CLASSIC TT NEWS

Our dedicated Isle Of Man TT & Classic TT page will keep you up to date with all the latest road racing news from the island. 

MANX GP WINNER COOPER SET FOR EXCITING ROADS EFFORT IN 2018

2017 Lightweight Manx GP winner Darren Cooper will ride for Noel Williamson this coming season on board a TAS Tyco built BMW S1000RR. The Preston racer will also ride two of his own machines for what promises to be a very busy roads campaign in 2018. 

Darren Cooper:

“Our main intentions are to race at the 3 big internationals; NW200, TT Races, the Ulster GP and the Irish Nationals along with anything else we can cram in along the way. One of the great things about Noels team is that we have 2 massively experienced helpers, mechanics and mentors in Paul Owen and Stanley Gamble. 

I’m really looking forward to upping my game with the NW Racing team as I should now be able to focus more on my racing strategy rather than have to worry about doing all the mechanics on my own. With a bike capable of top results I’m sure I will be achieving some great results.”

We wish Darren and NW Racing all the best for the upcoming season. 

NW Racing Darren Cooper

Photo by Ryan Crawley of RCphotos

TURNER RACING ANNOUNCES 2018 CLASSIC TT LIGHTWEIGHT LINE-UP

 

Turner Racing has officially announced that Dan Cooper and Michael Sweeney will team up for the Lightweight Classic TT race this coming August. 

 

Turner Racing:

 

“Dan Cooper returns to make a further challenge after his great 5th place finish last year. We are also very pleased to confirm that Michael ‘Micko’ Sweeney will be lining up alongside Dan Cooper in Turner Racing colours to complement our effort. 

 

On the John Burrows 250 in 2014 he took his first Irish Championship win. This accomplishment included 8 wins at Cookstown, Tandragee, Bush, Kells, Skerries, Walderstown, Faugheen and Killalane. To this day he still holds the lap record at Armoy. This was preceded in 2013 by a Second place as runner up to William Dunlop, (also on a John Burrows 250).

 

Prior to that, (in 2007), he also had many wins and finished 2nd in the Irish Support Championship riding for ‘Street Sweep’.

 

Michael’s Classic TT experience in the last two years was whilst riding the Laylaw Racing F2 TZ250 4DP finishing overall 8th and 12th in 2016 and 2017 respectively and taking a Formula 2 win.  

 

We’re very excited about our Anglo / Irish line up for 2018 and hope all spectators enjoy what they see in August. Good luck to both Riders.”

 

Photo by Turner Racing 

EVANS AT THE DOUBLE

Michael Evans has won the Senior Manx Grand Prix, adding to the Junior MGP crown he won earlier in the week. The Manxman has been in superb form throughout and started off Senior day as the pre-race favourite for many. He didn't disappoint. 

Evans roared to the top of the leaderboard en route to setting both a race record of 1hr and 15mins, and an outright lap record as well with a stunning lap of 122.8mph.

Surely the TT itself is now a must for the 3 time Manx Grand Prix winner.  

Barry Lee Evans added a second place rounding off a hugely successful Manx Grand Prix for the Welshman. 

Dean Osbourne, from Douglas on the island, rounded out the podium places and ensured that two Manxmen were on the podium.  

Ballymoney man, Darryl Tweed was the fastest newcomer and finished 8th overall, underlining the huge potential and talent he possesses. 

Top Irish finisher was David Lumsden who finished in 4th spot after overhauling Jamie Williams on the final lap by posting a superbly fast lap in excess of 120mph. 

Top 10 finishers:

1. Michael Evans
2. Barry Lee Evans
3. Dean Osbourne
4. David Lumsden
5. Jamie Williams
6. Nick Anderson 
7. Glenn Harrison 
8. Darryl Tweed
9. Darren Cooper
10. Tom Robinson 

Photo credit: Ryan Crawley of @RCPhotosIOM

Manx Grand Prix Lightweight Race Report

Cooper victorious in Lightweight Manx Grand Prix race

English rider, Darren Cooper won the Lightweight MGP race on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Andy Farrell in second spot, and Barry Lee Evans back in third. 

The first lap was very close and it was Farrell who was slightly in the lead ahead of Cooper and throughout lap two Farrell maintained the lead over Cooper with Evans rounding out the final podium spot. 

It wasn't until the riders pitted at the halfway point that Cooper struck out in the lead. He had gained an advantage in the pits that Farrell ultimately could not overhaul. 

A scintillating final lap consolidated first place for Cooper who, when he took the chequered flag, had won by 28 seconds. 

EVANS TAKES JUNIOR MGP TITLE 

Event re-started after Union Mills incident
The Junior Manx Grand Prix was won this morning by Michael Evans following a restart due to an earlier incident at Union Mills. 

The first race was called to a halt after rider, Royce Rowe hit a lamppost at Union Mills causing it to collapse on to the course.

He was taken to Nobles Hospital by ambulance with leg injuries where his condition is described as stable and not causing concern.

The race was then reduced to three laps and it saw Evans not only win, but break into the 120mph club, setting a new class record of 120.8mph. 

Evans won ahead of Darren Cooper in second, and Jamie Williams in third. 

As a result of this morning's late start, this afternoon's 4 lap Lightweight MGP will now start an hour later than scheduled at 2.15pm.

Vicars the victor in Newcomers A at the Manx Grand Prix as Wilson claims top spot in Newcomers B despite 30 seconds penalty. 

Brad Vicars took a great victory in the Newcomers A race at the MGP late on Tuesday evening to tie his name with other notable winners such as, Carl Fogarty, Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop.  

The race got underway on time as Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed set off first but it was soon called to a halt following an incident at Bradden involving Nicolo Capelli. The rider was taken to Nobles Hospital where his injuries were not thought to be life threatening at this stage. 

When the race was restarted it was Vicars who pounced with a stunning opening lap time of 118.786mph, a new MGP lap record, and from a standing start no less! Darryl Tweed, back in second, was also inside the old lap record pace. 

In the Newcomers B race it was David Quine who had the lead at the first checkpoint from Derek Wilson with Ben Rosendaal in third. 

Quine was extending his lead over Wilson as he reached Ballaugh but the Manx man was forced to retire shortly after at Sulby Bridge and that opened the door for Wilson who was now the leader at Ramsey from Rosendaal with Lee Bass back in third.

In the pits at the end of lap 2, Vicars had the lead over Tweed with Parsons now up into third place after a second lap of 116.518. 

Vicars enjoyed a crucial pit stop and was timed at 37 seconds compared to Tweed’s 48 seconds to lead by seventeen seconds at Glen Helen on the final lap with Parsons a further twenty-one seconds back in third. That proved to be the order as the three crossed the line with Vicars taking the chequered flag in 116.464mph/ 58:18.785 from Tweed (116.168/ 58:27.728 with Parsons (115.270/ 58:55.047) clinching the final podium place.

In the Newcomers B race Wilson second lap (103.467) gave him a thirteen second lead from Rosendaal (103.236) with Lee Bass (102.206) third. However there was drama with Wilson picking up a thirty second penalty for a pit lane infringement which meant that at Glen Helen Rosendaal was the new race leader almost ten seconds ahead of Wilson with Bass third.  However Wilson fought back and was back in front at Ballaugh and duly took the chequered flag in a time of 101.703/ 1:06.46.619 from Rosendaal (010.495/ 1:06.54.816/) with Bass (100.062/ 1:07.52.309) securing the final podium place.  

Matteo Bardelli was reported to be unhurt after an accident at Quarterbridge while Arnaud Seydoux complained of groin pain after an accident at the 11th milestone and was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital.

Photos: Manx Grand Prix and Manx Radio TT • Thanks to MGP for timings and facts regarding pitstops and laptimes

Harrison takes impressive win in sensational Superbike Classic TT Race

Bruce Anstey broke the outright lap record twice in today’s Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race, the final race of the 2017 Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts but had to settle for second place as Dean Harrison won a thrilling race by sixteen seconds, breaking the race record in the process.

After the race Harrison revealed that he eased off on the last lap and had been feeling unwell:

“I could see that we’d got a lead of thirty seconds so I cruised a bit on the last lap because I’ve been under the weather so I was over the moon to win. The team has been together all year and we had a great pit stop – they are just getting slicker and slicker. I’d like to thank everyone for cheering me on and the marshals for doing a great job all week.”
At the end of the race, Bruce Anstey revealed that he’d had a few visibility problems, which caused him problems:

“I had a bit of dust kicked up so I just took it easy on the first lap and then we lost time in the pits because we have to take on more fuel than the four strokes. However I was pretty determined on the last lap and just thought I’d go for the lap record.”

