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
DARRYL TWEED DOES THE DOUBLE AT THE MANX GRAND PRIX
Darryl Tweed made it two wins from two starts in the MGP Supporter’s Club Ultra-Lightweight Class as he stormed to a superb double at this year’s Manx Grand Prix.
On board his trusty M&D Racing Kawasaki, Tweed was utterly convincing throughout the race to add further success to what has been a hugely impressive roads season so far.
With a final winning margin of almost half a minute over Tom Snow, Tweed made light work of the three lap race just as he had on Wednesday.
Andrew Cowie rounded out the podium places a further 7.2s back on Snow. Alex Sinclair and Steve Moody made up the top five finishers.
“I got out and put the head down as I knew I needed a big gap to in order to pit and retain the lead. I couldn’t get first gear at the start and that persisted over the whole race. My team done well in the pits and back home getting the bike ready for me so full credit to them.”
MGP Supporter’s Club Ultra-Lightweight Race Result
1 Darryl Tweed
2 Tom Snow
3 Andrew Cowie
4 Alex Sinclair
5 Steve Moody
6 Mike Carter
7 Bob Millinship
8 Derek Wilkie
FURTHER LIGHTWEIGHT GLORY AS FARRELL DOES THE DOUBLE AT THE MANX GRAND PRIX
Andy Farrell won his second race of the week today at the Manx Grand Prix to make it a double victory in the Lightweight Class.
As the race got underway in the best conditions of the meeting to date, it was James Chawke who made the early running. On board the Mark Coverdale Paton, Chawke was leading until Sulby when he was black flagged losing him the lead. Later in the lap over the mountain Chawke was back in the lead having been given back the time he lost due to the black flag.
At the end of lap one Chawke led Gary Vines by 8 seconds with Andy Farrell back in third.
Over the course of the second lap Chawke put the hammer down and was setting blustering sector times as he continued to increase his lead. Entering the pits at the end of the second lap it was confirmed that Chawke had broken the lap record with a stunning lap of 114.993 mph.
Vines was 15 seconds adrift in second place with Andy Farrell still in third.
It was more of the same from the race leader on lap 3 as his lead was stretched further again. Andy Farrell, now up into second place, was 50 seconds behind Chawke. Vines was now in third with Butler in fourth place.
As the final lap began drama was to follow as Chawke retired at Ballagarey. This promoted Andy Farrell into the lead with Vines now into second and Dave Butler up into third. With less than a lap to go the gap covering the top three was just shy of 4 seconds.
Farrell was now using all of his experience to stretch out a slender margin over his rivals and eventually crossed the line with a winning margin of 6.3s over Gary Vines who was in turn 2.5s ahead of Dave Butler in third place.
“I lost a load of time at Bray Hill at the start of the race and the windy conditions on the mountain today didn’t suit bike. I just told myself to be smooth, hit my markers and plug on. There was a few hairy moments on the last lap. Thanks to my sponsors. Ollie’s Place always gives me huge support. Thanks also to the people back home and those who have messaged me over the past few days. It’s been a positive experience. Credit to my team they never let me down. This is the icing on the cake.”
Lightweight Race Result
1 Andy Farrell
2 Gary Vines
3 Dave Butler
4 David Lumsden
5 Michael Rees
6 Brad Vicars
7 James Hind
8 David Quine
9 Jamie Edwards
10 Richard Stubbs
DARRYL TWEED DOMINATES ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT MANX GRAND PRIX RACE
Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed was utterly convincing as he produced a faultless display en route to winning the MGP Supporter’s Club Ultra-Lightweight Manx Grand Prix Race today.
Finishing over a minute ahead of his nearest rival Daniel Ingham, Tweed never looked in trouble on board his trusty Kawasaki ZX-R400.
Alex Sinclair finished in third place to round out the podium places.
“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.”
Ultra-Lightweight Manx Grand Prix Race result.
1 Darryl Tweed
2 Daniel Ingham
3 Alex Sinclair
4 Tom Snow
5 Nigel Moore
ANDY FARRELL WINS THE MANX GRAND PRIX LIGHTWEIGHT RACE
After finishing third twice, and second twice, Andy Farrell walked away with the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix title today.
