Isle of Man TT: Glenn Irwin picks his 'Super 7' to watch in 2024

Photo shows Michael Dunlop at the TT
-Credit: (Image: Isle of Man TT)

Glenn Irwin expects some records to tumble at this year's Isle of Man TT. The British Superbikes star remains the fastest newcomer on the Mountain Course following his 129.849mph lap in 2022.

How long that record stands for remains to be seen, but Irwin doesn't expect it to last long. This year's TT blasts into action on Monday with a week of qualifying, with the opening Supersport race scheduled for Saturday, June 1.

Irwin - who became the most successful Superbike rider at the North West 200 earlier this month - will spend the full race week at this year's event. He is acting as a guest host at the Ginger Hall Hotel in Sulby.

Read more: Glenn Irwin shares Isle of Man TT memories as he prepares for island visit

Read more: Isle of Man TT: Glenn Irwin picks his 'Super 7' to watch in 2024

The 34-year-old from Carrick believes Michael Dunlop will write his name into the history books by becoming the most successful rider at the TT. He requires just one more win to equal his legendary Uncle Joey's record.

The Ballymoney man will face plenty of opposition, however, from the likes of Peter Hickman, Davey Todd and Dean Harrison.

We asked Irwin to pick his top riders for this year's TT. The men he thinks will dominate the podium throughout the week

He said: "I initially tried narrowing it down to five, but we have gone for this Super Seven. They are all great riders who will be competing at the front end throughout this year's Isle of Man TT.

Photo showing Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin will be an interested spectator at this year's Isle of Man TT -Credit:Getty Images

"I can't wait to watch them in action. Let's hope it is a safe fortnight, first and foremost. It promises to be a great TT.

"Records are there to be broken, and they probably will tumble this year. We all wish Michael the best in chasing his uncle Joey's record. But best wishes to all the riders."

Here are seven riders Irwin believes will dominate the podium at this year's TT (in no particular order):

1. Peter Hickman

Photo shows Peter Hickman at Guthrie’s
Peter Hickman at Guthrie’s -Credit:Dave Kneen/Isle of Man TT

We have to start with Peter Hickman as he is the man of the moment at the TT. The experience he has at the TT and the package he has with BMW. It is a great package for the roads and is extremely stable. He has the frame that many successful TT riders had.

He is a big lad and can control the bike, and I believe the TT gives him what the North West 200 gives me. In that you can pull it out of the bag when people think the odds are against you. I say write him off at your absolute peril.

2. Michael Dunlop

Photo showing Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop -Credit:Isle of Man TT

History beckons for Michael. The injury at Cookstown could hamper him, but he got stronger as he went along at the North West 200. He seems to be on top of the injury and not vice versa.

The determination in Michael will be second to none, and to see him equal or potentially beat Joey's record would be special. I would be extremely proud. He is another Northern Ireland man. To break a record of Joey's almost seems wrong, I said that when I broke the Superbike record at the North West.

But to have the TT one broken by another Dunlop, there would be no more fitting person.

A picture of Ballymoney motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop
Ballymoney motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop -Credit:©INPHO

Michael's story fascinates me because of what he has been through, and the trauma his family have gone through. To see where he is now as a person, I applaud him.

It is getting harder for him to break the record. We have seen Peter Hickman win on the Supertwins, for example. It is a competitive class, so there will no victory given to Michael. But I do see Michael picking up a couple of wins and breaking that record.

He will rewrite history at the TT. He will win two or three races, in my opinion. I feel this will be a historic year, for both the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT. It would be class. Two lads that have grown up in the racing world, with two successful fathers.

We have both gone through adversity, for very different reasons, but we have both come out the other side and never gave up.

3. Dean Harrison

Photo showing Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison -Credit:Isle of Man TT

When you look at the TT and the 'big three' so to speak, you have to go with Dean Harrison. I am a big admirer of Dean.

He is extremely hard working which I respect, and I can relate to that. Dean deserves this opportunity with Honda Racing. He is a little bit on the back foot going into the TT, but having ridden against the package in BSB and the North West, I know how impressive the bike is.

Honda bringing engines to the TT, I expect Dean to be fighting in the Superbike races, first and foremost. I think that is his best chance, and they are ones every rider wants to win.

4. Davey Todd

Photo showing Davey Todd
Davey Todd -Credit:Isle of Man TT

The next one to jump to is Davey Todd. He is riding as good as I have ever seen him ride. On the short circuits his lap time shave been particularly impressive on the Superstock bike. That is a really special Stock bike he is riding.

I am going to put him favourite to win the Superstock race, which is a big call considering Davey has never won at the TT. Him and the bike seem to have moulded extremely well. It is certainly not all bike, as it's more rider.

But when you have a top-class machine with a rider who has adapted tremendously to it, I would put him down as one of, if not the, favourite for the Superstock races. I think the Superbike class is just a step too far this season, and I am also intrigued to see how the V2 Ducati performs in the Supersport class. Again, don't rule him out of that.

But don't bet against him. He is a great lad and friend. he is hungry, determined and someone I have always wanted to see get success. He impressed me in some areas of the North West that I believe will be beneficial at the TT.

Davey is brave as well, and also a top motocross rider which will pay dividends from Ginger Hall to Ramsey.

5. John McGuinness

Photo showing John McGuinness
John McGuinness -Credit:Isle of Man TT

You have to look at John McGuinness. He has impressed me. It would be easy for a Honda rider to be downbeat going into the North West 200, with no Superbike machinery there and X,Y and Z.

But if John McGuinness can put himself there or thereabouts, then he can end up on the podium. Like what happened at the North West. John got the better of James Hillier, who I have to say is riding as good as I have seen him ride. I think John McGuinness will stand on a TT podium this year.

It will be through speed because he can become the best of the rest, and he could even join that battle with the best. And any reliability issues with other riders will open it up for a 53-year-old to pounce at it.

He has already said he will run down Douglas promenade if he achieves it. That might be a sight that many don't want to see, but I will be standing cheering him on because it would be a well-deserved achievement. He is a prime example of someone who is very easy to idolise. He is successful, a family man, still loves the job.

It is very easy for me and the other riders to aspire to be like John. His motivation and hunger at his age is impressive, and he looks fitter. I'm not sure what he has been doing behind the scenes but he looks focused and younger.

He looks happy, which makes him a fast rider. He is a humble hero and everyone likes John. Is there a final hurrah? Possibly.

6. Jamie Coward

Photo shows Jamie Coward
Jamie Coward -Credit:Isle of Man TT

I am picking Jamie for number six. I love Jamie's style and a lot of things impress me about him. It's a shame he wasn't at the North West, but I don't feel that will have a negative impact on his TT chances.

He is strong; a grafter and will be on top of the bike down to Ramsey where a lot of time can be made. He looks like a TT rider.

We were driving to Navarro in Spain in my hire car this year and came across a cyclist grafting in the morning, and it was Jamie Coward putting a shift in.

So I am impressed by his work ethic. I feel he slips under the radar, more so this year because he wasn't at the North West 200. He has a good team which puts the money in, has a good crew.

Jamie will be lacing the top six throughout the whole week, and I think if he comes away with a podium or two it will be the icing on the cake for him. He probably deserves a factory ride to come knocking on his door.

7. Conor Cummins

Photo shows Conor Cummins
Conor Cummins -Credit:Isle of Man TT TV

We mentioned James Hillier earlier who is riding well, but I am going to make my seventh pick Conor Cummins. He had a mixed bag at the North West 200, as he did last year as well.

He has overcome plenty of adversity in his career, not least his crash at the TT back in 2010. I have been in his company when he has had pre-season injuries in the past, and he has still gone on to have successful TTs.

Conor just wakes up for the TT, and living on the Isle of Man probably gives Conor something other riders don't get. That feeling of home support. That will bring Conor alive.

His TT won't be comparable with his North West. I expect him to be fighting for the podium in every race he is in, particularly the Superstock and Superbike classes. Conor is one of those where the TT win hasn't happened for him. It should have happened, but don't rule him out this year.

Any opportunity that might present itself through mechanical issues for other riders, he will be ready to pounce. He is a very likeable guy, a towering presence. He is one of those guys who is very intellectual.

I enjoy chatting to him about racing, salaries, products, this, that and the other. And he has an eye for detail.

He is an interesting and curious character, and a good family friend of ours.

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