MATT STEVENSON WINS THRILLING SENIOR MANX GRAND PRIX RACE
Matt Stevenson won one of the more thrilling Senior Manx Grand Prix’s in recent memory this afternoon in dramatic style.
After a race long duel with good friend and teammate Stephen Parsons, Stevenson triumphed and crossed the line with a winning margin of five seconds.
It all could have been so different though as the race winner incurred a timing penalty for having his engine running in whilst stationery in gasoline alley. This meant that the slender advantage of three seconds he had stretched out over Parsons had now turned into a significant deficit.
As the leading pair began their final two laps of the race the watching crowds were treated to a stunning fight back from Stevenson who had to haul in Parsons, which he eventually did at the Bungalow on the final lap.
Speaking of his win Stevenson had this to say:
“Can’t believe it! After the Junior race I thought to myself I have to do this. I had to push on. You have to be confident around here. I got a good board ok my second lap but I was unaware of the penalty I got. I’m made up for everyone who has helped me. Thanks to my sponsors, the Mike Hailwood Foundation and the People’s Bike Team. I didn’t think I would be here winning in my second year. I thought it would take me five or six!”
Elsewhere, Steven Procter enjoyed a stellar race on his way to securing the final podium spot. Newcomer Mike Browne impressed as he finished in a fantastic fourth position.
Double Manx Grand Prix winner Andy Farrell was in fifth place whilst Junior Manx Grand Prix winner James Chawke was placed sixth.
Rounding off the top ten finishers were David Lumsden, Victor Lopez Santos, Stephen Smith and Wayne Humble.
There was also cause for celebration as Matt Stevenson, Steven Procter and Andy Farrell became members of the exclusive Tommy Club, all lapping over the magical 120mph marker.
Senior Manx Grand Prix Race result
1 Matt Stevenson
2 Stephen Parsons
3 Steven Procter
4 Mike Browne
5 Andy Farrell
6 James Chawke
7 David Lumsden
8 Victor Lopez Santos
9 Stephen Smith
10 Wayne Humble
IRISH RIDERS ENJOY DOMINANT DAY AT THE MANX GRAND PRIX
It was a day for the riders from the Emerald Isle at the Manx Grand Prix.
James Chawke secured the first Irish win of the day as he stormed to a superb victory in the Mylchreests Junior Manx Grand Prix race.
Matt Stevenson had set the early pace but crashed dramatically at the Creg to promote Chawke into first place. Chawke was faultless in his pursuit for glory and duly took the chequered flag to thunderous applause from the Irish contingent in the crowd.
Speaking of his victory James Chawke has this to say:
“I can’t believe it. It’s such a dream to come up Glencrutchery Road a winner and follow the likes of John McGuinness. I’ve been racing since 2003. What more can a man ask for. It’s been a long struggle and I’ve worked so hard. I relaxed after the fuel stop at the second lap but I’ve broken down every time in Ramsey and I felt something go again on the last lap. It’s all I can ask for.”
In the MGP Supporter’s Club Lightweight race, Andy Farrell took the spoils. A perennial Manx Grand Prix stalwart, Farrell has enjoyed podium finishes in the past but before today had never stood on top step of the podium.
That all changed as the Skerries rider never put a wheel wrong the entire race to deservedly cross the line and bag his first win around the world famous mountain course. Like his fellow countryman Chawke in the earlier race of the day, Farrell was greeted with rapturous cheers from the fans in the winner’s enclosure.
James Chawke finished in second place and David Lumsden was third to make it a podium lock-out for Ireland.
“Don’t know what to say, bike never missed a beat. This isn’t just for me, I didn’t just win this, my team won this. I had to keep the hammer down and I didn’t slacken off. I’m delighted as it’s been a long time coming. I wanted to win and get my name on that trophy. I want to dedicate this win to all the fallen riders.”
In the Ultra-Lightweight race, fastest qualifier Darryl Tweed was in imperious form and utterly dominated the race, taking the chequered flag with a huge winning margin of a 1min 8s over nearest rival Daniel Ingham.
The affable Ballymoney rider showed real class throughout and proved to be a highly popular winner.
“This morning was a disappointment but this makes up for it. I got into my rhythm and just raced my own race. I’m over the moon to have won. It’s a great bike and I love it.”
MAXWELL WINS EVENTFUL NEWCOMERS A MANX GRAND PRIX RACE
Thomas Maxwell won the Newcomers A Manx Grand Prix Race today in what proved to be a dramatic and action packed contest.
As the race got underway, Michael Browne roared into an early 5 second lead over Nathan Harrison. Browne, a pre-race favourite for many, looked impressive in the early stages but through Sulby it was apparent that the Irishman was in trouble as his speed was visibility slower than the chasing pack. He ultimately was forced to retire handing the lead to Harrison.
Manxman Harrison took up the leader’s mantle and was showing his class throughout the first lap as he increased his lead over then second placed Maxwell to 10 seconds as he passed the Grandstand.
Then, and for the second time in the race, the leader was forced into retirement as Harrison pulled in a Cronk Urley promoting Maxwell into first with Steven Haddow now up into second place.
Haddow was chasing Maxwell down but more drama was on the cards as Haddow was given a 30 second penalty for speeding in the pitlane. Receiving the penalty seemed to spur Haddow on as he mounted an impressive challenge to take the lead, eventually crossing the line only 12.8 seconds behind race winner Maxwell.
Maxwell seemingly was having to nurse his bike home intimating that his fuel warning light had come on earlier than expected so he was having to ride more conservatively than perhaps he was comfortable with. Whatever the issue it was a marvellous win for the popular Irishman and he was greeted by huge cheers and applause from the Irish contingent in the winner’s enclosure.
James Field rounded out the podium places.
Newcomers A Race result
1 Thomas Maxwell
2 Steven Haddow
3 James Field
4 Arnie Shelton
5 Grant Gaskell
6 John Pilloud
7 James Reveley
8 Andrew McAllister
9 Alan Johnston
10 Herve Somson
DEAN HARRISON DOMINATES ON WAY TO WINNING RST CLASSIC TT SUPERBIKE RACE
Dean Harrison produced an unrivalled road racing masterclass as he took victory in the RST Classic TT Superbike Race this evening on the Isle of Man.
Setting the pace from the off, Harrison stamped his authority on the race catching Horst Saiger by Glen Helen on lap one. From then on the Silicone Racing rider never looked back eventually taking the chequered flag with by a winning margin of 63 seconds.
Victory tonight now means that Harrison’s Classic TT tally stands at four wins. His fastest lap of the race was on lap 2 as he lapped at 126.041mph (17:57.651s).
There was a high attrition rate throughout the race as 23 riders dropped out with only 4 of the top ten qualifiers finishing.
“I didn’t get a good start and the first lap I felt wooden before getting into my stride. Massive thanks to the crowd and the marshals after a trying week.
I had the pace to go faster but I needed to look after the bike. The team has worked so hard all week. There was a few damp patches but conditions were good.
I’ll be back next year with the Silicone Team.”
RST Classic TT Superbike Race Result
1 Dean Harrison
2 Horst Saiger
3 Conor Cummins
4 Andrew Dudgeon
5 Jamie Coward
6 Michael Evans
7 Forest Dunn
8 Sam West
9 Ben Rea
10 Allan Brodie
DOMINIC HERBERTSON WINS LOCATE.IM JUNIOR CLASSIC TT RACE
Davies Motorsport rider Dominic Herbertson won the Locate.im Junior Classic TT race today scoring his first ever Classic TT win around the world famous mountain course.
Adverse weather conditions forced a lengthy delay to the start of the race but as the riders set off it was Ripley Land Racing’s Michael Rutter who set the initial pace.
Jamie Coward was keeping Rutter honest on lap one with Herbertson in third place as the leaders reached Glen Helen. At the end of the first lap Rutter held an advantage of almost ten seconds over Herbertson who had leapfrogged Coward on the run over the mountain.
However, drama was to follow on the second lap as Herbertson shot into the lead at Cronk ny Mona with Rutter eventually retiring due to a flat tyre. Herbertson’s advantage over Jamie Coward was now 14 seconds with one lap to go.
Lap 3 saw Coward gradually chip away at Herbertson’s lead but it was to no avail as the popular Englishman crossed the line to take his first even win around the mountain course by a margin of just over 10 seconds. Jamie Coward was second and Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston rounded out the podium places.
“It’s a feeling like no other. It means everything to me. I’ve worked really hard and this feeling is not going to go away any time soon. I can’t believe this is happening. You don’t just need talent but loads of luck with Classic racing.”
Locate.im Junior Classic TT result:
1 Dominic Herbertson
2 Jamie Coward
3 Lee Johnston
4 Alan Oversby
5 Dan Cooper
6 Adam McLean
7 Peter Boast
8 Davey Todd
9 David Madsen-Mygdal
10 Steve Ferguson
JOHNSTON WINS ENTHRALLING DUNLOP LIGHTWEIGHT CLASSIC TT RACE
Lee Johnston paid tribute to Bruce Anstey after winning a thrilling Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race – the second race of the 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts - after a titanic battle with Adam McClean. The Northern Ireland rider replaced Anstey on the Padgetts Racing Honda on which the New Zealander won the corresponding race last year.
“I’d like to thank Bruce for letting me ride the bike. He’s a hero of mine and it’s an absolute privilege. I really enjoyed it,” he said in the winner’s enclosure after the race. “The team told to try and win at the slowest possible pace. Clive Padgett has made my childhood dream come true.”
Although Anstey was unable to defend his Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT title due to illness, the popular New Zealander did ride a demonstration lap on a Padgetts Racing RCV Honda ahead of the race to show that he was on the road to recovery.
Dan Cooper on the Turner Racing Yamaha was first away from the start line at Glencrutchery road but almost immediately was reported as a retirement at Crosby Crossroads.
Cooper was followed by Dean Harrison on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha, Adam McLean, who was the fastest qualifier with a time set on the opening night on the Binch Racing Yamaha and Ian Lougher, Harrison’s Laylaw Racing teammate.
McLean was first to Glen Helen, less than a second ahead of Lougher with Lee Johnston, who started from his traditional grid position of 13, riding the Padgetts Racing Honda, completing the top three a further five seconds back. Harrison was less than a second behind Johnston with Sweeney holding fifth but already fifteen seconds behind the race leader.
Johnston turned around a three second deficit to Lougher at Ballaugh to move three seconds ahead of the Welshman by the Bungalow but at the front of the field McLean had established his own three second lead over Johnston.
That remained the order at the end of the opening lap with McLean’s 116.329 giving him a four second lead from Johnston )115.915) with Lougher (115.589) third a further three seconds back. Harrison 113.371 and Sweeney (112.461) completed the top five at the end of the opening lap.
Johnston was on a charge and had cut McLean’s lead to less than a second at Glen Helen and had put ten seconds between him and Lougher in third with Harrison dropping back almost half a minute behind his teammate. Johnston moved ahead of McLean by Ballaugh and extended the lead to three seconds at Ramsey with Lougher holding third and Harrison and Sweeney completing the top five.
Coming in to the pits at the end of the second lap, Johnston’s 117.463 gave him a 1.7s lead but McLean (116.870) made up a couple of seconds with a faster pit stop and the gap was reported to be only a tenth of a second at Glen Helen on the third lap. Loughe experienced a lengthy pit stop which put him a minute behind the leaders but he was still eighteen seconds ahead of Harrison with Gary Vines moving into the top five after Sweeney ran out of fuel at Hillberry but Vines then retired in the pits leaving Joey Thompson on the John Chapman Racing Honda in fifth.
Johnston upped the pace after Glen Helen and his third lap of 111.870 – including the pit stop - to McLean’s 111.181 gave him a lead of almost ten seconds from the Northern Ireland rider. The Laylaw Racing pair maintained their third and fourth places with Thompson holding fifth.
Johnston duly held on to take the chequered flag with a last lap of 117.919, finishing almost thirty seconds ahead of McLean (115.902) with Lougher’s last lap of 117.439 clinching the final podium place. Harrison was a minute and twenty seconds behind his teammate with Joey Thompson completing the top five.
Dan Sayle came off his bike at Ballaspur and was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital where his condition was described as serious but stable with a reported head injury.
Photos by RCphotos
MCGUINNESS MAKES WINNING RETURN TO MOUNTAIN COURSE WITH VICTORY IN BENNETTS SENIOR CLASSIC TT RACE
John McGuinness enjoyed a hugely popular return to racing on the Isle of Man after a two-year absence, winning the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race on the Roger Winfield Paton, the opening race of the 2018 Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.
Afterwards he revealed how special it was to return to winning ways on the Mountain Course.
“I never ever thought I’d be able to pull back in to this winner’s enclosure here, but I’ve worked really hard and it feels very special. The Paton was great – it never missed a beat. I so, so enjoyed that. It’s an amazing feeling and we had no problems from the drop of the flag, but it was hard work. It takes it out of you after all the barbecues and pies.”
McGuinness, starting at number 1, was first to Glen Helen and had established a commanding lead of eight seconds from Maria Costello riding the Team Beugger Paton at the first timing point with fellow Morecambe resident Alan Oversby completing the top three, ten seconds behind the race leader.
However, Oversby was reported as a retirement at Barregarrow and Jamie Coward, riding a Ted Woof Craven Manx Norton, moved into second place ahead of Costello at Ballaugh. While McGuinness was enjoying a comfortable lead at the front of the field, Costello was clawing back time on Coward with the superior power of the Paton telling over the Mountain section of the Course.
Bill Swallow, Ian Lougher (Union Mills), John Barton (Ballacraine), Davy Todd (Greeba Bridge) and Ollie Linsdell (Sulby Bridge) were all reported retirements on the opening lap but at the front of the field McGuiness powered to an opening lap of 110.510 which gave him a decisive lead of over 38 seconds.
Coward (107.170) held second at the end of the opening lap while Costello (107.014), who did have the gap from Coward down to less than a second at Cronk Ny Mona, was a further 1.8 behind Coward at the end of the opening lap. Chris Swallow on the Linsdell Enfield and Lee Johnston on the Davies Motorsport Honda were three and five seconds respectively behind the final podium place in fourth and fifth.
While McGuinness maintained a significant lead at the front of the field – 46 seconds by Glen Helen on the second lap – there was a ‘battle royal’ for the remaining podium places. Costello held second at Glen Helen but had dropped to fourth behind Coward and Lee Johnston at Ramsey, albeit only by half a second from the Northern Ireland rider.
John McGuinness second lap of 110.676mph put him well over a minute ahead of Coward (107.791) but only six seconds separated Coward, Johnston (108.189) and Costello (107.422). Coward’s second lap gave him a lead of 2.3 seconds over Johnston with Costello almost four seconds behind the final podium place and Swallow (106.884) holding fifth a further ten seconds back.
Fans in the Grandstand seats could clearly hear Costello’s Paton misfiring as she went past the grandstand at the end of the second lap and she duly dropped time on her third lap. Lee Johnston was on a charge and had moved into second place by Glen Helen with Costello dropping to fifth, now almost five seconds behind Swallow.
McGuinness and Johnston came into the pits at the end of the third lap which saw Coward move back into second and Swallow into third, fourteen seconds ahead of Johnston at Glen Helen. Costello was also into the pits at the end of the third lap but retired, promoting Michael Russell on an Izzard Racing Norton into fifth place.
McGuinness duly clinched his second Bennetts Senior Classic TT win with a last lap of 105.409 and an overall race time of 109.258/ 1:22.52.747 which gave him a winning margin of over a minute from Coward (107.676/ 1:24.05.819) Johnston’s four cylinders clearly had the advantage over Swallow’s single cylinder bike and the Northern Ireland rider made up a fourteen second deficit on the third placed man after his pit stop to take the final podium position by four seconds from Swallow in a time of 107.132/ 1:24.31.403.
Mick Moreton came off his Paton at Handleys but was unhurt on the opening lap of the race but was unhurt.
Photo credit: RCphotos
STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE MANX MOTOR CYCLE CLUB
The Manx Motor Cycle Club regrets to confirm that Alan ‘Bud’ Jackson, 62, from Kendal, Cumbria died today following an accident during last night’s qualifying session for the Classic TT Races on the Isle of Man. The incident occurred at the Creg Ny Baa during last night’s Senior Classic TT session.
Alan was a very experienced competitor on the TT Mountain Course. He made his debut in the 1979 Manx Grand Prix and has four race wins to his name – the 1986 MGP Junior Race, the 1991 Classic Lightweight MGP, the 1995 Classic Lightweight MGP and the 1998 Classic Lightweight MGP as well as six other MGP podiums. He also competed in the TT Races and had a highest finish of fifth place in the 1990 Ultra Lightweight TT.
The Manx Motor Cycle Club wishes to pass on their deepest sympathy to Alan’s wife Elaine, son Paul, daughter Emma and his other family members and friends.
MANX GRAND PRIX AND CLASSIC TT REVISED SCHEDULE
An additional session is now required for BOTH Thursday AND Friday afternoon for Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix qualifying.
Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson has confirmed that due to the curtailed Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix qualifying session this evening, and the loss of Monday and Tuesday’s sessions due to
weather, the additional sessions on the afternoon of both Thursday 23rd and now Friday 24th, which were provisionally scheduled in the race authorisation, will now be used to ensure that riders have
sufficient practice time ahead of the first scheduled race day on Saturday 25th August.
Thursday and Friday’s qualifying schedule is now:
THURSDAY 23rd AUGUST 2018
12.30: All roads closed around the Course
13.00: Classic TT Junior/ CTT Senior/ MGP Lightweight & Ultra Lightweight, MGP Newcomers B session
14.30: Classic TT Superbike, CTT Lightweight, MGP Senior, MGP Junior and MGP Newcomers A session (start from pit lane exit)
16.30: All roads open around the Course
18.00: All roads closed around the Course
18.20: MGP Senior/ MGP Junior CTT Lightweight/ CTT Superbike and Newcomers A session
19.15: CTT Senior/ CTT Junior MGP Lightweight and MGP Ultra Lightweight Newcomer B session
21.00: All roads open around the Course
FRIDAY 24th AUGUST 2018
12.30: All roads closed around the Course
13.00: CTT Senior/ Junior MGP Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight Newcomers B session
14.30: CTT Lightweight/ CTT Superbike/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior/ Newcomers A session
16.30: All roads open around the Course
18.00: All roads closed around the Course
18.20: CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight and MGP Ultra Lightweight, Newcomers B session
19.15: CTT Lightweight/ CTT Superbike, MGP Senior/ MGP Junior/ MGP Newcomers A session
21.00: All roads open around the Course
MANX PHOTOGRAPHER JIM GIBSON MAKES DONATION TO THE ROB VINE FUND
Jim Gibson today handed over a cheque to the Rob Vine Fund. Jim, of Ellan Vannin Images, raised £1250.80 by auctioning signed photos of TT riders and Sidecar crews on eBay.
“The paramedics and helicopter crews do such a vital job for the various events on the Island. Photographers like myself get so much from the TT, Southern 100 and MGP, it is nice to be able to give a little back.
Riders such as John McGuinness, Ian Hutchinson and Peter Hickman signed their photos at the TT press launch, others kindly gave me their addresses to send them out to be signed. I can’t name all the riders that took time to give their signatures but I thank them all and the people that bid on them, especially the winners.”
David Stevens from the RVF, pictured receiving the cheque, said
“It takes approximately £30,000 a year to replace and upkeep equipment for the events. All donations are appreciated, especially when someone goes to a particular effort to raise funds. We would like to thank Jim for his wonderful effort.
BIG HEARTED ULSTER GRAND PRIX FANS RAISE £12.5K FOR INJURED RIDERS’ FUND
This year’s MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix fans dug deep into their pockets to give generously to The Injured Riders’ Welfare Fund, a charity that is very close to the event organisers, race fans and racers’ hearts.
Clerk of the Course at the MCE UGP Noel Johnston was delighted to announce they have been able to raise £12,500 throughout bike week, more than they have ever raised before. He said; “The Injured Riders’ Welfare Fund works hard to raise funds for a worthy cause, they are an integral part of the event and the injured riders and their families who have been helped over the years, are extremely grateful for the support and advice they provide.”