“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.”
With a winning margin of 15.2 seconds, Farrell was delighted as he crossed the line to take the victory. James Chawke was in second place to add to his win earlier in the day in the Manx Grand Prix Junior Race.
David Lumsden finished in third place to make it a podium lock out for the Republic Of Ireland.
Lightweight Manx Grand Prix Race result
1 Andy Farrell
2 James Chawke
3 David Lumsden
4 Dave Butler
5 Gareth Evans
6 Chris Moore
7 Jamie Edwards
8 David Quine
9 Peter Moore
10 Paul Wardell
JAMES CHAWKE WINS THE MYLCHREESTS JUNIOR MANX GRAND PRIX
James Chawke registered his first ever victory around the mountain course as he secured victory in the Junior Manx Grand Prix.
Chawke, backed by Carl Roberts Racing, was visibly overjoyed upon entering the winners enclosure after a gruelling and often dramatic race that saw many of the leading contenders drop out.
“This means the world to me. 2003 was my first road race at Skerries. It’s my hobby, it’s my life!”
As the race got underway following a lengthy delay to due adverse weather conditions, it was Yamaha mounted Matt Stevenson who set the early pace and was leading comfortably on the road until he crashed at the Creg. Stevenson received medical attention and was reported as being ok. It’s worth noting that he was on lap record pace for the class before his slip.
As a result of Stevenson dropping out, Chawke was elevated to first place and after a quick stop in Gasoline Alley at the end of the second lap, he reached Glen Helen with a comfortable margin over Dean Osborne.
Osborne began to reel in Chawke over the next two laps but such was the margin the leader had in the bank, Osborne was unable to catch him.
Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed on the M&D Racing Triumph looked to be on for a podium finish until late drama saw him retire at Quarry Bends. This elevated The People’s Bike rider Stephen Parsons into third place and the final spot on the podium.
Mylchreests Junior Manx Grand Prix Race result.
1 James Chawke
2 Dean Osborne
3 Stephen Parsons
4 Brad Vicars
5 Wayne Humble
6 Stephen Smith
7 Andy Farrell
8 David Lumsdem
9 Francesco Curinga
10 Morgan Govignon
REES RACES TO NEWCOMERS B GLORY AT THE MANX GRAND PRIX
After a great duel with James Hind, Michael Rees came out the victor to take the spoils in the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers B Race today.
The Welshman was overjoyed to have won around the famous mountain course as he crossed the line with a winning margin of 25 seconds over Englishman Hind.
Barry Sheehan, who has been enjoying a successful Irish national campaign rounded out the podium places and was quick to thank his team for all their hard work over the course of the meeting.
Jack Fowler finished a hugely impressive fourth and there was international flair in the next two positions as Colombian Daniel Fernandez finished in fifth with Japanese rider Yoshihiro Kishimoto finishing sixth.
Veronika Hankocyova finished in tenth place but was supremely happy to have met her target of lapping the mountain course over the magical 100mph marker.
Manx Grand Prix Newcomers B Race Result
1 Michael Rees
2 James Hind
3 Barry Sheehan
4 Jack Fowler
5 Daniel Fernandez
6 Yoshihiro Kishimoto
7 Paul O’Rourke
8 Ray Maloney
9 Daniel Capper
10 Veronika Hankocyova
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
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 ever 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
DEAN HARRISON WINS RST SUPERBIKE CLASSIC TT RACE WITH DOMINANT PERFORMANCE
Dean Harrison, riding a Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, dominated the RST Superbike Classic TT Race to win the final race of the 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts, his fourth Classic TT win, by over a minute.
After the race he revealed that it had taken him a while to get going in the race:
“I felt like I had a bad start to be honest. I didn’t feel a hundred per cent on the opening lap – I felt a bit wooden. I did feel that if I needed to go faster I could do but it’s an old bike so I wanted to bring it home for the lads.”
He was also pleased with the conditions and the atmosphere around the course and thanked the marshals for supporting the event:
“The conditions were surprisingly good – the odd damp patches but because there was cloud cover there was no sunlight which can cause problems. Thanks to all the crowd, and the marshals who were out there throughout the week, for making it such a great event and atmosphere.”