At the start of the race, riders were advised of a number of damp patches around the course following yesterday’s rain ahead of the delayed Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Race, the final race of the 2017 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.

Australian David Johnson the Team York Suzuki was first away from the grandstand at 2.50pm followed by Bruce Anstey, riding the Padgetts Motorcycles.com Yamaha YZR 500 and Michael Dunlop, the fastest qualifier, on the Team Classic Suzuki machine.

Ahead of the start, Anstey stated that he intended to try and establish an early gap from Michael Dunlop but the Northern Ireland rider was ahead of Anstey, albeit only marginally by less than a second with Johnson a further six seconds back. 

However, Dean Harrison, on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ZXR 750 was the early race leader – almost four seconds ahead of Dunlop on the clock at the opening sector. Horst Saiger, promoted up the order from an original start number of 16 following a strong qualifying session, was fourth on the Greenall Racing Kawasaki, two seconds behind Anstey, with Jamie Coward on the 1992 Mistral Racing Kawasaki completing the top five.

Anstey moved ahead of Dunlop at Ballaugh with Dunlop clearly experiencing problems, dropping to eleventh place by Ramsey with Saiger moving into the final podium place but at the front of the field Harrison extended his lead to over six seconds.  David was leading teammate Gary in a Team York Suzuki battle of the Johnsons for fourth and fifth.

Harrison’s opening lap of 126.387 put him almost eight seconds ahead of second placed rider Bruce Anstey (125.450) with Horst Saiger (123.837) completing the top three a further fourteen seconds back from Anstey.  

Jamie Coward’s lap of 123.258 put him in fourth place ahead of David Johnson (123.122) and Gary Johnson (122.549).  

However, Michael Dunlop pulled in at the Grandstand at the end of the opening lap. James Hillier on the Oxford Products Ducati was also reported as a retirement at Ballacraine on his second lap when running in 13th place.

However, at the front of the field the top three were unchanged at Glen Helen on the second lap but behind the leading trio Jamie Coward was reported as a retirement at the Vaaish on the run in to Glen Helen moving David and Gary Johnson back into fourth and fifth respectively.

Anstey broke Michael Dunlop’s lap record from last year with his second lap of 126.995 but held the record for less than a minute with Harrison clocking 127.212mph on his second lap, giving the Bradford based rider a lead of almost ten seconds.  The times were all the more remarkable as the leading pair were slowing down coming in to the pits.

Harrison’s Silicone Engineering team gained time on the Padgetts Motorcycles.com outfit in the pits with a fifty-seven second turn around to Anstey’s time of 1 minute 11 seconds, with the two stroke requiring more fuel than the four strokes, and Harrison’s lead duly grew decisively to almost thirty seconds by Glen Helen on the third lap. 

Saiger maintained third place ahead of the Team York Suzuki pair David and Gary Johnson in fourth and fifth with Ivan Lintin on the Kraus Racing Kawasaki in sixth and Dan Kneen, Coward’s Mistral Racing Kawasaki teammate, enjoying a remarkable charge through the field up into seventh from seventeenth at the end of the first lap.

Josh Brookes, riding the Advanced Performance Coastings Rotary Manx Norton, retired at Glen Tramman when running 8th while Gary Johnson was also reported as a retirement at the ‘Mountain Mile’.

Harrison maintained his decisive lead with a third lap of 119.983 to Anstey’s 117.974 with Saiger (118.414) holding third place ahead of David Johnson. New fifth placed man Dan Kneen was almost thirty seconds ahead of fellow Manx rider Conor Cummins on the Padgetts Motorcycles.com Yamaha with Lintin reported as a retirement at the Mountain Mile.

Harrison’s last lap of 125.970 secured the race in a new race record (124.815/ 1:12.32.923) with Anstey having the consolation of regaining the lap record with a last lap of 127.496 to finish in 124.357/ 1:12.48.971. Horst Saiger held third place to gain his first Mountain Course podium with David Johnson fourth and Dan Kneen completing the top five.  Dan Stewart, riding the Wilcock Consulting Kawasaki was the leading privateer in 11th place.

Photos: RCphotos

SURE JUNIOR CLASSIC TT RACE REPORT

Michael Rutter beat Lee Johnston in a head to head of former race winners in today’s Sure Junior Classic TT Race, the third race in the 2017 Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts.

After the race Rutter revealed how pleased he was after a tough week:

“It’s been a hard week so I’m really happy to get the win. You’ve got to have good corner speed with these bikes.  I knew things were going well because I was getting the thumbs up around the course.  Once I got the lead I just had to treat the bike with respect and not over rev it. Jamie (Coward) helped on the last lap as I was getting a tow and the spectators should have seen some good wheel to wheel stuff.”

After a short delay to get marshals in position around the Mountain Course, the race got underway at 12.05pm.

With the race reduced to three laps following yesterday’s postponement, the pre-race debate centred around the impact that pit stops would have on the thirstier multi-cylinder bikes compared with the ability of the twin machines to go without refilling and so it proved with Rutter, having run straight through, narrowly holding off Johnston who pitted at the end of the second lap.

Gloucestershire based Dan Cooper, riding the CSC Racing Honda, was first away followed by fastest qualifier Jamie Coward, riding the 1980 Ted Woof Honda Craven K4 with a twenty second gap to fourth placed starter Michael Rutter on the Ripley Land Racing 1972 Honda K4 Drixton following Michael Dunlop’s withdrawl.

Jamie Coward was first to Glen Helen but Lee Johnson, from a starting place of thirteenth on the grid, jumped to the top of the leader board almost three seconds ahead of Coward with Rutter, the 2015 race winner three seconds behind the race leader in third. Hefyn Owen, riding an Owen Racing Honda and Dean Harrison, Johnston’s Black Eagle Racing teammate, completed the top five.

Coward was still first on the road to Ramsey but Johnston’s lead has grown to 8 seconds with Michael Rutter holding third a further second back.  Dean Harrison moved up to fourth place with Dominic Herbertson, riding a Davies Motorsport Honda, now in fifth.

Michael Rutter moved up into second place ahead of Coward by the Bungalow and at the end of the opening lap Rutter trailed Lee Johnston, the 2014 Junior Classic TT Race winner, by almost fourteen seconds with Coward (101.125mph) who was first through the Grandstand holding third and Harrison (100.953) and Herbertson (100.180) completing the top five.

Dean Harrison splash and dash fuel stop at the end of the opening lap dropped him  a place by Glen Helen with the gap to race leader Johnston, his Black Eagle Racing teammate, growing to fifty-five seconds.

Meanwhile Alan Oversby was enjoying a remarkable ride having stopped just after Quarterbridge to make adjustments.  He moved from 20th place at Ballaugh to be sixth by the Grandstand with an opening lap of 98.381.

Coward moved ahead of Rutter by Ballaugh on the second lap but Rutter came back at him to move almost four seconds ahead of Coward on the run in to Ramsey. However Johnston was dominating proceedings and his second lap of 103.421, slowing into the pits gave him a twenty-five second lead over Rutter (102.525) with Coward holding the final podium position after his second lap of 101.966.

All eyes were on Lee Johnston at the Grandstand as he came into the pits for the critical second lap fuel stop and, with a pit stop of thirty-nine seconds, attention switched to Glen Helen where Rutter was revealed as the new race leader twelve seconds ahead of Johnston. Coward was a second and a half back in third with Herbertson and Harrison fourth and fifth respectively.

Although Johnston had cut Rutter’s lead to six seconds by the Bungalow, Rutter last lap of 104.002 gave him the race win in a time of 1:06.09.267/ 102.660mph by ten seconds from Johnston (1:06:19.519/ 102.395) with Coward third in 1:06:33.428/ 102.039). 

Herbertson (1:07.07.356/ 101.170) and Oversby 107.24.368/ 100.753) – who moved infront of Harrison (1:07.28.658/ 100.647) on the last lap to complete the top five.  Phil McGurk took the privateers award with an eighth placed finish in 1:08.32.911/ 99.074.

