John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop spearhead entry for new-look Manx Grand Prix in August

John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop spearhead a strong entry for the classic races at this summer’s new-look Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man.

By Kyle White
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 1:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 3:05 pm

With the Classic TT being shelved following an announcement in January, all races this year will be held under the Manx GP banner as the event returns for the first time since 2019.

McGuinness achieved his most recent victory around the Mountain Course on the Winfield Paton in the Classic TT Senior race in 2019, and will again be among the favourites.

Ulsterman Dunlop, whose Supersport double in June increased his tally of TT victories to 21, suffered huge disappointment on his last appearance at the Manx Grand Prix in 2019, when he was forced out while leading the Classic TT Superbike race on the final lap at Hillberry.

John McGuinness celebrates winning the Classic TT Senior race in 2019, his most recent victory around the Mountain Course.

The Ballymoney man will be out to make amends over the August Bank Holiday weekend and will go into the race as the favourite.

The entry also includes Northern Ireland riders Lee Johnston and Paul Jordan, plus southern Irishman Derek Sheils.

Michael Rutter, David Johnson, Jamie Coward, Gary Johnson, James Hillier and veteran Ian Lougher will also compete in the classic races across the Senior, Lightweight and Superbike classes.

The Senior and Junior Manx Grand Prix races for Supersport and Supertwin machines respectively feature some of road racing’s brightest prospects, who are aiming to follow in the footsteps of those riders who have progressed from the Manx GP to the TT.

Michael Dunlop at Ballacrye on the Team Classic Suzuki during the Classic TT Superbike race in 2019.

The entry features a number of riders who have already lapped the circuit at an average speed of over 120mph, including podium finishers Stephen Smith, Dan Ingham and Manx rider Dean Osborne.

European competitors include Victor Lopez Santos (Spain), Francesco Curinga (Italy) and Andrea Majola (Italy), who will have aspirations of challenging for the podium as they build their experience of the 37.73-mile course.

A total of 23 newcomers are entered across the five races, hailing from the Isle of Man, UK, Ireland, France, Italy and the USA.

A number of riders from Austria, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the USA will return this year, giving the ‘Manx’ a truly international flavour.

The 2022 Manx Grand Prix runs from August 21-29. Racing is due to get under way after practice week on Friday, 26 with the Dunlop Lightweight Race, followed by the Bremont Senior Classic and Manx Grand Prix Supporters’ Club Junior races on Saturday, 27.