Greenall Racing’s Horst Saiger had the honour of carrying the number 1 plate and was first away followed by Harrison, who had only qualified for the race as third fastest but had set his fastest qualifying lap on the opening night.
James Hillier, due to start fifth on the Oxford Products/ Louigi Moto Ducati, pulled off the grid after his bike was overheating and eventually got going about eight minutes behind the leading riders while Josh Brookes, on the Wiz Racing Norton, was reported to have missed his starting slot in 11th place and eventually started six minutes after the first rider got away.
Harrison established a lead of just over two seconds over Gary Johnson on the Team York Suzuki by the first timing point - Glen Helen - with Michael Rutter on the Team Winfield Yamaha third a further two seconds back. Kawasaki mounted Paul Jordan (Mistral Racing) and Derek Shiels (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) completed the top five, just under and over a second back from third place, on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki and Greenall Racing Kawasaki’s respectively.
Harrison’s opening lap of 125.471mph gave him a lead of over nineteen seconds from Michael Rutter (123.309mph) with Gary Johnson (122.980mph) in third almost three seconds behind Rutter. Conor Cummins, riding the two stroke Yamaha YZR500 had moved into fourth place, less than half a second behind Johnson, with his opening lap of 122.929mph with Saiger (122.247mph) completing the top five. Josh Brookes (121.380) had moved through the field to eighth place, half a minute behind the race leader, at the end of the opening lap.
Cummins edged ahead of Johnson at Glen Helen on the second lap and with Rutter retiring at Ballacrye, Cummins moved into second place at Ramsey, over thirty seconds behind Harrison with Johnson holding third, one and a half seconds down on the Manx rider.
Coming in to the pits at the end of the second lap, Harrison’s 126.041 gave him a lead of 37 seconds from Cummins but with Cummins (1:15.912) and Johnson (1:14.834) both experiencing lengthy pit stops – and Johnson’s subsequent retirement at Quarterbridge - Saiger moved into second place at Glen Helen on the third lap. Paul Jordan and Andrew Dudgeon completed the top five, eighteen and twenty-three seconds down on Cummins respectively. Josh Brookes, having worked his way through the field up to seventh, lost time before Cronk Ny Mona and was reported as a retirement in the pits.
Harrison’s extended his lead over Saiger to almost a minute with a third lap of 118.013 with Cummins over ten seconds behind Saiger. Jordan and Dudgeon completing the top five with third laps of 115.499 and 116.034 respectively.
Harrison duly secured the race win with a last lap of 124.238mph from Saiger (123.560mph) with Cummins clinching the final podium place with his last lap of 123.832mph - almost ten seconds behind Saiger. Dudgeon moved ahead of Jordan on the last lap with Jordan experiencing problems and - with Jordan reported to have retired at Handley’s - Jamie Coward moved into fifth place.
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
MANX GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY QUALIFYING REPORT
Competitors at the Manx Grand Prix were finally treated to a full qualifying session on Friday evening after a week of frustration due in large part to adverse weather conditions around the mountain course and the riders very quickly took advantage of the good weather and were immediately up to speed.
With huge potential for perhaps the best race of the festival, the Manx Grand Prix Lightweight session was fiercely competitive as four riders battled it out for the top spot.
Eventually it was Skerries rider Andy Farrell who came out on top. Following the popular Irishman three seconds behind in second place was Victor Lopez Santos. Hot on the heels of both Farrell and Santos were David Lumsden and James Chawke setting up a thrilling race in prospect.
Another competitive session was the Newcomers A class with Michael Browne coming out on top with a lap of 110.704mph. Browne, who has been enjoying a successful Irish national campaign this year was quickly up to speed and was almost four seconds ahead of second place man Thomas Maxwell. Steven Haddow was third with Nathan Harrison in fourth place.
In the Newcomers B session, Barry Sheehan, another Irishman topped the table lapping at 102.912mph. Daniel Fernandez was second lapping at 101.408mph with Michael Rees third (101.264mph). James Hind in fourth was the only other rider in that session to lap over the 100mph marker.
