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IOMTT Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop set to renew their rivalry at 2017 motorcycle festival | Road | Sport

The schedule for the Isle of Man TT Races  will remain unchanged for the 2017 edition of the worlds most famous motorcycle race.

The 2016 event saw records tumble as the fierce rivalry between Englishman Ian Hutchinson and Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop saw the pair dominate proceedings, taking five race wins between them, with the outright lap record for the infamous 37 and ¾ mile long Mountain Course being obliterated in the process by both riders.

The Isle of Man’s population will swell by over 50% for two weeks again next June with an ever increasing number of motorcycle racing enthusiasts from all corners of the world expected to converge on the small Island in the middle of the Irish Sea to see Hutchinson and Dunlop continue their epic battle for TT supremacy.

However, with a host of former winners and up and coming hopefuls also expected to feature on the entry lists, they will not have it all their own way, with veteran campaigners John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey who have 23 and 11 wins to their names respectively, leading the charge against their younger rivals.

British Superbike Championship star Peter Hickman is just one of those looking to open his account in 2017. Still the fastest ever TT Newcomer, Hickman has built up his knowledge and experience over the past three years and is ready to fight for the coveted ‘Mercury’ trophies. Meanwhile, having recorded three podium finishes apiece during 2016, Dean Harrison and James Hillier will be serious threats in all classes.

Other star names in the mix include local favourites Conor Cummins and Dan Kneen, Australian challengers David Johnson, Cameron Donald and the returning Josh Brookes, Irishmen Lee Johnston and William Dunlop, two-time TT winner Gary Johnson, veteran campaigner Michael Rutter and Lightweight ace Ivan Lintin.

TT 2017 commences with a week of qualifying getting underway on Saturday 27th May. The race schedule will open with the RST Superbike TT Race on Saturday 3rd June and anticipation will be high following Michael Dunlop’s blistering sub-17 minute lap posted in last year’s corresponding race.

The opening race day schedule also sees the first of two Sure Sidecar TT Races with brothers Ben and Tom Birchall the team to beat having broken the outright lap record for sidecars. Five more recent race winners are expected to line up against the Birchall brothers with seventeen time TT winner Dave Molyneux, last year’s Sidecar Champion John Holden, multiple World Sidecar Champion Tim Reeves and the irrepressible Conrad Harrison all expected to feature at the front of the race.

Monday 5th June features the now traditional double solo race day, starting with the Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1 followed by the RL360 Quantum Superstock TT Race. The Monday schedule holds good memories for Ian Hutchinson with the Bingley Bullet twice emerging victorious from last year’s competitive line up.

A packed day’s entertainment on Wednesday’s 7th June gets underway with the second Monster Energy Supersport TT Race, followed by the Bennetts Lightweight TT Race and concluding with the high tech, high spec, SES TT Zero Race for zero emissions machines.

TT 2017 will culminate with the ‘Championship Day’ on Friday 9th June, which sees the outright solo and sidecar champions crowned. The action gets underway with the second Sure Sidecar TT Race, followed by the traditional finale; the PokerStars Senior TT Race.

Last year’s dramatic climax lived up to expectations as a huge trackside audience saw the Birchall brothers take the sidecar race honours and firmly establish themselves as the crew to beat in 2017. Meanwhile, that man Michael Dunlop again turned on the style in the PokerStars Senior TT, destroying the field and posting new lap and race records in the process.

It was a truly spectacular end to a spectacular meeting. No wonder Murray Walker OBE describes the TT as the ‘greatest motor-sporting event in the world’. The Isle of Man TT sees fans line the 37¾ mile closed public road circuit looking for their own unique vantage point to watch the thrilling spectacle. Excitement, glory, disappointment; the TT has it all. For fans of motorsport in its purest form, the Isle of Man is the only place to be in 2017.

And there’s no better time to immerse in everything TT. With travel and accommodation options, brand new grandstand seating, a choice of special events to attend and VIP hospitality available every race day, fans can build their own TT experience, bringing them ever closer to the action and closer to their heroes.

Places for the most exhilarating motorsport event in the world are available to book at iomtt.com

The full schedule for the 2017 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy is as follows:

Saturday 3rd June
11.00hrs RST Superbike TT Race
14.00hrs Sure Sidecar TT Race 1

Monday 5th June
10.45hrs Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1
14.15hrs RL 360 Quantum Superstock Race

Wednesday 7th June
10.45hrs Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 2
14.15hrs Bennetts Lightweight TT Race
16.20hrs SES TT Zero Race

Friday 9th June
10.15hrs Sure Sidecar TT Race 2
12.30hrs PokerStars Senior TT Race

Qualifying takes place from
Saturday 27th May to Fri 2nd June between 1820hrs – 2050hrs

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 4/6/2016: John McGuinness (Honda) at the start of the Superbike TT race on the Isle of Man today. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 4/6/2016: John McGuinness (Honda) at the start of the Superbike TT race on the Isle of Man today.
PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON