Dunlop and Hutchinson set to renew Supersport battle at the TT Races
Josh Brookes on traditionally strong McAms Yamaha YZF-R6
Conor Cummins and Lee Johnston on Padgetts Honda CBR600RR
James Hiller and Dean Harrison on Kawasaki
Gary Johnson and Peter Hickman on Triumph
Dan Kneen and William Dunlop also in the mix

Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop have dominated the two Monster Energy Supersport 600cc races in recent years with the former taking all four races in 2015 and 2016, and the latter winning five races between 2012 and 2017 including the single race held twelve months ago.

IOM TT 2016 - Supersport Race Two - Michael Dunlop (2nd)
IOM TT 2016 – Supersport Race Two – Michael Dunlop (2nd)

As with the 1000cc classes, the duo will start at number four and six respectively with Hutchinson on board the Honda Racing machine, having moved away from Yamaha, and Dunlop on a similar CBR600RR that he will run in his own MD Racing livery.

IOM TT 2016 - Supersport Race Two Winner - Ian Hutchinson
IOM TT 2016 – Supersport Race Two Winner – Ian Hutchinson

Manxman Conor Cummins will have the number one plate on the Padgetts Honda and will have teammate Lee Johnston, who moves up the order from 13 to three, in close attendance. Johnston will be looking to make amends for the Batley based concern having crashed in practice at Greeba Castle last year.

Peter Hickman at Ramsey
Lee Johnson – 2017 Supersport TT

The Padgetts Racing pair are separated by James Hillier who again lines up at number two on the Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki. Having come second in 2017, pushing Dunlop all the way, he will be hoping to go one better and add to his single TT win from 2013.

James Hillier - Supersport TT 2017
James Hillier – Supersport TT 2017

Dean Harrison slots in at number five, positioned between Hutchinson and Dunlop on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki. He retired from last year’s race but second and third in 2016 more than prove his credentials and confirm him among the pre-race favourites.

William Dunlop leads Dean Harrison at Waterworks
William Dunlop leads Dean Harrison at Waterworks – 2017

Gary Johnson, the only rider other than Hutchinson and Dunlop to win a Supersport race since 2013, again sets off at number seven – this time on the RAF Regular & Reserve Triumph. Having taken victory in 2014 on a similar machine, the Lincolnshire rider should be among the leading riders.

Ian Hutchinson’s victory marks an incredible return to the top after recovering from a serious leg injury sustained in a crash at Silverstone in 2010, following his record-breaking TT performance that year that saw him score five solo victories in a week.
Ian Hutchinson’s Supersport victory in race one at IOM TT 2015 marked an incredible return to the top after recovering from a serious leg injury sustained in a crash at Silverstone in 2010, following his record-breaking TT performance that year that saw him score five solo victories in a week. Hutchinson this year also is coming back from massive leg injuries

Dan Kneen (8) who will ride for the Jackson Racing Honda concern, with whom he did so well in 2017, is another rider expected to be challenging for a podium place while William Dunlop moves up the order for the 600cc races, taking over the number nine plate on his Temple Golf Club Yamaha.

Peter Hickman at Ramsey
Peter Hickman at Ramsey – 2017

Peter Hickman, a double podium finisher last year on the Trooper Beer Triumph, rides the same machine again this time around and again sets off at number ten with the Burton upon Trent rider another strong contender.

Ian Hutchinson, riding for Team Traction Control Yamaha, took first place in Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 at the 2015 IOM TT
Ian Hutchinson, riding for Team Traction Control Yamaha, took first place in Monster Energy Supersport Race 2 at the 2015 IOM TT

Josh Brookes starts ten seconds behind Hickman, this time on the McAMS Yamaha, the team that Hutchinson enjoyed great success with. He’ll be followed by Martin Jessopp on the Riders Motorcycles Triumph.

With Johnston moving up the order, there’s a space at 13 and so next up at 14 will be Michael Rutter followed by David Johnson, the duo dropping out of the top ten for the 600cc races compared to their higher starting positions in the three 1000cc races.

Peter Hickman put in a superb closing lap of 126mph on the Trooper MV Agusta to claim an excellent 11th place.
Peter Hickman – TT 2015

Jamie Coward again starts at number 16, this time on the PRez Racing Yamaha, and while Steve Mercer will again be at number 17, he has two new riders behind him with Ivan Lintin (18) moving into the seeds on his Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki and James Cowton (19) doing likewise on his similar McAdoo Racing ZX-6R Kawasaki.

The field is packed with talented riders and amongst those outside the top twenty include Craig Neve (23), former Manx GP winner Andrew Dudgeon (26), Sam West (29), Daniel Cooper (37) and the Irish triumvirate of Derek McGee (27), Michael Sweeney (28) and Adam McLean (34).

Daniel Cooper - 2017 Supersport TT
Daniel Cooper – 2017 Supersport TT

A number of the leading Manx GP competitors also move up including Michael Evans (35), Glenn Harrison (39), Darren Cooper (40) and Jamie Williams (41) while overseas competitors with strong pedigrees include the Czech Republic’s Michal Dokoupil (25) and Kamil Holan (33), Spain’s Antonio Maeso (49) and Julian Toniutti (50) from France.

Last year’s newcomers Joey Thompson (51) and Paul Jordan (58) return with former Pirelli National Superstock 600cc front runners Davey Todd and Adam Lyon making their debuts this time around.

A total of 85 entries were accepted and the class was the most oversubscribed race in this year’s meeting.

Supersport TT 2017 - Michael Dunlop
Supersport TT 2017 – Michael Dunlop

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