event in the years ahead.
Dunlop in action…
From: Dorset, England
TT Debut: 2008
Best result: 1 win, 6 podiums
Fastest Lap: 132.414mph
Having won the Newcomers Trophy in 2008, Hillier has since become a remarkable mark of consistency failing to finish only two races and steadily climbing his way up the leaderboard. Indeed, the last time he failed to finish a race was in 2010 and since 2012 he’s finished in the top ten in all 23 races he’s started, a phenomenal record. He has the ideal style and temperament for the Mountain Course and has been on the podium in each of the Lightweight races since 2012, winning in 2013 and setting a new lap record in 2015.
However, he’s a major force in the other classes too, none more so than in the 1000cc races having taken second and third in the 2015 Senior and Superbike races, also becoming the third fastest rider ever with a stunning 132mph+ lap. It’s only a matter of time before he wins one of the Blue Riband races.
Watch Hillier take on the Kawasaki H2R round the Isle of Man..
From: Kirmington, England
TT Debut: 2004
Best result: 16 podiums
Fastest Lap: 132.398mph
When Guy Martin burst onto the scene as a raw 21-year old in 2003, many predicted that a glittering road racing career lay in front of him and whilst he’s racked up multiple wins elsewhere, the prize accolade of a TT win continues to, mysteriously, elude him. It’s certainly not been through the lack of trying and he’s now taken no less than 16 podium places – seven seconds and nine thirds – which gives him the unenviable record of recording the most TT podiums without a win.
After missing out in both 2012 and 2013, he was back on the rostrum in both 2014 and 2015 with the switch by his Tyco team seemingly giving him fresh impetus and enthusiasm. However, the TT has never been more competitive and his chances of victory may well have passed him by despite the fact he’s still knocking at the door. The TV presenter/lorry mechanic/bike racer has indicated he may well have ridden his last TT as his activities away from racing take over but let’s hope that’s not the case.
Martin remains fearless when it comes to road racing, check him out clocking up speeds of 200mph!
From: Wellington, New Zealand
TT Debut: 1996
Best result: 10 wins, 35 podiums
Fastest Lap: 132.298mph
Anstey continues to astound everyone with his uncanny knack of simply turning up to a race meeting and being on the pace immediately – despite not having ridden in months! The quiet Kiwi was a National Champion by the time he made his TT debut in the 1996 250cc race but, having impressed on the two-strokes, he made the switch from to four-strokes and having recorded his first podium in 2000, he’s been on the rostrum at least once every year since.
Anstey enjoyed seven consecutive years with TAS Suzuki before joining his current team, Padgetts Honda, for the 2011 season and his TT record now reads a mightily impressive 10 wins and 35 podiums – that tells you he’s going to be there or thereabouts in every race once more and, having finally claimed a Superbike win in 2015, the former outright lap record holder has more than a good chance of doing the same in 2016.
Anstey breaking the Superbike lap record in 2014…
From: Ramsey, Isle of Man
TT Debut: 2006
Best result: 6 podiums
Fastest Lap: 131.797mph
Having made his mark at the TT from 2008 onwards, Cummins was all set to add a TT win to his CV until he had his well-documented crash in the 2010 Senior TT. That would have ended the career of many but the Manxman was thinking about nothing else other than getting back out on the Mountain Course and although the subsequent years didn’t go to plan, signing for Honda Racing in 2014 got his career back on track.
It’s an opportunity he grasped with both hands, taking podiums in the 2014 Superbike and Senior races and although he couldn’t replicate those results in 2015, he still did a great job for Honda and went quicker than ever before. With John McGuinness as team-mate, he has a great chance to learn and progress and he’ll be a definite contender once more in 2016.
Cummins is taking his Honda for a spin…
From: Bingley, England
TT Debut: 2004
Best result: 11 wins, 20 podiums
Fastest Lap: 131.697mph
A Newcomers Manx Grand Prix winner back in 2003, Hutchinson soon established himself as a front runner at the TT and with his first podium finishes coming in 2006, he only had to wait one more year for his first win. That started in a run of massive success culminating in his legendary performances at the 2010 event when he won all five solo races, the first and only rider to achieve such a feat. However, a short circuit crash at Silverstone left him with horrendous leg injuries and he essentially lost the next three years of his career.
He was a shadow of his former self in 2012 whilst machinery issues held him back in 2014 but 2015 was a defining moment in his career as he returned with competitive machinery going on to take a hat-trick of wins and finish on the podium in all five races he started. No results have been more popular and, still only 36, the Yorkshire rider has many years ahead of him and now riding for Tyco BMW few would against him racking up more race victories.
Hutchy is back and faster than ever!
From: Louth, England
TT Debut: 2014
Best result: Fifth (2015 Superstock)
Fastest Lap: 131.626mph
Having set the fastest ever lap by a newcomer in 2014, a lot of focus and expectation was on Hickman coming into the 2015 season and it’s fair to say he didn’t disappoint. However, a short circuit crash at Oulton Park put his appearance at the TT in jeopardy but come June he was lining up on Glencrutchery Road and his second year around the Mountain Course was simply superb.
Opting to ride a Superstock machine in all three 1000cc races, Hickman, finished in the top eight of all them, taking a best finish of fifth in the Superstock. But in the Senior race, he had, arguably, an even better ride into seventh and lapped at 131.626mph to become the eighth fastest rider of all time – in just his second year. He then went on to win at both the Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix and, if he can maintain his progress, a TT win is surely just around the corner.
Fastest Newcome lap set by Hickman in 2014, see it all unfold…
From: Adelaide, Australia
TT Debut: 2010
Best result: Fourth (2014 Superstock)
Fastest Lap: 131.595mph
Australian ace Johnson may not have stepped onto an International podium in 2015, but he made great strides forward and shone wherever he rode, none more so than at the TT. Having won the Newcomer’s Trophy there back in 2010, 2015 was his fifth year competing on the Mountain Course and armed with the best ever machinery at his disposal, he made it count.
The now 32-year old finished all five of his races on the Smiths BMW and Triumph machines inside the top 11 with a best result of sixth in the Superstock. This was down on his fourth place finish of 2014 but such was the pace this year, his time would have seen him on the podium then. He also improved his speeds in all classes and a best lap of 131.595mph in the Senior not only elevated him to the ninth fastest rider of all time, it also made him the fastest ever Australian, no mean feat given some of the riders that have come before him.
Senior TT 2015 in full swing, see how Johnson fairs…
From: Bridgnorth, England
TT Debut: 1994
Best result: 4 wins, 14 podiums
Fastest Lap: 131.092mph
It’s now over 20 years since Rutter made his TT debut and although he missed the TT between 2001 and 2006, since 2010, he’s racked up 13 top-eight finishes with three successive top-six finishes in the Superbike race and a brace of thirds in the Lightweight amongst the highlights.
Whilst he’s yet to scale the heights of the late 1990s when he was a regular podium finisher, he’s firmly established amongst the leading contenders and set his first 131mph+ lap in 2015. He’s still as competitive as ever and rides at the pace he feels most comfortable with but it’s that approach that continually sees him on the leaderboard.
Rutter taking the TT Zero Race by storm…
From: Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
TT Debut: 2006
Best result: 4 podiums
Fastest Lap: 130.853mph
Practically the polar opposite of his younger brother, it took William a while to get to grips with the rigours of the TT but when he joined Wilson Craig Racing in 2011 it gave him the impetus and confidence he needed. With the Honda’s recognised missiles, his first Mountain Course podium came in the first Supersport race of 2012 with the same outcome in 2013 on the Milwaukee Yamaha.
The quietly spoken 27-year old hasn’t finished outside of the top ten since the 2010 Superstock race but his move to the Tyco team didn’t give him the results he’d hoped for although he did take another Supersport podium in 2014 and record his first 130mph+ laps. Crashes in 2014 and 2015 blunted his challenge and he’ll be back with CD Racing in 2016.
The Dunlop Dynasty continue to dominate the Island, check out William Dunlop’s impressive chase of Ian Hutchinson…
From: Maguiresbridge, Northern Ireland
TT Debut: 2012
Best result: 1 podium (3rd, 2015 Superstock)
Fastest Lap: 130.851mph
Johnston was without doubt the most improved rider of 2015 and not only did he win four International road races, no one stood on a podium more with the diminutive Northern Irishman racking up no less than nine rostrum appearances.
Wins were taken in the Superstock races at both the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix whilst he also took his first ever TT podium in the same race where he lapped at almost 131mph on the East Coast Construction BMW. The 2013 Privateer’s Trophy winner has now taken eight top ten finishes and whilst he’s still very much learning his trade on the roads, he made major strides forward in 2015 and a debut TT win is surely just around the corner.
Johnston in action…
From: Broughton, England
TT Debut: 2007
Best result: 2 wins, 6 podiums
Fastest Lap: 130.545mph
One of the star newcomers at the 2007 TT Centennial meeting, Johnson now has two TT wins under his belt, both coming in the Supersport class, but he’s constantly knocking on the door of the rostrum in the 1000cc classes too. Bad luck has often intervened when a race win has been within his grasp whilst his move to the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team in 20015 didn’t give him the results he’d hoped for.
His Supersport and Superstock pace is without question but he still needs to up his game slightly in the Superbike races as his best lap is over 2mph down on John McGuinness’ record-breaking lap. Age is still very much on his side though and 2016 could well see him have his best ever TT meeting as he looks set to be on extremely competitive machinery in all of the classes.
Gary Johnson during the Superbike practice 2013… impressive stuff!
From: Bradford, England
TT Debut: 2011
Best result: 1 win, 3 podiums
Fastest Lap: 130.261mph
Still only 26, Harrison is one of the new breed of road racers who has got to grips with the TT Mountain Course in double quick time and he’s already got three podium finishes to his name. All of those came with the RC Express Racing team and included victory in the 2014 Lightweight race, that same year seeing him take a good second to Michael Dunlop in the Superstock race.
One of the members of the exclusive ‘130mph Club’, the Bradford rider’s move to Mar-Train Racing and the all-new R1 Yamaha was fraught to say the least and his 2015 TT experience wasn’t a happy one. The two-year deal was dissolved mid-way through and he now lines up with the ambitious Silicone Engineering team in 2016 where he’ll be desperate to get back to race winning form.
Lightweight TT is well underway and Harrison is already making a name for himself…
Now you’ve read their profiles, check out their lap records and stats from the Isle of Man TT.
Words by Phil Wain.