Speaking on behalf of the Fund, Jan Simms said:
"We are delighted to partner with the Ulster Grand Prix and thank the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club for making us their designated charity. This year we have surpassed all or targets and are absolutely stunned and delighted by the help and generosity of all who attended the race meeting.
"We had so many fundraising events taking place throughout Bike Week, including a sponsored walk, table quiz, an auction, a helicopter flight and our loyal helpers were out all week collecting, even when the weather was bad.
“We owe a massive thank you also to our volunteers and everyone who donated to the fund.”
The Injured Riders’ Welfare Fund, which is headed up by Jan Simm, Sheila Sinton and Yvonne Ward, has been supporting riders after injury since 2003 by offering financial assistance and emotional support. The Fund also covers the costs of travel to hospital and treatment.
If you would like to find out more about the Injured Riders Welfare Fund log onto http://www.injuredriderswelfarefund.org.uk or check out their Facebook page.
CLASSIC TT - SATURDAY PRACTICE REPORT
Dean Harrison continued his quite stunning form in 2018 as he roared to the top of the Superbike time sheets during tonight’s first practice session at the Classic TT.
The Silicone Engineering Racing rider lapped at 122.266mph from a standing start giving him a rather healthy margin of half a minute over nearest placed rider Andy Dudgeon who posted his best lap of 118.933mph.
Horst Saiger, returning to mountain course competition following an injury lay off that ruled him out of the Isle of Man TT this year, was half a second off Andy Dudgeon also lapping at 118.933mph.
John McGuinness returned to mountain course action and topped the time sheets in the Senior Classic class on board the majestic Winfield Paton. Maria Costello was second quickest and Oliver Linsdell was third quickest, the top three all lapping at over the 100mph mark.
Adam McLean stamped his authority in the lightweight class posting the two fastest times of the evening. McLean opened his account with a lap of 112.328mph but quickly increased that to 114.740mph. Dan Sayle, on board the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha, was next fastest with a lap of 109.671mph.
Popular Englishman Dominic Herbertson was quickest in the Junior Classic session as the weather began to close in around the course ultimately leading to the clerk of the course calling a halt to the action.
Monday’s session is due to get underway at 18.20 with Lightweight and Junior machines with the CTT Junior and Senior session scheduled to start at 19.10.
LOCAL TALENT ON SHOW AT THE MANX GRAND PRIX
With a wealth of talent on show this year, the 2018 Manx Grand Prix is shaping up to be a mouthwatering event for both riders and fans alike.
There will be lots of Irish flavour for local interest, with chief fancy for many being Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed who last year finished as runner up in the Newcomers A Race. Tweed has enjoyed many successes in the national scene and should go close when racing begins.
Andy Farrell will also be a rider to watch out for. Third last year in the lightweight and a multiple podium finisher, Farrell is now a seasoned rider at the Manx and could easily find the top step this time around.
James Chawke, on board the Paton, could easily secure a victory after the great season he has enjoyed. His knowledge and superbly fast machinery may well provide the Irishman with his best chance yet of scoring a win on the mountain course.
National support sensation Michael Browne joins the Manx Grand Prix ranks this year as a newcomer and it will be worth keeping an eye out to see how he fairs given the superb form he has shown all season.
Michael isn’t the only newcomer with local interest to grace the ranks of the Manx Grand Prix this year. He will be joined by Paul Fallon, Alan Johnston, Paul O’Rourke, Andy McAllister and Barry Sheehan.
Season Manx competitors Damian Horan and Tommy Henry will also be on the island when racing gets underway.
We wish all the local lads, and each and every rider the best for the racing. Stay safe and keep ‘er lit.
Photo by RC Photos
TEAM ILR ENJOYS SUCCESSFUL ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher rolled back the years at Dundrod with his 51st podium around the famous circuit thanks to a superb third place finish in the Supertwin race. It was also his 41st podium finish at the Ulster Grand Prix as he closes in on the late Joey Dunlop's tally of 44.
Lougher's competitive return to the event after a five year absence was greeted with a universal and genuine warm welcome for one of the event's outstanding competitors, and he soon showed he had lost none of his sharpness around the 7.4 miles circuit.
In an opening Supertwin qualifying session he registered the tenth quickest time and clocked the fastest speed through the speed trap at 158.1mph despite a clutch problem on his Paton.
His young team-mate and protégé Joey Thompson went two places better in eighth, and a 9th in the Supersport and 5th in the Lightweight class by Thompson cemented a good first practice/qualifying day for the team.
Wednesday's showery first day of action gave way, at least initially, to bright sunshine on Thursday morning and Joey finished the Supersport standings as 13th quickest.
He then topped the Lightweight session to put himself on pole for the afternoon's race and he was also the man to catch down the 'Flying Kilo' being quickest in both sessions through the speed trap.
Ominous looking clouds over Lough Neagh soon brought heavy rain to the circuit just as the Supersport race started and the Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston wisely brought a halt to proceedings.
A lengthy delay ensued as the rain continued with standing water becoming a concern, not to mention the 'river' of water in the Team ILR awning!
It was well past 6pm as the Superwins took to the circuit with Adam McLean grabbing an early lead closely pursued by Christian Elkin as the two quickly pulled clear of the chasing pack including, from the third row of the grid, Lougher in fourth and Thompson 2.5 seconds back in sixth.
On the second lap a three-way battle for third was shaping up between Michael Sweeney, Davey Todd and Ian, with Joey watching the action from sixth on the second Paton.
On lap three, McLean had pulled away and would go on to take the win from Elkin, but the excitement was the dice for third with half a second covering Todd, Lougher and Sweeney.
As they went on to their last lap, Lougher had moved into third and he was able to use the speed of the Paton down the Flying Kilo to maintain the advantage towards Leathemstown.
Calling on all his guile and experience in the tricky conditions, Ian led out of the Lindsay Hairpin and the crowd cheered him on through the Quarries section as he brilliantly held on to cross the line a very popular third with under two tenths of a second covering the trio.
Joey meanwhile had rode consistently to round off the Top 6 and he was also the fastest rider through the Flying Kilo speed trap at 154.8mph with Ian joint second fastest on 152mph along with Michael Sweeney and Xavier Denis.
The Superport bikes were out next and Conor Cummins and Adam McLean soon pulled away from Davey Todd and Dean Harrison who were battling for third with Peter Hickman clear in fifth.
From the fourth row of the grid, Joey had got himself into a five rider battle for sixth with Dominic Herbertson, Christian Elkin, Neil Kernohan and Paul Jordan. At half distance one second covered the riders from sixth to tenth, and at the flag Joey superbly came up trumps to take sixth just ahead of Elkin and Herbertson with fractions of a second covering the three at the line.