Photos: @RCPhotosIOM

Injured riders condition updates

Jonathan Perry who received a leg injury in an accident on 26th milestone in the MGP Senior practice on 23rd August has been discharged from Nobles Hospital
 
Chris Barrett who has leg fractures following an accident at the Gooseneck in the MGP Lightweight session on 24th August remains comfortable in Nobles Hospital
 
Mark Foster who received a leg injury at Brandywell on the 25th August remains comfortable in Nobles Hospital
 
Stephen Nathan who was injured in an accident at Greeba during the practice session on the evening of 26th August and was transferred to Nobles Hospital by Airmed has now been transferred to Liverpool with multiple fractures.

ANSTEY RIPS UP THE RECORD BOOKS IN DUNLOP LIGHTWEIGHT CLASSIC TT RACE WIN

Bruce Anstey shattered a number of records on his way to repeating last year’s victory in this afternoon’s Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race, the second race in the 2017 Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.

The flying Kiwi started by breaking the outright 250cc lap record on his opening lap, becoming the first rider to do a 250cc lap under 19 minutes which he followed up by becoming the first 250cc rider to post a 120mph lap on his second lap and he also broke his own race record by over a minute.

In the winners enclosure Anstey revealed that the team had been specifically targeting the 120mph lap;

“Clive [Padgett] ’s done brilliantly getting the bike up to spec over the winter. We have been targeting the 120mph lap so it’s great to get it in the bag.  I used Ian as a bit of a target and went flat out for the first two laps.”

In a day when the clock was turned back on the Isle of Man it was clearly a day for the veterans with the top three riders – Anstey, *Michael Rutter and Ian Lougher - all having made their Mountain Course debuts in the 1980s and 1990s.

Lougher on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha was first away and the Welshman lead on the road at Glen Helen at the opening checkpoint but Anstey had already taken 9 seconds out of him on the clock with Dan Sayle riding the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha the Kiwi’s nearest challenger, four seconds behind the race leader at Glen Helen.

Anstey moved in front on the road at Ballaugh on the opening lap and extended his race lead over the Mountain section before posting an opening lap of 119.888mph/ 18:52.960, the fastest ever lap by a 250 machine, and the first under the 19 minute barrier – all the more remarkable as it was set from a standing start.

Behind the Kiwi Dan Sayle was trying to give the Padgetts Motorcycles.com rider some competition but the Manx rider was already 25 seconds down with his opening lap of 117.225 with Michael Rutter on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati, a tribute to his father Tony, completing the top three in 116.903. Lougher (116.657) was maintaining a podium challenge just over two seconds behind Rutter with Ivan Lintin (114.950) completing the top five.

That remained the order on lap 2 with Anstey breaking his own lap one record with a lap of 120.475/ 18:47.438, the first 120mph 250cc lap in the history of the Mountain Course with the New Zealander slowing down for his pit stop.

Anstey’s record breaking opening two laps gave him a lead of over fifty seconds from Dan Sayle (117.740) with Michael Rutter maintaining his podium challenge only five seconds behind Sayle. Lougher and Ivan Lintin held fourth and fifth places respectively going into the third lap.

Dan Sayle was reported as a retirement at Garey Ford near Kerrowmoar which saw Michael Rutter move into second place at Ramsey with Lougher slotting into the final podium position but Anstey’s lead at the end of lap three after a lap of 113.233mph was a decisive seventy seconds ahead of Rutter with Lougher (111.580) a further thirteen seconds back in third place.

That remained the top three at the finish with Anstey taking the race in a new record time of / 117.853/ 1:16:50.072. Rutter’s final lap of 116.662 saw him finish in the runner-up up slot in 115.723/ 1:18.14.929 with fellow veteran Ian Lougher third in 115.665 1:18.17.289. Stuart Hall riding for Martyn Nelson Yamaha (109.416/ 1:22:45.565) was the leading privateer in eighth place.

*MICHAEL RUTTER WAS DISQUALIFED FOLLOWING A POST-RACE ENQUIRY WHICH SAW IVAN LINTIN PROMOTED TO THIRD. MORE TO FOLLOW ON THIS NEWS IN OUR ARTICLE EXPECTED TOMORROW. IT SHOULD BE POSTED ON THE BLOG. 

BENNETTS SENIOR CLASSIC TT RACE REPORT

Saturday, 26. Aug. 2017
Josh Brookes clinched his first TT Mountain Course win with victory in today’s thrilling Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race, the opening race of the 2017 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts.

The Australian led from the start of the race and completed his victory on the Team Winfield Paton with a commanding thirty-four second gap ahead of runner-up Jamie Coward.Afterwards a clearly elated Brookes said:

“My first board wasn’t updated and the second board had me at ‘P +0 so I gave it everything I’d got and risked blowing the engine.  It was nice to be able to fill in for John which is a great honour but also to win the race for the team.”

After a short delay to clear an oil spill on Bray Hill, the Isle of Man Classic TT Races roared into life at 11.45am.  Last year’s race winner, 23 time TT Race winner John McGuinness, was the official race starter as he continues his recovery from injuries sustained in his North-West 200 accident.

Ian Lougher, the 2014 race winner, had the honour of being first away on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta but the Welsh rider was reported as a retirement at Greeba Bridge on the opening lap. Dean Harrison on the Black Eagle Racing MV was also out of the race on the opening lap at Ballagarey while Michael Rutter was unhurt after sliding out at Ballacraine on his Ripley Land Racing Matchless bike. 

Brookes was first to Glen Helen, establishing a lead of over seven seconds from William Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda with Maria Costello, looking to emulate her podium place in last year’s race, in third on the Team Beugger Paton less than a second behind Dunlop. Jamie Coward on the Ted Woof Norton was fourth half a second further back with Michael Dunlop riding the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta fifth.Coward moved into second place at Ballaugh but was already twelve seconds behind Brookes and the Australian extended his lead to over the second placed man to twenty seconds by Ramsey.

Alan Oversby, who was in fifth place, was black flagged at Sulby Bridge with smoke coming out of his Davies Motorsport Honda machine but the Morecambe man was allowed to continue, and given a time credit for the stop, although the bike eventually gave up the ghost at Ballaugh Bridge on his second lap.

Jamie Coward was first through the Grandstand clocking 108.340mph but Josh Brookes was the leader at the end of the opening lap with his lap of 111.295 (20:20.432) – his fastest of the week.   Maria Costello maintained her third place (108.204) a second behind Coward with William Dunlop (107.743) and Bill Swallow (105.625) rounding out the top five.

However Swallow, who came into the pits at the end of his first lap, was given a thirty second penalty for speeding in the pits which dropped him down the order while Michael Dunlop retired in the pits at the end of his opening lap when running in 11th place.

Josh Brookes posted 110.839 on his second lap, and elected to run straight through which gave him a lead of almost forty seconds over second placed Coward - who was timed at 110.054 - which would be needed with Coward able to complete four straight laps on the single cylinder Norton.

Costello, however did choose to come in for a ‘splash and dash’ on the second lap and her lead of less than a second over Dunlop became a forty eight second deficit by Glen Helen on her third lap with Dunlop still to pit.  Michael Russell riding for Izzard Racing Norton was the leading privateer and completed the top five.

The true race leader board only became clearer at the end of the third lap with Josh Brookes coming in for a fifty-three second pit stop after a lap of 110.823 and Jamie Coward running straight through after a third lap of 110.057, the fastest ever single cylinder lap of the Mountain Course.  Brookes lead was duly revealed to be down to 2.5 seconds ahead of Coward at Glen Helen on his fourth lap.

William Dunlop also came in at the end of his third lap (108.606) and with a 39 second pit stop, he remained in third place at Glen Helen on the last lap, 8 seconds ahead of Costello but well over a minute behind the leading pair.

At the front of the field Brookes continued to move ahead of Coward and a last lap of 108.068 gave the Australian his first TT Mountain Course victory in 1:22.11.712./ 110.167mph

Coward held the runner up position with an overall race time of 1:22.45.472/ 109.412 while Dunlop clinched the final podium place with a last lap of 104.449 and an overall race time of 1:24.18.778/ 107.400. Costello (1:24.26.278/ 107.241) finished fourth with Dominic Herbertson fifth and Bill Swallow sixth. Michael Russell, who finished in seventh place, was the leading privateer.

Photo: @RCPhotos

ANSTEY CONTINUES DOMINANCE In Friday's Lightweight Classic TT session,

Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Motorcycles.com Honda continued his dominance with a lap of 117.54 – outside his unofficial lap record from Wednesday but comfortably ahead of Michael Rutter (113.36) on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati with Gary Vines on the Online Lubricants Yamaha completing the top three.

