Isle of Man resident Chris Palmer will compete in this year's TT Races aboard a factory 1000cc MV Agusta, under the banner of FCL Racing. The Carlisle rider, who now resides in Castletown, will use the exotic machine in both the Superbike and Senior events and although not an official factory effort, the machine will ensure that there is further manufacturer representation at this year's event.
Having already lapped at over 121mph in last year's Senior on an R1 Yamaha, the MV Agusta, which weighs less than a Yamaha R6 and is two stone lighter than the R1, should suit the diminutive Palmer and gives him a great chance of making a serious impression in the Superbike races. The stylish machine will also evoke memories from years gone by as the famous Italian marque dominated proceedings in the 1950's, 60's and early 70's, and although Thomas Montano successfully competed on an MV in 2005, this will be the first time a factory machine has appeared on the Island since 1972. In addition to the MV Agusta, Palmer will also compete in this year's TT on a Yamaha R1 Superstock courtesy of Myles Robinson and David Tonge, and on a Honda CBR 600RR in the Junior, courtesy of Joe Grant (Solway Slate & Tile).
Speaking about the opportunity to race the MV, one of the most famous names in motorcycling, Palmer said:
"It all came about when Chloe Flanagan contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in riding it. Having already ridden for her father Alistair at Macau last year, I jumped at the chance and I'm absolutely over the moon. This time last year I was struggling to find competitive machinery so it's great to have everything all in place so early and I'm really looking forward to riding the MV around the Mountain Course. I've proved that I can ride a Superbike and with this machine being so light and compact, it should help me add a few more mph to my speeds and put me further up the leaderboard."
TT Team and Rider Liaison Officer Paul Phillips commented:
"I must admit this has come as a bit of a surprise but I'm delighted that Chris has secured such a competitive machine for this year's races. He's proven over the last few years what an extremely talented rider he is and the MV Agusta is an exotic piece of machinery for him to excel even more. Thomas Montano rode brilliantly on a standard MV in 2005 so I'm looking forward to seeing Chris in action on the new bike and the combination of both rider and machine is certainly capable of challenging for honours. Not only is it great for Chris, it's also great for the TT as it ensures there's another top flight manufacturer represented in the races."
David Cretney, MHK, Minister for the Department of Tourism and Leisure added:
"MV Agusta is not only one of the most famous names associated with the TT Races, it's also one of the most famous names in motorcycling so it's fantastic news that a factory machine will once again be gracing the Mountain Circuit. Chris has been a tremendous competitor over the last few years and it's great to see all his efforts rewarded with such a competitive machine. I'm sure he'll perform brilliantly and it's just another boost to the entry, which is already first class."