The inpredictable nature of motorcycle racing was evident in the next race however as Joey took to the track for the Lightweight race on his 250cc Yamaha. Joey was one of the race favourites but his race never got beyond the warm-up lap as he got caught out in the tricky conditions and crashed out at Leathemstown resulting in a visit to hospital where a broken toe was discovered, however he was passed fit to race by the doctors.
Saturday race day will be remembered for the wrong reasons as early sunshine gave way to overcast conditions which soon reflected the mood in the paddock following the opening Superstock and Superbike races which were both red-flagged due to crashes.
The re-started Superbike race then fell victim to the conditions, as did the Lightweight/Ultra-Lightweight race and the only race to run the distance was the first Supersport race which saw Peter Hickman dominate as he led from start to finish ahead of Lee Johnston and Conor Cummins.
It was a race which saw three battles raging in the top ten with Team ILR's Joey Thompson involved in a titanic tussle for eighth with Dan Cooper, Christian Elkin, Darren Cooper and Dominic Herbertson.
Showing no ill-effects of his crash less than 48 hours previously, Joey rode brilliantly and was just pipped for 7th by the tightest of margins by Dan Cooper, with Herbertson right behind in 9th and Elkin rounding out the Top 10.
As the afternoon wore on the weather deteriorated further, with rain and poor visibility at the back and highest part of the circuit, and after lengthy delays the organisers took the only course of action they could and cancelled the remainder of the meeting.
So a very challenging Ulster Grand Prix 2018 for all concerned, and in closing the thoughts of everyone at Team ILR are with the family and friends of Fabrice Miguet who tragically lost his life following a crash in the Superstock race, and we wish a speedy recovery to the other riders who were injured during the event.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:
"With Joey getting best newcomer last year he was obviously quite excited to see how he would get on on his return visit to Dundrod. Riding his ZX6 and the Team ILR Paton he qualified 13th overall on the 600 and 10th on the Italian Paton. We had a few clutch issues on both of the Paton’s in practice but managed to fix them for Thursday’s race.
Although I don’t like it when people decide to make comebacks in racing I couldn’t resist the chance to ride our team sponsor Mark Coverdale’s beautiful Paton twin around Dundrod.
It’s been 5 years since I raced there and I was really looking forward to riding it again. The biggest problem I had was being over cautious on the opening lap as we had to fit a brand new unscrubbed rear wet after the warm up lap, but I had a good dice with Michael Sweeney and Davy Todd for third place from which I was well pleased to get on the rostrum.
Joey had a very sensible race in the tricky conditions coming home in 6th place. For the 600 races which were run in much drier conditions he rode really well and we were over the moon with his 6th and 8th place finishes."
"Ulster GP was difficult for us and probably a lot of the teams with the constant change of conditions, but as a team we stayed calm and worked really well and had a great set up for both conditions. I had a good run in both 600 races but just didn’t have the pace in the wet on the Supertwin.
I don’t know where we go from here, but I want to say a massive thanks to Team ILR for their help and support, Mark Coverdale and also my dad for sticking behind me. Hopefully see you next year!
DEAN HARRISON STRONG CONTENDER FOR SUPERBIKE HONOURS AT CLASSIC TT
The traditional conclusion to the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts has seen generation defying feats as outright lap and race records are invariably shattered and this year’s RST Superbike Classic TT Race looks set to continue the tradition.
The TT Mountain Course will play host on the August bank holiday Monday to some of the greatest riders in the TT’s long illustrious history as they belie the perception of Classic Racing and
rewrite history over the course of four laps.
Leading the entry is last year’s race winner Dean Harrison who lines up at number two on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki. Having lapped at more than 127mph twelve months ago, not to mention his performances during this year’s TT, all eyes will be on the Bradford rider.
Horst Saiger, who was forced to miss this year’s TT due to injury, has the honour of setting off at number one this year. The Swiss rider is on board the Greenall Racing Kawasaki again and will be looking to keep Harrison behind him on the road for as long as possible and score a repeat of his 2017 result where he finished a fine third.
Michael Rutter sets off at number four on the same Team Winfield Yamaha that he took to second place in 2016 and is ten seconds ahead of James Hillier who will again be on the Oxford Products/Louigi Moto Ducati.
Team Classic Suzuki have recruited the fast improving Phillip Crowe for the Classic TT and he goes off at number three riding a similar XR69 1100cc Suzuki to the machine on which Michael Dunlop won the corresponding race in 2015 and 2016.
Team York Suzuki pairing of Gary Johnson (#7) and David Johnson (#8) will present a big threat while Conor Cummins (#10) is also a major contender on the Padgetts Motorcycles Yamaha given his consistent form this season which included RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT podiums.
Jamie Coward (#9) is another potential podium finisher on the Kraus Racing Kawasaki with Josh Brookes (#11) hoping for better fortunes this year on the Wiz Norton Racing machine having been forced to retire last year.
Mistral Racing Kawasaki have an all-new line up for 2018 in the shape of Northern Ireland’s Paul Jordan (#6) and sensational TT newcomer Davey Todd (#12) with Derek Sheils (#14) another rider set to challenge the established order on the second Greenall Racing machine with local rider Andrew Dudgeon (#12) similarly Kawasaki mounted riding for Alasdair Cowan Racing.
Sam West (#15) makes his Classic TT debut on a 750cc Suzuki and he will be followed down Glencrutchery Road by Danny Webb (#16) who switches to the 500cc RG500 Team Classic Suzuki having ridden the 1100cc machine to sixth place in last year’s Race.
Craig Neve (#18) and Michael Evans (#19) will also be on board 750cc Kawasaki’s with Joey Thompson, another meeting debutante, completing the top twenty on a second Oxford Products/Louigi Moto Ducati.
Talent runs through the field with Rob Hodson (#25), Dominic Herbertson (#27), John Barton (#29) and Michael Russell (#30) all having the potential – and the pedigree – to challenge at the top of the field.
Austrian Julian Trummer (#31) makes his Classic TT debut on the ESS-Group Kawasaki with class regulars David Hewson (#32), David Madsen-Mygdal (#33), Paul Owen (#40) and Ben Wylie (#42) back for another try where they will be joined by - amongst others - Barry Lee Evans (#37), Daniel Sayle (#39), Raul Torras Martinez (#44), Adrian Harrison (#59) and exciting New Zealand newcomer Jay Lawrence.
DIFFICULT END TO A MAJESTIC ROADS SEASON FOR DEREK MCGEE
Derek McGee is hopeful that the injuries he sustained during last week’s crash at the Ulster Grand Prix will heal soon.
McGee, who crashed during Wednesday’s practice session at Dundrod has for many been one of this season’s outstanding riders and the man to beat at national level.
The amiable Irishman was running at the forefront of all classes at the Ulster Grand Prix and looked set to be in the mix for further international honours following his sublime podium in the lightweight race at this year’s Isle of Man TT.
“All the injuries should heal. Disappointing end to the day from a non-fault accident. We wish Seamus a speedy recovery too. The times looked promising and we were at the sharp end and feeling confident of decent results.”