The second session for Senior and Junior machines got underway at 7.05pm. In the Senior class, William Dunlop was first to Glen Helen on his Davies Motorsport Honda from Josh Brookes on the Winfield Paton and Ian Lougher on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta while Maria Costello was an early retirement at Quarterbridge.

The second session for Senior and Junior machines got underway at 7.05pm. In the Senior class, William Dunlop was first to Glen Helen on his Davies Motorsport Honda from Josh Brookes on the Winfield Paton and Ian Lougher on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta while Maria Costello was an early retirement at Quarterbridge.

In the concurrent Junior Classic TT qualifying session Alan Oversby was eight seconds quicker than second placed man Phil McGurk with Dominic Herbertson on the Davies Motorsport Honda completing the top three. However, with the Classic TT session approaching Ramsey, an incident in the MGP Junior qualifying session resulted in an all course red flag with the rider transferred by airmed to Nobles.

The circulating machines were brought back to the Grandstand and the session was curtailed shortly after 7.15.

Photo taken by Ryan Crawley of RC Photos

DUNLOP STRIKES WITH FIRST SUPERBIKE LAP

Michael Dunlop was finally able to compete his first Superbike qualifying lap ahead of Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Classic TT Superbike Race and immediately moved to second place on the overall leaderboard for the week.

A change to the advertised schedule saw the Superbike and Lightweight Machines go out first in the final full qualifying session for the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts because of the power requirements for tyre warmers.

Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson confirmed that the track was dry with good visibility and the combined Classic TT Superbike and Lightweight session roared into life on time at 6.20pm.

Dunlop was first to Glen Helen on the opening lap but Dean Harrison, riding the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki was quickest to the opening sector a couple of seconds ahead of Dunlop with Jamie Coward third fastest on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki just over a second further back.

Dean Harrison was reported as a retirement at Ballaugh leaving Dunlop at the front of the session and the Northern Ireland rider was first through the Grandstand on the opening lap in 124.92.   Coward (123.77) was ten seconds back in second place ahead of three other Kawasaki riders - teammate Dan Kneen (122.79), who was marginally ahead of  Greenall Racing rider Horst Saiger (122.765) with Ivan Lintin (120.91) on the Kraus Racing bike completing the top five.

Dunlop was reported to have stopped at Hillberry on his second lap making adjustments, eventually completing the lap but Jamie Coward was enjoying a clear run to post the third fastest Superbike lap of the week (124.012) on his second lap.

photo by Ryan Crawley of RC Photos

THE FLYING KIWI GOES FASTEST OF ALL

Bruce Anstey posted the fastest time of the week on board his Padgett's Yamaha YZR 500 as he lapped at 125.49 and afterwards revealed how much he was enjoying riding the bike and clearly has something left in the tank:

“Clive Padgett has done a fantastic job over the winter and the bike is the best it’s ever been. I was going really well on the second lap but then slowed a bit when I got to some traffic.”

Bruce Anstey continued his impressive form during the 2017 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with the fastest time of the week on his Padgetts Motorcycles.com YZR 500 Yamaha.

The New Zealander lapped at 125.49 and afterwards revealed how much he was enjoying riding the bike and clearly has something left in the tank:

“Clive Padgett has done a fantastic job over the winter and the bike is the best it’s ever been. I was going really well on the second lap but then slowed a bit when I got to some traffic.”

First on the track were the Superbikes and Lightweight machines and David Johnson on his Team York Suzuki and Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Motorcycles.com YZR 500 Yamaha, carrying the number 1 and 2 plates respectively, were the first two away promptly at 6.20pm.

Other riders out on their Superbikes included James Hillier, Gary Johnson, Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter. Michael Dunlop elected to go out on his Turner Racing Yamaha 250 Lightweight machine and was initially reported as a retirement at Quarterbridge but managed to get going again before retiring at Sulby. Other retirements early in the session include Derek Shiels at Ballig Bridge and James Cowton at Parliament Square while Lee Johnston was also a retirement at Kirk Michael. 

Anstey topped the board with the fastest two laps to establish himself as clear favourite for Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Race, with Michael Dunlop yet to complete a lap on the Team Classic Suzuki but behind the New Zealander the Kawasaki mounted Horst Saiger (123.83) and Dean Harrison 123.74 were stating their case as potential podium finishers.

In the concurrent Lightweight session, with Bruce Anstey preferring to focus on his Superbike machine after the previous evening’s exploits, Dan Sayle on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha topped the board with an impressive 115.55 ahead of Ian Lougher on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha (115.22) with Michael Rutter (114.57) also to the fore.

Setting off from the bottom of pit lane, the second session for Senior and Junior machines got away at 7.15pm and Josh Brookes and Maria Costello - both riding Patons - for Team Winfield and Team Beugger Racing respectively - were first away but Costello was reported to be off near Braddan shortly after the start but was unhurt.

Brookes powered to a 107.781, slower than his 109 lap the previous evening but Jamie Coward signalled his potential for race honours in Saturday’s Bennetts Senior Classic TT with a remarkable lap of 108.669 on the single cylinder Manx Norton to top the board for the session with William Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda (105.935) completing the top three.

In the concurrent Junior class Michael Rutter, the 2015 race winner who also finished narrow runner up to Michael Dunlop in last year’s race, posted another 100mph+ lap with 102.063 from Phil McGurk (99.684) on the Chris Hughes Honda and Cameron Donald (97.470) on the McIntosh Racing Norton.

However, with conditions deteriorating around the Mountain Course, notably with a lack of visibility reported between the Bungalow and Kates Cottage, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson elected to end the session early at 7.40pm, which meant that there was only time for a single lap for all of the competitors in the Senior and Junior classes.

Chris Barrett was reported to have come off at the Gooseneck in the Lightweight session and was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital with a leg injury.

Tomorrow's final full qualifying session is scheduled to get underway at 6.20pm with the Senior and Junior machines out first before the Lightweight and Superbikes at 7.15pm.

ANSTEY UPS THE PACE IN SUPERBIKE AND LIGHTWEIGHT ISLE OF MAN CLASSIC TT QUALIFYING SESSION WHILE BROOKES TOPS SENIOR BOARD

Competitors enjoyed the best conditions of the week so far for the third qualifying session of the Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts, which was reflected in the significant jump in lap times.

There was no doubt about the rider that dominated the session  – New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey.  The ‘flying kiwi’ followed up a session topping Superbike lap with the fastest ever Mountain Course Lightweight lap – 118.812 (19:03.218) - inside his own lap record of 118.744mph set in last year’s corresponding race, on the Padgetts Motorcycles.com 250 Honda. 

The lap, albeit an unofficial lap record as the Isle of Man record books only feature racing laps, was all the remarkable as it was set from a standing start and the Kiwi was estimated to be close to a 120pmh average on his second lap before encountering traffic.

The session got underway on time at 6.20pm and Australian David Johnson, as he will in Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Race, led away from the Glencrutchery Road start line on the Team York Suzuki Superbike machine.

But it was the man who followed him off the line – Bruce Anstey – riding the Padgetts Motorcycles.com V4 two stroke Yamaha who again set the pace with a Superbike session topping 124.888mph while pre-race favourite Michael Dunlop, who has yet to complete a lap on the Team Classic Suzuki, again retired at Ballacraine on his opening lap of the session as he had done the previous evening.  

Dunlop’s Team Classic Suzuki teammate Lee Johnston was reported as another retirement on the opening lap at Kirk Michael where Jamie Coward joined him on his opening lap on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki.

Anstey pulled in at the end of his opening Superbike lap, which was merely a precursor to his stunning Lightweight lap, which set the meeting alight, but Dean Harrison with a 123.288mph lap on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki and David Johnson (121.86) on the Team York Suzuki were also on the pace. Gary Johnson, Horst Saiger and Dan Kneen all posted their fastest laps of the week while Josh Brookes was also moving his Rotary Norton through the field, posting a 118.59mph which was the eighth fastest lap in the class on the night.
Dunlop was able to get back to the Grandstand promptly after his earlier retirement and managed to get out on his Turner Racing Yamaha before the end of the combined Superbike/ Lightweight session, clocking a lap of 112.13 but Dan Sayle (115.56) on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha, Michael Rutter (112.87) on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati, Ivan Lintin (112.69) John Chapman Racing Honda and Ian Lougher on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha (112.46) were all quicker than the Northern Ireland rider on their 250’s.