The Ultra-Lightweight qualifying session was headed by Daniel Ingham who posted the two fastest times of the session. Irish roads stalwart Nigel Moore was in second place with Jason Lamb third. Tom Snow and Carsten Svendsen rounded out the top five.
Dean Osbourne enjoyed a good night’s work setting the Junior/Senior pace setting his fastest lap of 118.47mph. With fierce competition behind Osborne in the form of Andy Farrell, James Chawke, Steven Procter and Darryl Tweed, things are shaping up nicely for some close and competitive racing.
RIDERS GET FULL CLASSIC TT QUALIFYING SESSION AND HARRISON TAKES ADVANTAGE
After another frustrating day, when the additional qualifying session for the 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts - scheduled for this afternoon - was cancelled due to further rain on the Isle of Man, the Classic TT competitors were finally able to get out on the Mountain Course in the evening session, after a short delay, at 6.25pm.
Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson warned competitors about damp patches at five points around the course - Laurel Bank, Black Dub, Ginger Hall, the Nook and Governors Dip – and riders seemed to heed the warning as the times were similar to the opening night’s practice seven days earlier although John McGuinness continued his return to form with his fastest lap of the week – 109.66 – on the Team Winfield Paton.
The Superbike and Lightweight classes were first on the track and, finally enjoying a full session, many of the riders got their first flying laps of the week in. However, Dean Harrison elected do two standing start laps on his Silicone Engineering Superbike. His opening Superbike lap – 120.64 – topped the leaderboard which he then improved, after a short gap, with 121.52 to post the two fastest laps of the evening.
Horst Saiger continued his good form with his fastest lap of 119.46 while Derek Shiels also enjoyed a strong session with 118.975 – his quickest of the week. Andrew Dudgeon (118.926) finished just over a second ahead of fellow Manx rider Conor Cummins who will have enjoyed getting three laps (115.10, 118.770 and 118.42) under his belt on the Padgetts Racing OW01 Yamaha.
Adam McLean belied his lack of Mountain Course experience – he only made his debut in 2017 – to top the Classic TT Lightweight board on the night. He improved his opening lap (111.929) by almost thirty seconds with a flying lap of 114.47, marginally outside his lap in Saturday’s opening session. After his Superbike exploits Harrison went out again on his Lightweight machine and split McLean’s two laps with ABC while Lee Johnston’s only Lightweight lap of the evening on the Padgetts 250 Honda saw him post 111.222mph. Michael Sweeney lap of 110.555 on the Turner Racing Yamaha put him fourth on the board for the Lightweight session.
John McGuinness again topped the Senior Classic TT board with the two fastest laps of the evening – improving his opening lap of 106.96 to 109.66 and the ‘Morecambe Missile’ will be looking to emulate his 2016 race victory in tomorrow’s Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race.
Jamie Coward on the Ted Woof Manx Norton signalled his podium potential with a lap of 105.12 while Maria Costello, who posted laps of 103.62 and 104.64, will be hoping for a return to the podium that she shared with McGuinness in 2016.
Coward is also a major race win contender in the Junior Classic TT. Riding the Ted Woof Craven Honda he was the only rider to post a100mph+ lap (101.74) with Alan Oversby second on the night with 98.65. Father and son Bill and Chris Swallow – riding Velocettes – were the only non-Honda riding competitors in the top ten – finishing in third and ninth on the night with 97.21 and 94.47 respectively.
David Crussell came off his Superbike at Brandywell in the opening session and was described as conscious at the scene and taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital where it was later reported that he had minor injuries.
Tomorrow’s first Classic TT Race day features the Bennetts Senior Classic TT and Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Races as well as a demonstration lap by Bruce Anstey, riding the Padgetts RCV that he raced at the 2016 TT, and John McGuinness who will be riding the 1978 Sports Motorcycles Ducati that Mike Hailwood rode in winning the F1 TT Race forty years ago.
