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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Manx mission
By Richard Petrie
BBC Sport

Ryan Farquhar, Adrian Archibald and Martin Finnegan will try to uphold the Irish honour at this year's Isle of Man TT which marks the event's centenary.

Ryan Farquhar
Ryan Farquhar is running his own team in 2007

Farquhar, twice a 600cc winner, returns to the races after missing out last year because of injury and will be keen to make up for lost time.

The Dungannon rider is aboard Mark Johns' Honda for the big Superbike races and Kenny Harker backed Kawasakis for the Supersport and Superstocks.

"I've had a lot of bad luck with the bikes so far this season but I'm hopeful that is behind us now," said the 31-year-old.

Farquhar competed in a couple of British Superbike races and the Tandragee 100 before enduring a disappointing North West 200.

Ballymoney's Adrian Archibald has three TT successes to his name but has failed to produce any consistent form in recent seasons.

He has good machinery at his disposal in the form of the Relentless TAS Suzukis and could just spring a surprise, particularly in the Superstock class for whcih he still holds the lap record.

Martin Finnegan remains the fastest Irishman ever around the Mountain Course, lapping at 127.01mph in the 2005 Senior, and he will be keen to add to the one podium finish in the same race.

I'm reasonably confident we will be there or thereabouts challenging at the TT

Martin Finnegan

Things did not go the Dubliner's way last year but he hopes the Klaffi Hondas and the MV Agusta will make him more competitive this time round.

"I had a disappointing North West and we have had a lot of work to do on the bikes, especially the Superbike which was lacking a bit of top speed for some reason.

"I'm reasonably confident we will be there or thereabouts challenging at the TT and hopefully it's a case of getting all my bad luck out of the way at the North West," he said.

Among the other contenders, Davy Morgan from Saintfield is a former Manx Grand Prix winner and finished seventh in last year's Senior event so he will be keen to break through to the top six leaderboard in the centenary event.

John Burrows has recovered to take his place on the grid after a spill at Easter and William Dunlop has been undergoing laser treatment in a bid to compete on his 600 machine after fracturing a wrist at the Cookstown 100.

Michael Dunlop, the younger son of Robert, makes his TT debut after winning one of the newcomers' classes at last year's Manx Grand Prix but Lifford's Raymond Porter and Ryan Rainey will not be on Mona's Isle after announcing their retirement from road racing after the North West.

Ireland's best chance of a race win may come in the form of the Moneymore-based Relentless TAS Suzuki team, managed by Hector and Phillip Neill.

Bruce Anstey and Archibald spearhead the team's challenge once again while Uel Duncan Racing Honda and JMF Millsport Yamaha should also be to the fore.

Nostalgia will also play its part in the 100th anniversary celebrations too with former Irish winners Phillip McCallen, Robert Dunlop and Brian Reid among those taking part in the parade laps.

SEE ALSO
McGuinness the man to beat at TT
23 May 07 |  Motorbikes
Dunlop has treatment ahead of TT
17 May 07 |  Motorbikes
Farquhar rules out McAdoo switch
15 May 07 |  Motorbikes
Porter retires from road racing
14 May 07 |  Motorbikes
TT organisers boast quality entry
02 Feb 07 |  Motorbikes


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