In the Senior class, which got underway at 7.10pm, Josh Brookes on the Team Winfield Paton was the clear leader on the night with the two fastest laps – his quickest at 109.509mph was over 40 seconds faster than second placed man in the session William Dunlop (105.858) riding the Davies Motorsport Honda. Michael Rutter on the Ripley Land Racing Seeley was a further 5 seconds behind Dunlop with  Maria Costello and Bill Swallow – both riding Patons – completing the top five on the night.

In the concurrent Junior class Alan Oversby on the Davies Motorsport Honda posted the first 100mph Junior Classic TT lap of the meeting to top the qualifying board from Lee Johnston ((99.612) on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta.

Russell Roebury was reported to be unhurt after sliding off at the Gooseneck in the Junior session as was Dave Moffitt following his accident at the Creg Ny Baa.

‘MANANNAN’S CLOAK’ RELENTS AS ANSTEY TOPS THE BOARD IN SECOND ISLE OF MAN CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS QUALIFYING SESSION

The infamous ‘Manannan’s Cloak’ lifted around the Isle of Man allowing the second qualifying for the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts to go ahead after Monday’s session was cancelled.

Ahead of the session, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson advised competitors of a number of damp patches following the earlier rain, notably at Ginger Hall, Ramsey Hairpin, on the exit of the Bungalow, Graham’s, Hillberry and Governors Dip.

The session got away on time at 6.20pm and the Classic TT Superbike machines were first on the track. The machines lined up on the grid in the order that they will race in Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Race with Australian David Johnson, carrying the number one plate on the Team York Suzuki, first away down the iconic Glencrutchery Road stretch of tarmac, although a number of riders switched order behind him. 

Jamie Coward (4.41.492) was fastest to the first timing point at Glen Helen on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki a fraction of a second ahead of Dean Harrison, also Kawasaki mounted on the Silicone Engineering machine with Austrian Horst Saiger, who posted the fastest lap in Saturday’s opening session, five seconds behind the leading pair. 

Lee Johnston (Team Classic Suzuki) and Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Motorcycles YZR 500 Yamaha, on which he won the 2014 race, completed the top five at the opening timing point. However, Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki was reported as an early retirement at Ballacraine on his opening lap of the meeting.

Coward’s lap of 120.824 was the fastest opening lap but Anstey was on the pace with a 119.724 and it was clear that the Kiwi was finding his feet as he was twenty seconds quicker on his second lap to Glen Helen.

Anstey (121.932) duly posted the fastest lap of the session on his second lap with Ivan Lintin (121.094) on the Kraus Racing Kawasaki and Derek Shiels (121.04) and Horst Saiger (120.89) - both on Greenall Racing Kawasaki’s – all going over the 120mph mark, as did David Johnson (120.11).

In the Lightweight Class, Ian Lougher on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha (113.994) topped the board. Bruce Anstey, last year’s race winner, went out later in the session on his Padgetts Motorcycles.com Honda after his Superbike exploits and clocked a 113.010 with Dan Sayle on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha also going well with 112.131.

Chris Moore (110.601) on the Dafabet Devitt Racing Yamaha and Gary Vines (110.130) on the Online Lubricants Yamaha completed the top five in the Lightweight class for the session. Michael Dunlop, after his earlier Superbike retirement, posted his first lap of the meeting with a 102.656 on the Turner Racing Yamaha. 

It was then the turn of the Senior and Junior machines and Dominic Herbertson on the Davies Motorsport Honda was quickly on the pace with an opening lap of 104.606 in the Senior session which ultimately proved to be the fastest lap of the class, less than two seconds quicker than James Cowton on the Dave Kenah Racing Norton (104.476) with Dean Harrison, the 2015 Race winner, on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta third fastest 500cc machine on the night with a lap of 103.397.

Experienced campaigner Phil McGurk on the Chris Hughes Honda was just shy of a 100mph lap with 99.967 but was nevertheless the quickest in the Junior session from Jamie Coward who followed up a strong Superbike lap with the second fastest Junior lap (99.397) with Alan Oversby, who finished third in the 2014 Junior Classic TT Race, completing the top three on the night. 

New Zealand rider Grant Dalton came off at the Verandah but was unhurt in the Superbike session while Elwyn Fryer at Parliament Square and Dean Osborne at Governors dip were also reported to be without injury after accidents in the same session. 

SATURDAY EVENING CLASSIC TT PRACTICE

SAIGER TOPS THE BOARD ON THE OPENING QUALIFYING SESSION FOR THE 2017 ISLE OF MAN TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS

After a frustrating delay of over an hour due to cars being left parked on the course, the 2017 Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts finally got underway on the Isle of Man at 6.30pm.
Eleven newcomers had the honour of being first on the track with their obligatory speed controlled ‘sighting’ lap, under the guidance of experienced campaigners John Barton, one of the Rider Liaison Officers, and 1993 Formula 1 TT Race winner Nick Jefferies. 

With the newcomers first Mountain Course laps untimed throughout the evening, the action really got underway shortly before 6.30pm and it was local rider Dan Kneen on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki who was first away in the Superbike session. 

In the absence of Michael Dunlop, who switched to a four-wheeled challenge in the weekend’s Ulster Rally and who will begin his qualifying campaign on Monday, Austrian Horst Saiger, riding the Greenall Racing Kawasaki, clocked the fastest lap of the evening with his opening lap of 117.18mph.

Double Manx Grand Prix race winner Andrew Dudgeon, also riding a Kawasaki, was second fastest on the night with 115.39mph from Australian David Johnson (114.67) and the returning Lee Johnston (114.14) on the Team York and Team Classic Suzuki’s respectively.

In the Lightweight class Kiwi Bruce Anstey, on the Padgetts Motorcycles Honda, predictably picked up where he left off last year with an opening lap of 113.07 while former British 125 Champion Dan Cooper showed his two-stroke experience with a lap of 109.84.

Jamie Coward posted the fastest (108.04) and third fastest laps (105.69) in the Senior Class, which got underway shortly after 7.10pm with Alan Oversby (106.52) separating his two laps while Maria Costello signalled her intention to follow up last year’s Senior Classic TT podium with an opening lap of 103.31 on the Team Beugger Racing Paton and Dominic Herbertson (103.22) on the Davies Motorsport Honda completing the top five.
 
In the Junior Classic TT session, Australian Cameron Donald put down his TV microphone and clocked 94.65mph on the much anticipated McIntosh Racing Norton with Lee Johnston, the 2014 Race winner opening up with a lap of 93.98 on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta.

Monday evening sees the Lightweight and Superbike machines away at 6.20pm with the Senior and Junior bikes scheduled to be away from 7.10pm before the newcomers’ session shortly before 7.50pm.

LAP RECORD HOLDER LEE JOHNSTON RETURNS FOR SURE JUNIOR CLASSIC TT RACE

The Sure Junior Classic TT Race is set to be one of the most closely contested classes at this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with almost 90 entries on a grid packed with some of the world’s leading road racers.

2014 race winner and class lap record holder Lee Johnston returns with the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta and will set off at his traditional number thirteen slot. Johnston is set to do battle with team-mate and recent Ulster GP winner Dean Harrison who has the number nine plate again.

The honour of setting off first down Glencrutchery Road goes to previous podium finisher Dan Cooper on the CSC Racing Honda while the 2015 victor and the 2016 runner-up Michael Rutter will again be reunited with the Ripley Land Racing Honda at number four.

The Davies Motorsport trio of Alan Oversby (5), William Dunlop (6) and Dominic Herbertson (15) will all fancy their chances of success as will Cameron Donald (8) whose sole outing at this year’s event sees him line up on the McIntosh Racing Norton.

The 350cc single cylinder Honda is the chosen bike for many with Jamie Coward (2) riding for Ted Woof, Olie Linsdell (Atherstone Accident Repair) at number 10, Chris McGahan (12) and Peter Boast (14) on the Ken Rutter Racing machine all definite contenders. Phil McGurk (Chris Hughes) and Alex Sinclair (CSC Racing) are also Honda-mounted at number 16 and 17 respectively.

A strong threat will undoubtedly come from Chris Swallow (7) on the Ripley Land Racing AJS, Danny Webb (18) on the Dunnell Racing Norton and Ivan Lintin (11) riding the Brian Richards Racing Seeley 7R whilst setting off lower down the order at 27 is local hero Conor Cummins on the Spectrum Windows/Feltons Honda.

Other riders set to feature include veterans David Madsen-Mygdal (Gimbert Racing Honda) and Nick Jefferies (Goathland Garage Norton), Mark Herbertson (Pip Campbell Motorcycles Honda), Steve Ferguson (Greenall Racing Honda) and Dave Moffitt (LGC Racing Honda).

A number of 250cc machines are also entered with Dave Edwards, Jeff Ward, Chris Moore and Geoff Bates amongst them.
- Ends -

MICHAEL DUNLOP, DEAN HARRISON AND JOSH BROOKES LEAD A STAR-STUDDED ENTRY FOR 2017 BENNETTS SENIOR CLASSIC TT RACE

This year’s Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race at the 2017 Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts is set to be another fiercely contested encounter around the Mountain Course with an 87-strong field containing some of the sport’s finest road racers.

Last year’s winner and current lap record holder John McGuinness is sadly absent due to injury but Team Winfield have moved swiftly to replace him with Josh Brookes taking over their 500cc Paton. It will be the Australian’s first time at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts but, setting off at number eight, he’s sure to be a major contender on, arguably, the strongest bike on the grid.

The strongest competition is likely to come from the Black Eagle Racing pairing of Michael Dunlop (3) and Dean Harrison (9) on MV Agusta’s, the latter having won in 2015 and finished second twelve months ago. Ian Lougher (John Chapman Racing) will also mounted on one of the Italian multi-cylinder machines.  The Welshman won in 2014 and he has the honour of leading the field away at number one this year.

Davies Motorsport Honda trio William Dunlop (6), Alan Oversby (5) and Dominic Herbertson (15) are all podium contenders while Maria Costello (Team Beugger Racing) will be looking to repeat her 2016 rostrum finish when she was third on the Paton. She starts at number 7 with Classic maestro Bill Swallow (16) another rider to be Paton-mounted, this time for Gleve Racing.

The field is packed with potential rostrum men riding British machines - none more so than Lightweight TT winner Michael Rutter (Ripley Land Racing Matchless) at number 4, Jamie Coward (Ted Woof/Craven Concrete Manx Norton) at number 2, Danny Webb (14) on the Dunnell Racing Norton and James Cowton (17) riding the Dave Kenah Racing Norton.

Olie Linsdell, the maiden winner of the race in 2013, will again be on the Flitwick Motorcycles/Steve Bond Royal Enfield, this time with the number ten plate, while amongst Cameron Donald (11) riding the Motagallur Vincent, Chris Swallow (12) on the Wooderson BSA, Daniel Hegarty (18) with the D&M Engineering Honda and James Hillier (19) on the CSC Racing Honda all start in the top twenty. Austrian ace Horst Saiger rounds out the top twenty on the Egli Motorradtechnik Vincent machine.

There’s plenty of talent throughout the field and other riders competing include Ivan Lintin (Brian Richards Racing Matchless), 1993 Formula One TT winner Nick Jefferies (Goathland Garage Norton), David Sellers (Chris Hughes Racing Honda), Peter Boast (D&M Engineering Honda), Phil McGurk (Dave Hardman BSA), Dave Matravers (Round Oak Services Paton), Steve Ferguson (Greenall Racing Honda) and TT Rider Liaison Officer John Barton (Wemoto.com Matchless).

 Classic racing stalwarts Hefyn, Bob and Mereydd Owen are back for another effort as are David Madsen-Mygdal, Mark Parrett, Mark Herbertson, Davy Morgan, Michael Russell, Alex Sinclair, Bruno Leroy, Chris McGahan and John Leigh Pemberton. Meanwhile, the leading newcomer of TT2017, Adam McLean, is set to make his Classic TT debut on a 500cc BSA.

The four-lap race is scheduled to take place at 11.30am on Saturday 26th August.

BRUCE ANSTEY AND MICHAEL DUNLOP GO HEAD TO HEAD IN DUNLOP LIGHTWEIGHT CLASSIC TT RACE AT 2017 ISLE OF MAN CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS

The second running of the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts has attracted an increased entry of 68 riders for 2017 and last year’s race winner and lap record holder Bruce Anstey heads the line up.
The Kiwi lapped at 118.744mph on his way to victory in 2016 and he’s back to try and make it two in a row, this time starting at number 2 on the Padgetts Motorcycles Honda.

The pre-race favourite sets off ten seconds after one his closest rival Ian Lougher, the Welshman again riding the Laylaw Racing Yamaha with another major threat coming at number three with Michael Dunlop contesting the race for the first time on the Turner Racing Yamaha.

His team-mate Dan Cooper sets off at number five and is sure to be challenging for a podium finish whilst the same applies to the John Chapman Racing duo of Dan Kneen (7) and Ivan Lintin (8) who will both ride RS250 Honda’s.

James Cowton (9) is another likely rostrum contender on his Yamaha with Phil Harvey (10) aiming for a repeat performance of 2016 when he took an emotional third place on his CSC Racing Honda.

Paul Owen (11) just missed out to Harvey last year on the Team 98 Honda and other class regulars to be back for another try are Rhys Hardisty (15) on the Kaymac Marine Engineering Yamaha, former Newcomers Manx Grand Prix winner Gary Vines (17) riding his immaculately prepared Online Lubricants Yamaha, Chris Moore (18) riding the JL Exhausts/Dafabet Yamaha and Davy Morgan (19) on his own 250cc Honda.

2016 TT Privateer’s Champion Dan Hegarty (12) makes his debut in the race riding a TZ Yamaha with former Manx Grand Prix winner Dan Sayle is set to go at 14 on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha.
Exciting road racing prospect Adam McLean starts at number 16 and will also be Yamaha-mounted whilst other riders expected to be pushing for top ten finishes are the Clever Brown Honda pairing of Nigel Moore and Shaun Anderson, Timothee Monot (Team Baz Honda), Michael Sweeney on the second Laylaw Racing Yamaha, Tom Snow (FCL Racing Yamaha), Stuart Hall (Martyn Nelson Yamaha) and Dan Stewart (Wilcock Consulting Yamaha).

However, a spoiler in the race could well be Michael Rutter on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati with the Midlands rider setting off at number four whilst Chris Swallow also has a 750cc Ducati at his disposal, this time under the iconic Sports Motorcycles Ducati banner.

Other riders to keep an eye on include David Hewson (Obsession Engineering Yamaha), David Madsen-Mygdal (RJP Racing Honda), Neal Champion (Frasers of Gloucester Yamaha) and Michael Russell (CMB Motorsport Honda).

CAMERON DONALD LINES UP SURE JUNIOR CLASSIC TT RACE CHALLENGE WITH MCINTOSH RACING

Cameron Donald will again challenge for honours at this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with the Australian ace a confirmed starter in the Sure Junior Classic TT Race.

The double TT winner will ride a 350cc Manx Norton for McIntosh Racing run by Kiwi classic racing supremo Ken McIntosh.
Donald has been a regular at the Classic TT since the inaugural year in 2013 and finished second in that year’s Okells 350cc Classic TT behind race winner Chris Palmer riding an AJS 7R.
Riding the same machine, he finished fourth in 2016 just missing out on the podium but with a fastest lap in the class of 100.382mph.

He will go in to the four-lap race, to be held on Bank Holiday Monday, August 28th, as a major contender for honours.
New Zealand tuning ace McIntosh has also been a staunch supporter of the Classic TT initially fielding Bruce Anstey on his 500cc Manx Norton. The 12-time TT winner retired in 2013 but took an excellent third in 2014 lapping in excess of 108mph and McIntosh’s expertise when it comes to Manx Norton’s is highly regarded so he’ll be giving Donald every possible chance of glory in 2017.

 
Speaking about the Classic TT, Cameron Donald said: “I’ve really enjoyed the Classic TT since the outset and having missed riding at this year’s TT on the modern bikes, I am raring to go with Ken and the McIntosh Racing Team. I’ve worked with Ken on and off for a long time and I know how good his bikes are. It’s always going to be a hard up against the multi cylinder bikes, but these are races of attrition and with four consistently fast laps I hope to be close when the chequered flag goes out.”

MANX GRAND PRIX LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY

With just over a week until the start of practising for the 2017 Manx Grand Prix, the Manx Motor Cycle Club and their supporters are looking forward to seeing some close and exciting racing from the amateur riders competing on the world famous TT Course.