The full schedule for Saturday 25th August’s Race day is as follows:
11.00 ROADS CLOSED AROUND THE COURSE
11.30: CTT SUPERBIKE/ CTT LIGHTWEIGHT/ MGP SENIOR/ MGP JUNIOR MGP NEWCOMERS A AND B PRACTICE (2 LAPS)
12.20: BRUCE ANSTEY LAP ON ABC
13.00: BENNETTS SENIOR CLASSIC TT (4 LAPS)
14.40: CTT JUNIOR/ MGP LIGHTWEIGHT/ MGP ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT AND ALL MGP NEWCOMERS PRACTICE (1 LAP)
15.45: JOHN MCGUINNESS MIKE HAILWOOD LAP (1 LAP)
16.25: DUNLOP LIGHTWEIGHT CLASSIC TT RACE (4 LAPS)
18.10: CTT SUPERBIKE/ MGP SENIOR/ MGP JUNIOR/ MGP LIGHTWEIGHT/ MGP ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT ALL NEWCOMERS PRACTICE (1 LAP)
19.30 ROADS SCHEDULED TO OPEN AROUND THE COURSE
MANX GRAND PRIX RIDERS ENJOY SOME LAPS FOLLOWING A FRUSTRATING WEEK OF BAD WEATHER
After what seemed like an eternity on the island, Manx Grand Prix competitors were finally able to get some much-needed course time on Thursday evening.
With one session lost to the rain earlier in the afternoon, it was left to the evening session and riders left the grandstand at 6:20pm.
First out on track was the Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight classes and Newcomers B with Dave Butler immediately laying down a quick marker of 106.510mph. Northern Ireland’s Gareth Evans was three seconds further adrift posting the next best lap of 106.218mph.
Victor Lopez Santos was third quickest, David Lumsden fourth and Skerries rider Andy Farrell rounded out the top five.
Lumsden then went out and on his second lap topped the leaderboard with a time of 21.02.778s on board the Martin Bullock ManxSport Kawasaki.
Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed topped the table in the Ultra-Lightweight posting the two fastest times of the evening. Tweed’s fastest lap on the M&D Racing Kawasaki was 103.24mph.
Daniel Ingham was in second place with a lap of 98.55mph and Steve Moody was third quickest posting a lap of 98.47mph.
In the Newcomers session Japan’s Yoshihiro Kishimoto was quickest just pipping James Hind to top spot. Ireland’s Barry Sheehan was third fastest overall.
Today sees the addition of a second, afternoon, qualifying session to the schedule to compensate for the lost sessions earlier in the week. The timetable, subject to weather, is:
13.30 - Roads close around the course
14.00 - 14.55. CTT Superbikes/ CTT Lightweight/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior
15.00 – 15.50 CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight/ MGP Ultra
16.30 - Roads open around the Course
18.00 – Roads closed around the Course
18.20 – 19.10 CTT Superbike/ CTT Lightweight/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior
19.15 – 20.00 CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight/ MGP Ultra Lightweight
21.00 – Roads open no later than 9pm
MCGUINNESS CONTINUES MOUNTAIN COURSE COMEBACK AT CLASSIC TT RACES PRESENTED BY BENNETTS
After a frustrating three days kicking their heels while ‘Manannan’s Cloak’ enveloped the island, competitors were finally able to get some much-needed track time at the 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts as the TT Mountain Course again reverberated to the unique, ear splitting sound of Classic bike racing.
The session got underway at 6.20pm after the earlier afternoon session had been rained off and although the grandstand was bathed in sunshine at the start of the session, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson advised riders that there were a number of damp patches around the course, particularly under the trees, which would be highlighted with stationery flags.
The opening session featured the Senior and Junior Classic TT machines, who started from Pit lane, although Lightweight machines were also permitted to run in the earlier session. John McGuinness and Michael Rutter and were first away from Glencrutchery Road on the Team Winfield Paton and the Ripley Land Racing Matchless respectively that they will race in Saturday’s Bennetts Senior TT Race while Dan Sayle was one of the riders who took his Lightweight machine out in the earlier session.
The leading pair made good progress to the first checkpoint at Ballacraine but Dean Harrison, on his Laylaw Racing 250 Yamaha was reported as an early retirement at Ballacraine although he at least managed to get a lift back to the Grandstand.
