Classic TT: John McGuinness to lead the way in Senior race

John McGuinness rides the Classic TT
John McGuinness will ride a Paton for Team Winfield at this year's Isle of Man TT

John McGuinness will lead the way in this year's Senior Classic TT on the Isle of Man after the defending champion was named top seed.

The 47-year-old from Morecambe is targeting his third victory in the classification following wins in 2016 and 2018.

Senior TT and Southern 100 champion Dean Harrison will start second, with Ian Lougher seeded third.

The injured Michael Dunlop will go off in his preferred sixth position.

McGuinness, who will once again be riding a Paton for Team Winfield, has won 25 times on the Isle of Man's mountain course.

Last year's win marked a successful return to racing after he suffered serious injuries in a crash at the 2017 North West 200.

Harrison, riding on a Norton, has enjoyed a strong run of form this season and dominated the Isle of Man's Southern 100 as he rode to a third consecutive title.

Welshman Lougher rounds out the top three and will be racing a MV Agusta with John Chapman Racing.

TT Zero race winner Michael Rutter will follow Lougher off the line on a Matchless, with James Hillier in fifth on a 500cc Honda-4.

Sixth seed Dunlop has not yet confirmed what machine he will ride on his return to the Classic TT.

The Ballymoney rider, who missed last year's event following the death of his brother William, has been beset by injuries in recent weeks.

With broken ribs, wrist and pelvis, doctors have advised him to end his racing season, but Dunlop has signalled his intention to continue.

Maria Costello, who finished third in 2016, is the only woman in the top 20 seeds and will start in seventh on a Paton.

Last year's runner-up, and 2019 TT Privateer's Champion, Jamie Coward will set off eighth on a Norton.

The Classic TT begins on Saturday 17 August.

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