Riders will be travelling from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Europe to join competitors from the UK, Scotland, Ireland and of course the Isle of Man.

With last year’s winners having moved to the TT, it leaves the field open for perhaps an Australian win for Royce Rowe who starts the Junior, Lightweight and Senior Races at number 6 or it might be a Welsh win for PRF Rider Barry Lee Evans at number 2. 

We cannot rule out podiums places for the Irish challengers, Andy Farrell, Davy Lumsden and Debbie Booth or previous local Newcomer winners Peter Wilkinson and Michael Evans who start at 16 & 17 in the Junior and Senior Races and Darren Cooper from Preston at number 3.

Practising commences at 17.20 on Saturday 19 August. The full race programme is as follows:

Monday 28th August
1715hrs; Newcomers MGP Race; 4 laps

Wednesday 30th August
1015hrs; Junior Manx Grand Prix Race; 4 laps 1315hrs; Lightweight Manx Grand Prix Race; 4 laps

Friday 1st September 
1015 hrs; Senior Manx Grand Prix Race; 4 laps
 
Photo: 2016 Junior Winner Andy Dudgeon
Photo Credit : Richard Martin

You can follow all of the action worldwide through Manx Radio’s on-line commentary service with live timing for all qualifying and racing available at iomtt.com.

TT STARS DAN KNEEN AND JAMIE COWARD CARRY MISTRAL RACING'S HOPES FOR 2017 CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS

Continuing the strength in depth at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts, Mistral Racing will field Dan Kneen and Jamie Coward in this year’s Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race.
The pairing will form one of the strongest teams on the grid in the 4-lap race, riding identically prepared ZXR750 Kawasaki’s as they look to break the Suzuki and Yamaha stranglehold on the event.
Kneen rode for the team in 2016 and, after lapping at 123.853mph, was running in the top five before being forced to retire on the second lap. He comes into the meeting as one of the in-form riders having achieved his debut podium at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, when he finished third in the RL360 Quantum Superstock Race, while he also finished in the top three in all four Superbike races at the recent Southern 100.
Coward has ridden for Ian Harrison’s team at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts every year since 2013 with the exception of 2014 when he missed the event due to injury. He finished sixth in 2015 and lapped at 122.858mph twelve months ago before being removed from the results due to a technical infringement.
The Hebden Bridge rider is in excellent form this year on the Radcliffe Racing machines, securing his best ever finish at the TT with ninth in the RL360 Quantum Superstock Race, posting personal best lap times at all of the meetings he’s competed in. 
Mistral Racing have competed at every Classic TT since its inception in 2013 and have over 25 years experience in performance motorsport and motorcycle tuning.  They are acknowledged as one of the most accomplished engine tuning companies in the UK. With Kneen and Coward piloting the ZXR750 Kawasaki’s, they will have every chance of recording at least a podium finish. Commenting on the Classic TT, Mistral Racing’s Dan Kneen said: “I really enjoyed working with the Mistral guys last year and we were on for a good result before we got hit by some bad luck. The team have done a lot more development with the bike since last year and we should be as competitive as anything else out there.”

SILICONE ENGINEERING AND DEAN HARRISON SET TO CHALLENGE FOR HONOURS AT CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS

Silicone Engineering and their rider Dean Harrison will mount a concerted attack on this year’s Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider adding the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike race to his Black Eagle Racing commitments in the Bennetts Senior Classic and Sure Junior Classic TT Races.

The 28-year old has made no secret of the fact the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts is one of the main events of his season and having already won the 2015 Senior Classic and 2013 Formula Superbike Races, he’s now looking to add the Superbike Race to his collection as well.

Last year saw Harrison finish second in the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Race having lapped at 125.512mph only to be removed from the results due to a technical infringement and he’s keen to make amends this time around and challenge the likes of Michael Dunlop and Bruce Anstey for the race win.

2017 has been an excellent year for Harrison so far having recently been crowned Southern 100 Solo Champion for the first time as well as taking a brace of podiums at this year’s TT Races with third in both the RST Superbike and Pokerstars Senior Races.

He also claimed a maiden rostrum at the North West 200 and will come into this year’s Classic TT Races as a strong contender for honours in all three of his races.

Speaking ahead of the Classic TT, Dean Harrison said: “The whole team is really looking forward to the Classic TT again this year. I’ve loved it since day one and the team have really started to embrace it too. The TT was really good for us this year and hopefully the Classic TT will be more of the same. The Kawasaki ZXR 750 is a strong package and hopefully we can give Michael (Dunlop) a run for his money on the big Suzuki, but it’s a strong entry and there are going to be a lot of potential winners.”

IRISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPION DEREK SHIELS JOINS HORST SAIGER AT GREENALL RACING FOR ISLE OF MAN CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS

Greenall Racing will return to this year’s Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with Irish Superbike Champion Derek Shiels joining regular team member Horst Saiger in a two-pronged attack on the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race.

The duo will ride identically prepared ZXR750 Kawasaki’s in the four-lap race which is scheduled to be held on Bank Holiday Monday, August 28th.
Austria’s Saiger has become a staunch supporter of the Classic TT event, adding the meeting to his Isle of Man TT Races schedule and having finished 13th in the 2015 race, he improved considerably in 2016, finishing sixth and lapping at an impressive 122.529mph. 

However, like a number of other riders he fell foul to a technical infringement and was removed from the results. He did, however, finish in a fine 10th place in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race riding an immaculately prepared Egli-Vincent EVG500.

Sheils will be making his debut at the Classic TT and although he had a disappointing time on the Mountain Course in June at the TT, retiring from all four of his races, he did lap at 128.780mph to become the fastest rider from Southern Ireland around the 37.73-mile course.

The double Irish Superbike Champion has again been in imperious form at the Irish National road race meetings this year and his appearance at the Classic TT adds further intrigue to a high-quality line-up.

The team is well established within road racing circles as they were originally formed over 30 years ago and since then have had many successes on the Mountain Course and the Irish roads with riders such as Bill Ingham, Geoff Johnson, Steve Hazlett, Bob Jackson, Jim Hodson and Jim Moodie.

They also prepared the 926cc Ducati for the late Simon Beck, which he rode when finishing 3rd in the 1995 Formula 1 TT Race, splitting the 4 factory Honda’s as well as building the popular Lancastrian’s factory ZX7RR Kawasaki’s.
Commenting on his Classic TT debut, Derek Shiels said:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to the Island for the Classic TT and hopefully I’ll have more luck than I did at the TT in June. The Classic TT has gone from strength to strength since it started so it is good to finally get involved. I’m excited about riding the Greenall Kawasaki’s which look to be amongst the best bikes out there, and I am hopeful of getting a good result for Angus (Greenall) and the team.”

SUPERBIKE CHAMPION JOSH BROOKES REPLACES INJURED JOHN MCGUINNESS AT TEAM WINFIELD FOR BENNETTS CLASSIC SENIOR TT RACE

Team Winfield, one of the most successful Classic motorcycle racing teams on the planet, will once again take to the TT Mountain Course in 2017 having secured the considerable talents of Josh Brookes for the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts. The team will concentrate their efforts this year on the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race with Australian ace Brookes campaigning the 500cc Paton that John McGuinness took to a record-breaking victory 12 months ago.

Roger Winfield’s outfit have been ever-present at the Classic TT since 2013, and the Classic Manx Grand Prix before that, and although McGuinness was out of luck in the early years of the Classic TT, he made up for that last year when he won the race and set a new lap record of 113.342mph as he came home over twenty seconds clear of Dean Harrison.

The 23-time Isle of Man TT had been due to ride Winfield’s rapid 500cc twin cylinder Paton again this year but having sustained leg injuries at the North West 200, the team were in need of a top quality replacement and they’ve got just that in 34-year old Brookes.

The former British Superbike Champion enjoyed a superb return to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course at this year’s TT as he lapped at close to 131mph on the SG6 Norton on his way to securing sixth place in the Pokerstars Senior Race. He took the same result in the Bennetts Lightweight Race, on Ryan Farquhar’s IEG/KMR Kawasaki. The Northern Irishman himself has a strong link to Team Winfield having taken numerous victories at the Manx Grand Prix on Winfield’s immaculately prepared machines.