John McGuinness continued to belie his two-year absence from the Mountain Course with an opening lap of 104.270 and went straight through as did a number of other competitors putting the frustration the week behind them to rack up some vital Mountain Course miles.
However, Michael Rutter was enjoying no such luck, a retirement on the opening lap at the Mountain Box and therefore stuck out on the course and missing out on valuable track time. McGuinness posted a second lap of 106.585 and the Morecambe missile told Radio TT’s Chris Kinley in pit lane after his second lap that it was great to be back on the Mountain Course.
Jamie Coward on the Ted Woof Craven Manx Norton posted a pair of 103mph laps while Chris Swallow riding a Linsdell Enfield, Lee Johnston (Davies Motorsport Honda), Ian Lougher (John Chapman Racing Honda) and Maria Costello (Team Beugger Racing Honda) all posted 100+mph laps.
Dan Sayle showed his two stroke talent with the overall fastest lap of the evening (109.406) although gear linkage issues on his second lap forced him to stop at Sulby while Charles Rhys Hardisty also went well in the Lightweight class with two 104mph laps.
In the concurrent Junior session Phil McGurk was quickest on the night with an opening lap of 95.988mph from Adam McLean (95.054) and Peter Boast (94.558) with Chris McGahan (93.055) and Mark Herbertson (92.464) completing the top five for the session.
However, with the Superbikes in Parc Ferme itching to get on the track, at 7.15pm the weather gods again betrayed the riders and with reports of rain at Kirk Michael and wet roads on the West of the Island and the Mountain section, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson had no option but to cancel the second session.
Tomorrow’s sees the addition of a second, afternoon, qualifying session to the schedule to compensate for the lost sessions earlier in the week. The timetable, subject to weather, is:
13.30 - Roads close around the course
14.00 - 14.55. CTT Superbikes/ CTT Lightweight/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior
15.00 – 15.50 CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight/ MGP Ultra
16.30 - Roads open around the Course
18.00 – Roads closed around the Course
18.20 – 19.10 CTT Superbike/ CTT Lightweight/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior
19.15 – 20.00 CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight/ MGP Ultra Lightweight
21.00 – Roads open no later than 9pm
**Condition update following last night’s session:
Alan ‘Bud’ Jackson was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital where his condition is described as critical following an accident at the Creg Ny Baa in the Senior Classic TT session.
David Linsdell and Bernie Wright were reported to be involved in an incident at the Black Hut. Bernie Wright has been flown off island and his condition is described as serious.
Dave Linsdell sustained a back injury and leg fracture, his condition is described as stable.
WEATHER HALTS PRACTICE AT THE ISLE OF MAN FESTIVAL OF MOTORCYCLING
Adverse weather conditions have thus far wreaked havoc with the practice programme at the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix.
Thick fog on the mountain has been the main cause of concern for Clerk of the Course, Gary Thompson, who made the difficult yet correct call to cancel practice on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
As a result of the difficult conditions, a decision has been made to utilise Thursday’s provisional practice session. Roads around the mountain course will therefore close at 12:30 on Thursday opening no later than 16:30. They will then close again at 18:00 opening no later than 21:00.
MANX GRAND PRIX - SATURDAY PRACTICE REPORT
Practice got underway in earnest for the first time at the 2018 Manx Grand Prix this evening in less than ideal conditions around the mountain course.
However, despite the weather, the riders quickly got up to speed posting impressive times.
Cumbrian Stephen Parsons, riding for the People’s Bike Team, topped the time sheets with a very impressive lap of 116.450mph.
Six seconds behind Parsons was Stephen Smith who posted a lap of 115.791mph to secure the second fastest time of the evening. Steven Procter was third fastest lapping at 115.380mph and he was closely followed by Dean Osborne (115.252).
Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed, who was so impressive with a podium finish at the Manx last year, was fifth quickest with a lap of 115.231mph.
Dave Butler and James Chawke also posted very impressive laps as they went at 114.943mph and 114.664mph respectively.
