How important is it to start in the top positions at the TT? Here are the 20 seeds in the Supersport and Superbike classes
April 11, 2023
In a race like the Tourist Trophy where you start one at a time and not on the grid it shouldn’t be so influential to take the “shoulder tap” among the first or at the bottom of the list of starters. So what changes in receiving a low or a high race number?
The occasion to talk about it is the proximity (less than 50 days left) to the opening of the most famous road race in the world and the publication by the TT organizers of the seedings for the Supersport and Superbike categories (the latter also valid for the Superstock and Senior TT)the 20+20 pilots who in these categories receive the race numbers from 1 to 20 and who therefore define the starting order.
A long time ago the TT started with a large group of riders jostling but we quickly moved on to starting in pairs and, subsequently, to the current set-up where you start individually at intervals of ten seconds from each other. And if, initially, the first 20 pilots started according to their race number assigned to them by the organization and the rest (which may also be another 40 starters) according to the qualifying time, now they all start according to the race number, while the qualifying time is now only a discriminating factor for access or not to the race.
Yes, because although the TT is a race still firmly anchored in a certain true world of experiencing competition, it’s not a race for everyone and admission is subject to certain requirements, not trivial if not impossible for an amateur rider to meet and the qualifying time is only the last step to be overcome in order to compete in the race on the Mountain.
So, start with number 1 or with number 20? What is better? In a race that is won or lost only on time and not on direct collision with the opponent, the starting order could be insignificant, but on this point every driver has his own vision and preferences. There are those who want to chase the “hare” to make the most of it and therefore don’t like to leave first, those who don’t want to be distracted by the marks on the asphalt left by the riders who preceded them (drifts and stuff like that…) or fear the yellow flags exposed for an inconvenience to a colleague, who instead – as the multi-winner Peter Hickman he declared to Mat Oxley on the race website – he prefers to start from the rear because in this way someone else will have already “alerted” the local fauna who will therefore not find themselves crossing the road in the full Sulby straight when the SBKs go over 300 km/h .
In any case, it is not uncommon for overtaking to occur in the race, some of which can make the difference between clinching victory or losing vital seconds and obviously those who start with lower race numbers are safe from this kind of episode.
So you will find below the seeding list for the Superbike and Supersport categories of the 2023 TT, you will notice that some names are shared between the two categories, given that it is quite common for the same rider to participate in several races in the same edition.
David Johnson – C&L Fairburn Properties by Jackson Racing, Honda
Dean Harrison – Boyce Precision Engineering/Russell Racing, Yamaha
Paul Jordan – PreZ Racing by Prosper2, Yamaha
Jamie Coward – KTS Racing powered by Stanley Stuart, Yamaha
James Hillier – TBC, TBC
Michael Dunlop – MD Racing, Yamaha
Gary Johnson – JR Performance/Astro Van Suzuki, Suzuki
Davey Todd – Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles, Honda
Lee Johnston – Ashcourt Racing, Yamaha
Peter Hickman – K2 Trooper Triumph by PHR, Triumph
Conor Cummins – Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles, Honda
John McGuinness – SMT Racing/Blue Earth Construction, Honda
Dominic Herbertson – F.W.Cowton, Kawaski
James Hind – Bass Tyre Services, Yamaha
Rob Hodson – SMT/VRS Recovery, Yamaha
Mike Browne – Burrows Engineering / RK Racing, Yamaha
Michael Sweeney – EM Building, Yamaha
Shaun Anderson – Team Kibosh, Honda
Michael Evans – AGR Motorsport, Honda
Craig Neve – Bathams Racing, Triumph
Superbike (but also valid for the Superstock and for the Senior TT)
1.David Johnson – C&L Fairburn Properties by Jackson Racing | Honda
2.Dean Harrison – DAO Racing | Kawasaki
3.John McGuinness – Honda Racing UK | Honda
4.Jamie Coward – KTS Racing powered by Steadplan | Honda
5.James Hillier – OMG Racing | Yamaha
6.Michael Dunlop – Hawk Racing | Honda
7.Josh Brookes – FHO Racing | BMW
8.Davey Todd – Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles | Honda
9.Lee Johnston – Ashcourt Racing | Honda
10.Peter Hickman – FHO Racing | BMW
11.Conor Cummins – Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles | Honda
12.Michael Rutter – Bathams Racing | Honda
13.Dominic Herbertson – APERO | BMW
14.Philip Crowe – Nigel Appleyard / Agri Wash | BMW
15.Nathan Harrison – Honda Racing UK | Honda
16.Mike Browne – Burrows Engineering / RK Racing | BMW
17.Gary Johnson – Smith’s Motors / JR Performance | Honda
18.Shaun Anderson – Team Classic Suzuki | Suzuki
19.Sam West – Street Diner Racing | BMW
20.Craig Neve – Bathams Racing | Honda
For road race lovers, all that remains is to wait for the 29 maggio: start date of the TT qualifying week which will end on June 10 with the Senior TT race. Stay tuned!