Brookes will be getting his first taste of Classic TT action but there’s not doubt that the combination of his skill and talent and Winfield’s engineering expertise, is one to be feared They will come into this year’s event as one of the pre-race favourites. Indeed, the Sydney rider could well start favourite for his maiden Mountain Course race victory.

Team owner Roger Winfield commented: “We were deeply saddened when John (McGuinness) was ruled out after his crash at the North West 200. Working with John has been a real highlight for our team over the past few years and after some terrible luck we showed what we are capable of last year when he won the race and moved the lap record on considerably. Hopefully he will continue to mend well and we look forward to be able to work with him again in the future.”

He continued:

“The task of replacing the most successful living TT rider has been a difficult one and we would have been forced to miss the event if we couldn’t find a rider of the very highest calibre to fill John’s boots so we were delighted when Josh Brookes agreed to join our team. While not as experienced on the Mountain Course as some of the riders in the field, there is no question about his skill level, and his results impressed everyone at this year’s TT after two years away. We will give Josh a great bike which hopefully he will get a lot of enjoyment out of riding, and we will see where we all end up after a week’s qualifying and four fast laps in the race itself.”

Josh Brookes added: “It’s great to be riding the team Winfield Paton at the Classic TT. The team and the bike clearly have pedigree having won last year’s race and setting a new lap record. It’s going to be a steep learning curve for me with a type of bike I have no experience of riding, but I am looking forward to the challenge and will give it my all to give Roger and the team a good result.”

Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £20. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 26th August the RST Classic TT Legends Dinner on Sunday 27th and the Classic TT Prize giving and Closing Party on Monday 28th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com or our sales hotline on (00 44) (0) 1624 640011.

TWO BRITTENS SET TO FEATURE AT CLASSIC TT

The iconic New Zealand-built Britten machine will make its return to the Isle of Man in August with not one but two of John Britten’s ground-breaking creations taking to the Mountain Course once more at the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts. 

The pink and blue Britten and CRS Britten, owned respectively by Kevin Grant and Bob Robbins, were both campaigned at the 1994 Isle of Man TT races and will be ridden this year by Bruce Anstey and fellow Kiwi Stephen Briggs in the Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Retro Parade on Monday 28th August.

Grant’s machine won the BEARS World Championship in the 1990s and was ridden by Nick Jefferies at the 1994 Isle of Man TT Races with the 1993 Formula One TT winner lapping at more than 118mph from a standing start in the 1994 Senior Race before being side-lined with a gearbox issue.

The machine has continually been demonstrated around the world since and returned to the TT in 2004 with triple World Champion and double TT winner Hugh Anderson MBE on board. It was last seen on the island in 2014 when Anstey paraded the bike during the Classic TT festival and the 12-time TT Race winner will again put the bike through its paces.

The CRS Britten competed at the TT on more occasions than any of the other Britten machines with Shaun Harris’ ride in the 1996 Senior being one of the most popular finishes of recent times. The machine has only recently returned from being on museum display to being demonstrated at events internationally.

Briggs, who competed in the Supersport 600cc TT races in 1994 and 1996 will ride the equally striking black and yellow CRS Britten. Both bikes have been rebuilt completely to ensure there are no issues and are sure to be one of the most popular attractions at the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
 
Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £20. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 26thAugust the RST Classic TT Legends Dinner on Sunday 27th and the Classic TT Prize giving and Closing Party on Monday 28th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com or our sales hotline on (00 44) (0) 1624 640011.

RUTTER RETURNS TO CLASSIC TT WITH RIPLEY LAND RACING.

Michael Rutter will have a strong chance of another race victory at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts with the Midlands ace contesting the Sure Junior Classic TT and Bennetts Senior Classic TT races for Ripley Land Racing.

The Bridgnorth rider has ridden for the Guildford-based team since 2014 and gave them a famous victory on their 350cc Drixton Honda in the 2015 Junior Classic TT race before taking a close second to Michael Dunlop in the corresponding race twelve months ago. The duo had a race-long battle with Rutter lapping at 103.974mph on his way to the runner-up spot.

In addition, Rutter will also ride Ian Garbutt’s MkII 500cc Seeley G50 Matchless in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT race, having ridden the machine for last two years. Rutter broke the 500cc single cylinder record in his first year on the bike in 2014 with a stunning lap of 109.102 mph and was leading the race and on course for a fairytale victory until a minor problem on the third lap caused him to retire on the Mountain Mile.

Problems on the opening lap last year saw him lap at just 60.975mph but he gamely carried on and lapped in excess of 106mph before retiring on the final lap. He was also forced to retire from the race in 2016 when lying fifth after more 106mph+ laps
Rutter will be one of the favourites for victory in both of the races, further highlighting the credibility and importance of the Classic TT while Ripley Land Racing’s intentions are clear to see.

Team owners Ian and Janet Garbutt are staunch supporters of the Classic TT and, with one of the finest Mountain Course riders on their books, they have a strong chance of adding to their already impressive track record, which also includes two race wins with Chris Palmer.

Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £20. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 26thAugust the RST Classic TT Legends Dinner on Sunday 27th and the Classic TT Prize giving and Closing Party on Monday 28th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com or our sales hotline on (00 44) (0) 1624 640011.

The 2017 Isle Of Man TT DVD and Blu-Ray is now available to buy from Duke Video. 

To purchase this, click the image to be taken to the Duke Video website. 

MOTORSPORT MERCHANDISE SUPERBIKE CLASSIC TT RACE

This year’s Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts will be brought to a thrilling climax on Bank Holiday Monday 28th August with the four-lap Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race closing the 2017 race programme. And with a top quality line-up, it is expected to be another record-breaking affair.

Michael Dunlop, the winner of this race in 2013, 2015 and 2016, leads the entry on the 1100cc Team Classic Suzuki and with a near 127mph lap twelve months ago; it would be a brave man to bet against the Northern Irishman who again has the number three plate.

That will see him set off ten seconds behind 2014 winner and, arguably, his biggest rival - Bruce Anstey. The Kiwi has lapped at over 126mph on the Padgett’s Motorcycles YZR500 Yamaha and although he was out of luck last year, further refinements to the two-stroke machine should see him on record-breaking pace.

Just like this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, David Johnson will set off at number one with the Australian lining up on the 1100cc Team York Suzuki with his team-mate and namesake Gary Johnson hoping to make up for a disappointing season at number seven.

A significant threat to Dunlop’s dominance comes at number 9 with Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki looking to make amends for last year when he finished second only to be removed from the results due to a technical infringement.

The race is packed with potential race winners and podium finishers - none more so than at numbers four, five and six where Michael Rutter, James Hillier and William Dunlop line up. Rutter finished second last year but switches from the Winfield Yamaha to the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati he rode in 2015 whilst Dunlop, third in 2016, remains with the Herheim Racing Kawasaki team. Meanwhile, Hillier lines up on the Oxford Products Ducati made famous in 1992 and 1993 by Trevor Nation, Mark Farmer and Robert Dunlop.

Conor Cummins, fresh from a strong outing at the Ulster Grand Prix, reverts back to his usual number ten on the Padgetts Motorcycles OW01 Yamaha with Josh Brookes ten seconds behind the Manx racer on the Advanced Performance Coatings Norton, arguably one of the most intriguing combinations in the entry list.

Double Lightweight TT winner Ivan Lintin (12), who was running in the top six last year before retiring, returns with the Kraus Racing Kawasaki ten seconds ahead of Team York Suzuki’s Lee Johnston at 13 while two more potential podium finishers, at least, are also Kawasaki-mounted in the shape of the Mistral Racing pairing of Dan Kneen (14) and Jamie Coward (15), both of whom are enjoying excellent seasons.

Greenall Racing will field Horst Saiger (16) and Derek Sheils (18) on a pair of Kawasaki’s with Danny Webb (17) sandwiched in between them on the Team Classic Suzuki while Andrew Dudgeon (19) and Dan Hegarty (20) complete the top twenty on Kawasaki and Suzuki machinery respectively.

There are a whole host of privateers confirmed to race outside the top twenty who will be looking to impress including Phil Crowe, James Cowton, Michael Russell, Timothee Monot, John Barton, Dan Stewart, Dan Cooper and Michael Sweeney while David Madsen-Mygdal, Kiaran Hankin and Nick Jefferies are set to be the leading runners on the iconic RC30 Honda.

 

RC Photos is the exclusive provider to Road Racing Daily for all Manx related motorsport. 

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