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MGP: Johnson to lead away Classic Superbike Race

Wed, 03 Aug 2022

With a lap record in excess of 127mph, the RST Classic Superbike Race is seen as the ‘big one’ and after traditionally bringing the curtain down on the Classic TT each year, that’s again the case here at the Manx Grand Prix.
Recent years have seen Dean Harrison, Bruce Anstey and Michael Dunlop dispute the win, but last time out in 2019 it was Aussie ace David Johnson who came out on top, and with revisions to the regulations permitting exotic new machinery such as the Suzuki 750 SRAD and the iconic Honda RC45, the 2022 edition looks set to be an unmissable encounter.
The 2019 race winner, who missed this year’s TT due to injury, will be the first man away for the final race of the 2022 MGP and will be keen to make the most of the clear road ahead of him on the Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki ZXR750.
He’ll be followed by the similarly-mounted Paul Jordan (Mistral Racing) with another pre-race favourite, Jamie Coward, setting off at number 3 on the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Kawasaki. The 2022 TT Privateer’s Champion has a great chance of getting another win around the 37.73-mile course.
Fan favourite Michael Rutter and former Classic TT podium finisher assumes the number 4 plate on the Bathams Ales 1100cc Suzuki XR69, with three-time winner of the Superbike Classic TT Michael Dunlop taking his customary number 6.
Dunlop is reunited with Team Classic Suzuki, who have embraced the change in regulations which now permits machines up to 1997 to compete – the previous cut-off having been 1993. The 21-time TT race winner will now pilot an immaculate Suzuki 750 SRAD in anger for the very first time, and will be hunting down Derek Sheils, the Dubliner starting at number 5 on Greenall Racing’s Kawasaki. He took second to Johnson three years so clearly comes into the race as a potential race winner.
Sheils has two strong teammates in the shape of Rob Hodson and star of TT 2022, Nathan Harrison. The duo start at numbers 9 and 15 respectively.
Ryan Kneen took fifth on the Herheim Racing Kawasaki in the last Classic Superbike Race, and the combination will be looking to improve upon that from their number 10 slot with the Manxman enjoying a strong return to racing at the recent Southern 100 Races.
It won’t be a Kawasaki-Suzuki benefit though as Lee Johnston makes the most of the new rules at number 13, riding the Ashcourt Racing Honda RC45 – a machine that became synonymous with the Isle of Man in the 1990s, courtesy of the likes of Joey Dunlop, Steve Hislop, Phillip McCallen, and Jim Moodie. Sam West follows on the 1100cc Team York Suzuki XR69, keen to get a good result after an injurious TT.
Alasdair Cowan Racing have two more strong shouts of success with Craig Neve and Mike Browne setting off ten seconds apart at numbers 16 and 17, the latter having impressed at the TT in June despite breaking both ankles just weeks before the event.
There’s variety aplenty at the bottom end of the top twenty with Richard Wilson and the WizNorton Racing team evoking memories of TT 1992, with their rotary-engined Norton starting at number 19. Veteran Welshman Ian Lougher follows Wilson towards Bray Hill, piloting the Team CK Racing Ducati 851 from number 20.

The complete top 20 for the RST Classic Superbike Race is as follows:
David Johnson, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Alasdair Cowan
Paul Jordan, kawasaki ZXR750 - Mistral Racing
Jamie Coward, Kawasaki ZXR750 - KTS Racing
Michael Rutter, Suzuki XR69 - Bathams Racing
Derek Sheils, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Greenall Racing
Michael Dunlop, Suzuki GSX-R750 - Team Classic Suzuki
Gary Johnson, TBC
Phillip Crowe, Suzuki XR69 - Team Classic Suzuki
Rob Hodson, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Greenall Racing
Ryan Kneen, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Herheim Racing
Michael Sweeney, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Mistral Racing
Dominic Herbertson, Kawasaki ZXR750 - TBC
Lee Johnston, Honda RC45 - Ashcourt Racing
Sam West, Suzuki XR69 - Team York Suzuki
Nathan Harrison, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Greenall Racing
Craig Neve, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Alasdair Cowan
Mike Browne, Kawasaki ZXR750 - Alasdair Cowan


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