Derek has already won the Irish Superbike and Supertwins titles and last year finished as a triple roads champion.
We wish him a speedy recovery.
Statement from the Dundrod & District
Motorcycle Club 13.8.18
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the Ulster Grand Prix said: "Fabrice Miguet has now passed away due to the injuries he sustained at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday.
“I’ve known Fabrice, or MIG as he’s known to many, for over 20 years, even before I became Clerk of the Course at the UGP. He’d been racing at Dundrod for a long time, and was a big character who had become part of the fabric of the event.
"We have been in constant contact with his team and family since Saturday, both directly and via local authorities, and I am extremely saddened to know that he has succumbed to his injuries.
"Our thoughts are with Fabrice's parents and the Optimark team, as well as his wider circle of family and friends as they come to terms with their loss."
Fabrice was aged 49, from Normandy in France. He was a regular competitor at the Ulster Grand Prix and Isle of Man TT.
PETER HICKMAN IS DOMINANT AT DUNDROD AS HE CLAIMS PRESTIGIOUS CROWN FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW
Smith’s Racing’s Peter Hickman was for the second year in a row named Man of the Meeting after a string of top class performances at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Before the weather brought an abrupt halt to the racing, the popular English rider was declared the winner in a reduced distance MMB Surfacing Superbike race.
The Isle of Man TT outright lap record holder had earlier produced a stunning display of racing on board the Trooper Triumph as he roared to a hugely impressive victory in the Whitemountain Supersport race. There was also a highly respectful second place in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock race.
This meant that ‘Hicky’ just pipped Manx rider Conor Cummins to the Darren Lindsay memorial trophy.
In the first race of the day, the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Superstock race, it was Silicone Engineering Racing’s Dean Harrison that took top honours by just 0.203 seconds from Hickman, with Cummins continuing his strong form from Thursday in third and Davey Todd a close fourth after a shortened race due to a red flag.
And while Harrison was setting a new Superstock lap record at the front, further down the pack there were some standout performances from Paul Jordan, who took sixth in only his second race on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki, and another Manx racer Ryan Kneen in 11th.
Speaking in parc ferme, Harrison said:
“It was a great battle. It’s such close racing round here at the moment with the amount of slipstream involved, and I was expecting a battle as the bikes are very evenly matched. I just kept going and going, we got the lap record which proved we were on a really good pace. I just thought get behind Peter, sit on him and figure out where I could make a move.”
The Centra Whitemountain Supersport race followed, which Hickman duly dominated after Harrison retired early on, breaking clear of the chasing pack to take the chequered flag 7.935 seconds ahead of the Padgett’s duo of Lee Johnston and Cummins.
It was a tight battle behind Hickman’s Trooper by Smith’s Racing Triumph, not only between Johnston and Cummins, who finished just 0.041 apart, but between Jordan and Michael Sweeney for fifth and Joey Thompson and Dominic Herbertson for eighth.
Commenting on the race, Hickman said:
“The Triumph has been running really strong and I had a good run out of Joey’s Windmill so I thought if I can pass Dean, which I did do, and if I can pass Adam at the same time then I could put a gap into them all.
“We all know Dean’s really strong on the Supersport bike and I don’t know exactly what happened, but I knew I got a gap and the gap kept growing so I kept my head down and kept hitting my points and managed to pull away.
“The Supersport bike’s not really my strongest class and I’ve had three wins here so it sounds daft me saying that with two wins last year and one this year but the bike just works really well and it suits me down to the ground.”
Then in the day’s only Superbike outing, the MMB Resurfacing race, it was Hickman who was declared winner ahead of Lee Johnston and Davo Johnson, who claimed his maiden international road racing podium on the Tyco BMW HP4-R.
It was a challenging session as the action was cut short twice – initially after Davey Todd slipped off at the Deer’s Leap with the Cookstown BE Racing rider later confirmed to have suffered suspected fractures, and then again in the restart due to inclement weather.
Lastly, in what ended up being the final racing of the day, the Plant Lubrication (NI) Ultralightweight / Lightweight race, Shaun Anderson took the spoils in the Lightweight class, while Michal Dokupil went one better than his result on Thursday when he took his first ever international win in the Ultra-lightweights.
TODD TARGETING SUPERBIKE SUCCESS AT MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
World class racing expected as forecast for day two changes to dry with sunny intervals
Cookstown BE Racing rider Davey Todd believes his best chance of success at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix is in the Superbike class, as the paddock prepares for a full seven race programme on Saturday.
The 22 year-old has been a sensation on the roads so far this year and continued his strong run of form in both practice and Thursday’s races, narrowly missing out on a podium in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superbike race and claiming fifth in the damp DGH Recovery Services Supertwin race.
On Saturday, Todd will start the Superbike races from fifth on the grid and Superstock outing from third, and those are the classes he feels will be his strongest:
“I think really our forte is the big bikes. That’s where we’ve seemed to really excel in the second half of this year, and while I want to do well on the 600 as well of course, the big bike is where we’re really progressing.
“I had a great battle with Dean on Thursday but we haven’t had the Superstock or Superbike races yet, so I’m really eager to get out on the grid for them. We’re third on the grid for the Superstock race and fifth, only just missing out by 0.2 seconds on a front row start on the superbike race so it’s definitely going to be a tight one with some good battles.
“Above everything it’s great to be battling with the likes of Dean and Hickman – I never imagined it so soon but if I can keep that ball rolling and keep doing what we’re doing I’m sure the podium will come.”
Speaking at the official launch event of the newly branded Circle K Airport Road Service Station, one of the MCE Ulster Grand Prix race sponsors, Todd also said his Supermoto skills could come in handy around some of Dundrod’s tighter sections:
“The Supermoto experience I have is a huge advantage for me when the conditions are wet or mixed. It gives you that skill of sliding around and that comfort when you’re out there racing in those sort of conditions.
“But at the end of the day, with all the guys I’m racing against, they’re all top boys and they’re all excellent in all conditions so you’re never going to have it easy!”
Todd may need to wait to use his skills however, as the forecast for Dundrod has rapidly improved in the last few days, with dry conditions expected for most of Saturday.
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix added:
“John Burrows and his team have a great record around Dundrod, and based on Davey’s performance this week it looks set to continue. For such a young rider he’s been really impressive, and now he’s in the mix with Conor, Peter, Dean and all of the boys at the front it’s going to make things interesting on Saturday.
“He’s aiming for a podium on the big bikes but I wouldn’t rule him out on the Supertwin or Supersport races either. He’s got the talent and the machinery to do it.
“The other good news is that after some sketchy weather reports earlier in the week, we’re due for a dry weather all day tomorrow, with sunny intervals. Perfect for another day of world class road racing here at the MCE UGP,” he added.
Roads close at 9.30am on Saturday with a full schedule of racing planned. Wristbands can be purchased from marshals on road ends for £30, with entry for under 16s free.
CUMMINS DELIVERS WITH SECOND WIN AT THE MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Manx rider takes Supersport victory as McLean claims maiden international win in the Supertwins
Conor Cummins took his first victory since 2009 at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix today as the first races got underway in damp conditions at Dundrod.
The Padgett’s Honda rider led from the first lap to win the Lisburn & Castlereagh Supersport race from McAdoo Kawasaki’s Adam McLean and Silicone Engineering’s Dean Harrison.
Speaking in parc ferme after the race, Cummins commented:
“The bike was faultless. We made a tyre choice right from the off and stuck with it, and I think experience counted for a lot there. The Padgett’s team and myself have been round here a lot so I’m well happy. The bike was perfect.”
“It’s nice to be back on the top step here after all these years. It wasn’t an easy race as the first two or three laps were pretty ding dong but I just got my head down and got into a rhythm, keeping it as smooth as possible.”
The race followed an earlier outing for the Supertwin class, after Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston made an adjustment to the schedule following some heavy downpours around Dundrod.
That DGH Recovery Services Supertwin race was one to remember for Magherafelt’s Adam McLean, who claimed his maiden international roads win after a close battle with Christian Elkin. Third place went to Ian Lougher, making his first return to the MCE Ulster Grand Prix since 2013, and the 55 year-old recorded what’s thought to be his 51st podium at Dundrod.
Speaking after the race, McLean immediately dedicated that to his fallen teammate James Cowton, who sadly lost his life earlier this year at the Southern 100.
“It’s nice. First international road race win sounds good but I’d like to dedicate that to James. Conditions were tricky out there but hopefully we can get out in the next couple of races and get as good a start as that again.”
In the final session of the day, the Belfast International Airport Ultra-lightweight / Lightweight race, Christian Elkin built on his earlier podium with another dominant win in the Ultra-lightweight class, finishing ahead of an emotional Michal Dokoupil on the Ariane Moto3 machine and Nigel Moore on his Moto3 Honda.
The Belfast International Airport Lightweight race meanwhile, was won by Neil Kernohan, who came home eight seconds ahead of Shaun Anderson on the CB Racing Honda and Darryl Tweed on his M&D Racing Honda.
In the earlier practice sessions, it was Dean Harrison who claimed Supersport pole position and Cummins set the first 134mph lap of the year to take Superbike pole. Roads close at 9.30am on Saturday with a full schedule of racing planned.
CUMMINS TAKES A DOMINANT SUPERSPORT VICTORY AT THE MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Conor Cummins produced a classy display on his way to claiming a win in this Supersport race at Dundrod this evening.
Riding for Padgett’s Racing, the Manx rider was utterly dominant finishing ahead of McAdoo Racing’s Adam McLean in second and Silicone Racing’s Dean Harrison in third place.
In trying conditions and with most riders not certain of what tyre to run, Cummins was utterly convincing en route to claiming his second win at Dundrod.
“I’d a really good ride, the bike was faultless. Experience counted for everything. Thanks to the Padgett’s team. I’m happy to be back on the top step. The first few laps were tricky but I got my head down and peaked when it mattered.”
1 Conor Cummins
2 Adam McLean
3 Dean Harrison
4 Davey Todd
5 Peter Hickman
6 Joey Thompson
7 Christian Elkin
8 Dominic Herbertson
9 Neil Kernohan
10 Tom Weedon
Practice results for Wednesday 8th August at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix
Circle K Airport Road Service Station Superbike race - First qualifying
1. Dean Harrison, Silicone Engineering - 132.451mph
2. Peter Hickman, Smyths Racing BMW - 131.921mph
3. Conor Cummins, Padgett’s Honda - 131.745mph
4. Davey Todd, Cookstown BE Racing - 129.648mph
5. David Johnson, Tyco BMW - 129.605mph
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock race - First qualifying
1. Peter Hickman, Smyths Racing BMW - 131.143mph
2. Dean Harrison, Silicone Engineering - 129.600mph
3. Derek McGee, NJ Doyne / McGee Racing - 129.248mph
4. Davey Todd, Cookstown BE Racing - 128.655mph
5. Conor Cummins, Padgett’s Honda - 128.484mph
Centra Whitemountain Supersport race - First qualifying
1. Dean Harrison, Silicone Engineering - 125.438mph
2. Conor Cummins, Padgett’s Honda - 125.203mph
3. Peter Hickman, Trooper by Smyths Racing – 124.834mph
4. Derek McGee, NJ Doyne / McGee Racing – 124.431mph
5. Adam McLean, McAdoo Racing – 123.454mph
DGH Recovery / Maxwell Freight Supertwins race – First qualifying
1. Derek McGee, KMR Kawasaki / EG Racing - 118.580mph
2. Adam McLean, Roy Hanna Motors - 116.715mph
3. Daniel Cooper, KW Electrical / CMS - 116.213mph
4. Christian Elkin, Dynocentre NI - 115.280mph
5. Dominic Herbertson, WH Racing - 113.084mph
Belfast International Airport Ultra-lightweight race – First qualifying
1. Derek McGee, Joey’s Bar - 107.415mph
2. Christian Elkin, Bob Wylie Racing - 105.410mph
3. Paul Robinson, CB Racing - 103.407mph
4. Michal Dokoupil - 101.317mph
5. Chris Meyer - 100.465mph
Belfast International Airport Lightweight race – First qualifying
1. Neil Kernohan, Logan Racing - 108.813mph
2. Stephen Morrison, NAB Racing – 106.854mph
3. Lee Johnston, Padgett’s Honda - 106.697mph
4. Gareth Keys, Keys Racing – 104.170mph
5. Joey Thompson, Thompson’s Racing – 100.884mph
Roads close at 10am on Thursday, with practice sessions followed by the first races for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
Over 250 bikers travel in convoy to Dundrod to lap famous MCE UGP circuit
HUNDREDS of bikers have taken part in the now annual MCE Ulster Grand Prix ‘Bike Fest’ convoy from three starting points in Northern Ireland, all culminating in a lap of the world famous MCE UGP circuit on the eve of the first practice sessions.
The legendary Dromara Destroyers (Brian Reid, Ray McCullough, Trevor Steele and Ian McGregor) led a ride out of over 200 bikes from Dromara village centre for the third year running.
Joining them at Dundrod, the home of the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, were two convoys of Harley-Davidsons as well as Vespas who travelled from Scooter Specialist NI in Belfast.
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix said: “We were delighted to see so many people from the biking community out in force; but who could blame them for being unable to turn down the chance to ride round the MCE UGP during bike week – safely of course!
“The circuit itself is in great shape and we’re now ready for the first race bikes on the grid on Wednesday morning. Here’s to a safe few days of close, shoulder to shoulder racing at what is, in my opinion, the greatest mass start road race in the world,” he added.
