TT action starts here

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Official practice for the Isle of Man TT is under way, launching two weeks of racing, partying, and general mayhem.

We will bring you all the latest news, reports from the racing, guides to the island and an exclusive rider diary from first time TT rider Chris McGovern (follow the link on the right for the full story).

The festival must do without Michael Rutter after his late withdrawal this week as the result of a disappointing weekend at the Knockhill round of British Superbikes.

David Jefferies is the man to watch this year. The TAS Suzuki rider took the lap record average speed up to 125mph at the 2000 event and then, after the TT was cancelled in 2001 because of foot and mouth, returned again in 2002 to up it to 127.29mph, knocking 12.4 seconds off his lap time.

This year Jefferies is back on the latest version of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 running the same engine used by BSB riders John Reynolds and Yukio Kagayama. But the nine-times TT winner doesn’t think there’s much chance of doing a 130mph lap saying he would have to knock 20-25 seconds off per lap to even get close to it.

Jefferies will not have it all his own way with a high calibre of entries that sees the top 100 riders all going fast enough to complete a 115mph lap. Team-mate Adrian Archibald will be hot on Jefferies’ heals as will Ian Lougher on the Honda UK BSB team’s SP-2. Lougher rode the World superbike spec machine at the North West 200 races two weeks ago and spent most of the race ensuring that the bike was set up properly for the TT.

Jason Griffiths will be riding a Yamaha R1 prepared specially for the event by the Virgin mobile BSB team, differing only slightly from Steve Hislop’s BSB spec machine. And with Michael Rutter’s withdrawal Ducati’s sole factory representative will be John McGuinness, who finished second in the F1 and third in the Senior class last year.

McGuinness will also be riding for the three-man Triumph Valmoto team in the Junior 600cc TT with team-mates Jim Moodie and Bruce Ansty, both former winners on the island, in Triumphs first time on the Island in more than 30 years.

Check back regularly on motorcyclenews.com for all the latest news and results as well as our daily update documenting Manx GP regular Chris McGovern’s first attempt at the TT.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff