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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
McGuinness the man to beat at TT
John McGuinness has won 11 races at the TT
John McGuinness achieved three wins at the 2006 TT festival
Eleven-times winner John McGuinness will be the man to beat at the centenary of the Isle of Man TT, practice for which begins on Saturday.

The Morecambe man is aboard HM Plant Honda Superbikes for the second year and Padgett's bikes in other classes.

Ian Hutchinson, Ian Lougher and Guy Martin also ride Hondas while Bruce Anstey leads the Suzuki challenge.

Michael Rutter returns for the first time in seven years and AIM Yamaha ace Steve Plater makes his Island debut.

Rutter, whose solitary TT win came in 1998, competes for the MSS Kawasaki outfit for which he rides in the British Superbike championship.

Hutchinson, from Bingley in Yorkshire, showed his TT pedigree with two podium finishes last year and should have overcome a shoulder injury which hampered his efforts at the North West 200.

At 43, Lougher is the veteran of the field but his experience should see him step onto the podium at least once during the week while Lincolnshire Martin is targeting his first Isle of Man win on the Hydrex Hondas.

The 25-year-old won four races at last year's Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod, a course widely regarded as a shorter version of the TT Mountain course.

Anstey has won the Superstock class in 2005 and 2006 and his hat-trick at the recent North West races should see him arrive with plenty of confidence for all four races he will compete in.

The New Zealander is the second fastest man ever around the TT at a lap speed of 129.04mph, topped only by McGuinness' lap of 129.45 in last year's Senior TT and the first ever 130mph lap is a real possibility this year.

The absence of Australian Cameron Donald because of injury robs the event of a potential winner, the Uel Duncan Honda rider finishing second in last year's Senior event.

The Irish challenge may not be as strong as in recent years but Ryan Farquhar, Adrian Archibald and Martin Finnegan are all possible podium finishers.

Practising for the Isle of Man TT begins on Saturday 26 May with the first race, the TT Superbike event, taking place on Saturday 2 June.

There are three more solo races during the following week, the Superstock, Supersport and Senior TTs, plus two races for sidecars.

The centenary event also boasts parade laps on Monday 4 June and Friday 8 June, with world biking stars, including Kevin Schwnatz, and most of the living former TT winners taking to the circuit to thrill the fans.



SEE ALSO
Dunlop has treatment ahead of TT
17 May 07 |  Motorbikes
Farquhar rules out McAdoo switch
15 May 07 |  Motorbikes
Donald ruled out of centenary TT
14 May 07 |  Motorbikes
TT organisers boast quality entry
02 Feb 07 |  Motorbikes
McGuinness completes treble at TT
09 Jun 06 |  Motorbikes


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