TT hero Dean Harrison to make two stroke debut with LayLaw Racing at 2018 Classic TT Races
Classic Racing specialists Laylaw Racing will again field two riders in this year’s Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT race at the 2018 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.
10-time TT winner Ian Lougher will line up for the team for the fourth consecutive year, but the Southern Ireland based team has made a major statement of intent by adding one of the stars of this year’s TT Races, Dean Harrison to their line-up.
The Bradford rider is a three-time winner at the Classic TT with victories in the 2013 Formula Classic, 2015 Bennetts Senior and 2017 RST Superbike Races with the latter seeing him lap in excess of 127mph. However, 2018 will see him contest the Lightweight race for the first time and he will make his first competitive outing in the class on a 250cc TZ Yamaha.
Winner of the second Supersport Race at this year’s TT which he followed up by finishing runner up in the PokerStars Senior TT, the 29-year old is sure to be among the race favourites, particularly riding the immaculate machines fielded by Southern Ireland’s Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor for Laylaw Racing.
Laycock, himself a double TT winner with victory in the 1987 Junior and 1989 Supersport 400cc Races, and Lawlor will also field a second, identically-prepared TZ 250cc Yamaha for Lougher. The Welsh veteran won the corresponding Lightweight Classic TT race in 2014.
The ten-time TT winner has had to give second best to Bruce Anstey in each of the last two years, finishing runner-up twice but with the Kiwi sadly absent in 2018 due to illness, Lougher will have high hopes of another Classic TT victory, especially having lapped at 117.742mph twelve months ago.
JAMES HILLIER AND JOEY THOMPSON GO BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH OXFORD TEAM DUCATI
Oxford Products and Celeres Racing have, for the second year running, teamed up to campaign their Ducati 888 machines in the RST Superbike Classic TT Race at the 2018 Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
TT star James Hillier will again be riding the Celeres Racing Ducati 888 hoping for success this time. The campaign continues the celebration of 25 years since Trevor Nation, Robert Dunlop and Mark Farmer rode the Oxford Products liveried Ducatis, back in 1992/3.
This year, Hillier will be joined by Yorkshireman Joey Thompson. Thompson comes to the Classic TT for the first time, competing in only his second year on the roads. Riding a Paton in the Bennetts Lightweight TT this year, he achieved a very creditable 5th place so is confident of a good placing at the Classic.
‘I have been riding bikes since I was 4 years old, first competing in motocross and then riding at BSB in the support classes for the last 7 years. I have really clicked with competing on the roads and I am so proud that I have been given this opportunity to ride the Oxford Team Ducati’, said Thompson.
Hillier will once again run race number 5 with Thompson using 20.
Both Ducati 888 machines were built by Stafford Evans of Celeres Racing. The first bike competed in the 2016 Superbike F1 Classic TT Race. Wearing Ducati red, the bike was ridden to 11th place by Dave Hewson, with a best lap of 115.769mph. Last year James Hiller rode it in Oxford colours and after a 122mph lap in practice, he was confident of something special, only to be side-lined by an errant stone on the second lap of the race.
Team owner Stafford Evans is optimistic for a good result this year.
‘It’s a real honour to once again represent the
Oxford brand at the Classic TT. We didn’t have the best of luck last year but we have doubled our efforts in 2018 to get a podium result, which is very achievable. Giving Joey an opportunity is very
exciting – he’s a real star of the future and at only 20 years old, has a great future in front of him’.
Hillier is no stranger to the TT Mountain Course having visited the rostrum several times. These include a Lightweight TT win in 2013 and a 2nd place in the F1 Classic TT in 2014 as well as two 3rd places in this year’s RST Superbike and Monster Energy SuperSport TTs.
Joey’s credentials include his 5th place in the Lightweight TT, and the 2017 International Lightweight Championship (250) held at Oliver’s Mount.
DAVID JOHNSON JOINS TYCO TO MOUNT CHALLENGE AT THE MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Aussie ace confirmed to ride carbon fibre-frame BMW HP4 Race
Tyco BMW has announced that David ‘Davo’ Johnson will join its line up for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, which gets underway at Dundrod next week.
The Adelaide native, who competed at this year’s North West 200 and Isle of Man TT with Shaun Muir Racing in the iconic Gulf colours, will make the switch from one BMW to another as he teams up with Philip and Hector Neill to mount his challenge for a debut podium at the Ulster.
The move comes off the back of a strong run of form from the 34 year old, who took two fourth places in the Superbike and Superstock races on the island in June, while last time out at Dundrod he recorded his best ever result with another fourth place finish in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Superstock race.
With Tyco, Johnson is now confident that he’ll have the chance to go one better with the help of some new machinery, commenting:
“The Ulster is one of my favourite tracks so it’s great to have this opportunity with Tyco. The team knows what they’re doing and are proven winners around here, and with the HP4 R I’ll also have the machinery to challenge with for sure. The bikes will be amazing so it’s all down to me.
“I’ve been on BMWs all year and was riding them at Dundrod in 2017 too, so I’m feeling good and should be up to speed right away. It’s always hard to know until you get there, but for me the big goal is to get on the podium and be in the fight for wins with Hicky, Dean and guys right at the front. If we come away with that I’ll be happy.”
Speaking about the deal, Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix added that he too sees Johnson and Tyco as a natural pairing:
“There’s no question that Davo is a fast, fast rider, but he hasn’t always had the best of luck around Dundrod, so I’m really pleased to see him get this chance. He definitely has the pace to run at the sharp end on the big bikes, but now he also has the added support of the Tyco team behind him, I think it could make all the difference. They’ve been winning around here, for well over a decade, so you just couldn’t rule him out of a good result.”
The MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix Bike Week runs from the 5th – 11th August 2018. This year Hannon coaches will be offering transport to the Dundrod circuit from 23 pick-up points across Northern Ireland, including Coleraine, Omagh and Newry. Grandstand seating, this year, will be lcoated at the start/finish line and Leathemstown. Further information can be found at www.ulstergrandprix.net
MCE UGP BIKE WEEK 5TH – 11TH AUGUST 2018 PRACTICE AND RACE SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY 8TH AUGUST
Roads close 10:00am - 19:00pm
UGP Practice Sessions
THURSDAY 9TH AUGUST – MCE UGP RACE DAY ONE (4 races)
Roads close 10:00am - 19:00pm
Race one - 600 Supersport
Race two – Supertwin
Race three- Ultra Light Weight/Light Weight
Race four- Superbike
SATURDAY 11TH AUGUST – MCE UGP RACE DAY TWO (7 races)
09:30am - 18:00pm approx
Race one- Superstock
Race two- 600 Supersport
Race three- Ultra Light Weight/Light Weight
Race four- Superbike
Race five- 600 Supersport
Race six- Supertwin
Race seven- Superbike