2018 Island Classic

Team U.K. have finalised their nine rider line-up for the prestigious International Challenge races at the 2018 Island Classic.

Team entries consist of eight riders plus one reserve. While only five riders count towards the International Challenge Team scores.

Some new more youthful faces to the team for 2018 include British Superbike race winner Dan Linfoot along with NW200 winner Lee Johnston.

Michael Rutter is another new face for the team but needs no introduction. With a dozen North West 200 wins, a handful of TT wins and his record as the most successful rider ever at the Macau GP, Rutter also has a great closed circuit pedigree with 28 British Superbike race wins to his name.

As previously announced, Jeremy McWilliams will lead the charge while Team Captain Keith Higgs will oversee his charges in what they hope will be the fourth victory in a row for Team UK.

Team UK Captain Keith Higgs

“This event still give me goosebumps even after doing it every year since 2005….and once again, as it draws closer the excitement is building. Luckily, the UK team is every bit as strong as ever, may be even a little stronger, with three new recruits who will be very keen and eager to impress.

Michael Rutter pictured here after taking his fifth TT win at the Isle of Man this year is a star recruit for Team UK ahead of the 2018 Island Classic International Challenge. Rutter has a dozen North West 200 wins under his belt and more Macau GP wins than any other rider.
Michael Rutter pictured here after taking his fifth TT win at the Isle of Man this year is a star recruit for Team UK ahead of the 2018 Island Classic International Challenge. Rutter has a dozen North West 200 wins under his belt and more Macau GP wins than any other rider.

“This year we have a great balance of experience coupled with some young eager passion spanning the UK team. Just as well, given the names that have already been announced in the Australian and US teams! It is going to the most competitive yet in my view, cant wait!!”

Island Classic 2016 - Team UK Victorious for the second year in a row - Image by Russ Colvin
Island Classic 2016 – Team UK was Victorious for the second year in a row – Image by Russ Colvin

Jeremy McWilliams

“The International Challenge is fast approaching, yip I still get butterflies, mainly because I haven’t been training or actually riding much this year and the International requires a big effort. Team USA and Australia have realised that coming 2nd or 3rd isn’t much fun and wheeled in the big guns with Colin Edwards, Troy Corser, Jason Pridmore and Jake Zemke all joining the party.

Troy Corser will be doing plenty of this at the 2018 Island Classic
Troy Corser will be doing plenty of this at the 2018 Island Classic

“With McGuinness missing through injury and Connor and Jimbo not able to attend we needed to recruit a few names of our own. Team UK have had it all our own way lately, winning the team and individual honours for the last three years and hopefully with our new rider line up we are aiming to continue this winning streak.

Glen Richards was born in South Australia but is a long-time UK resident and will again line up for Team UK in the 2018 International Challenge
Glen Richards was born in South Australia but is a long-time UK resident and will again line up for Team UK in the 2018 International Challenge

“Our full team line up of nine has three new names joining us in ’18, Michael Rutter, Dan Linfoot, Lee Johnston will join us for the first time at the Island.

BSB Race winner this year at Oulton Park, Team Honda Racing's Dan Linfoot will join Team UK for the 2018 Island Classic.
BSB Race winner this year at Oulton Park, Team Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot will join Team UK for the 2018 Island Classic.

“Neevesy just missed out making reserve rider last time and with little General Lee, the Blade (Rutter the miserable) and Linny all trying to ruffle a few feathers, places will be hard to come by, aiming for four in a row!”

Lee Johnston is both a North West 200 and Ulster GP winner
Lee Johnston is both a North West 200 and Ulster GP winner

2018 Island Classic

International Challenge Team UK

  • Jeremy McWilliams
  • Glen Richards
  • Peter Hickman
  • Michael Rutter
  • Dan Linfoot
  • Lee Johnston
  • Michael Neeves
  • Craig Ditchburn
  • Derek Brown
Peter Hickman not only won a British Superbike race this year, he also had an incredible TT week in 2017, with five podiums including a second place in the Senior TT.
Peter Hickman not only won a British Superbike race this year, he also had an incredible TT week in 2017, with five podiums including a second place in the Senior TT.