In the Ultra-Lightweight class, and with conditions worsening, the riders managed to get one lap in before the session was called to a halt.
Daniel Ingham headed the leaderboard as he lapped at 100.280mph, he only rider to break the 100mph barrier. Mike Carter and Alex Sinclair finished second and third on the time sheets.
Dave Butler, enjoying a good night’s performance, headed the Lightweight leaderboard alongside Chris Moore with each rider posting laps of 107mph. Spain’s Victor Lopez lapped at 106.57mph rounding out the top three places.
The next session begins at 18:20 on Monday evening.
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.
JAMES HILLIER AND DAN COOPER RETURN TO CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS WITH CSC RACING
Two of the Isle of Man TT’s leading racers will again be in action in this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT, presented by Bennetts, with James Hillier and Daniel Cooper riding for Somerset-based CSC Racing, firmly signalling the team’s intentions for this year’s event.
Hillier, who achieved two more podiums at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races, has been a regular at the Classic TT on board the CSC Racing Honda machines since the inaugural year in 2013.
The 33-year old took sixth in the 2013 Bennetts 500cc Classic TT Race and although he was out of luck in subsequent years, he was back on the leaderboard twelve months ago with eighth place on the team’s 500-4 cylinder Honda when he posted a new personal best lap in the class at 105.940mph.
Cooper lines up for Steve Caffyn’s team for the third successive year having finished fifth and 11th in the 2016 and 2017 Junior Classic TT Races respectively. He’ll again ride a 350cc Honda in this year’s race and will join Hillier on a 500-4 for the Bennetts Senior Classic TT.
The Stroud rider previously rode the Molnar Manx Nortons between 2013 and 2015 and regularly challenged for the race victories, finishing second behind Ian Lougher in the 2014 500cc Race and third in the 2013 350cc Race. He also led the 2015 350cc Race before being forced to retire on the third lap.
Photo of James Hillier by Dave Kneen ManxPhotosOn-Line
PHILIP CROWE JOINS DANNY WEBB AT TEAM CLASSIC SUZUKI FOR 2018 TT RACES
Team Classic Suzuki will return to the 2018 Isle of Man Classic TT Races, presented by Bennetts, with a two-rider assault for the RST Superbike Race on UK Bank holiday Monday 27th August
Danny Webb continues with the team for a third successive year but will contest the four-lap race on one of the teams immaculate RG500 Suzuki’s this year. He will be joined by Phil Crowe with the Lincolnshire rider making his debut at the event on a GSXR1100 Suzuki-powered XR69.
Former 125cc and Moto3 World Championship contender Webb first rode for the team in 2016 when he made his return from injury after dislocating his shoulder during practice at that year’s Isle of Man TT Races. It was a strong return too as he lapped at 121.289mph on his way to an impressive sixth place.
He continued with the team twelve months ago when, riding the XR69 1100cc Suzuki again, he finished in a strong ninth place with more 121mph+ laps. This year will see him take on a new challenge though as he campaigns the two stroke RG500 Suzuki, a machine that enjoyed considerable success in the World and British Formula One Championship races of the 1980s.
Crowe joins the squad on the back of two successful campaigns at the Isle of Man TT races in 2017 and 2018. After making his Mountain Course debut in 2014, Crowe impressed last year with a trio of top twenty finishes and his first 128mph+ lap.
The Market Rasen rider made further progress this year, recording a career-best finish of ninth in the opening RST Superbike Race where he narrowly missed out on joining the ‘130mph Club’ with a sixth and final lap speed of 129.957mph. He looked on course to better that in the Pokerstars Senior TT Race at the end of the week until a spill on the final lap at Whitegates.
Both riders will certainly be looking for podium places as Team Classic Suzuki continue their strong record at the event.
Photos copyright of Team Classic Suzuki
CUMMINS AND JOHNSON MAKE IMPRESSIVE TWO MAN PADGETTS RACING TEAM AT 2018 ISLE OF MAN CLASSIC TT
Padgetts Racing will field an impressive two-rider line up at this year’s Classic TT, presented by Bennetts, with Conor Cummins and Lee Johnston contesting two races for the Batley-based outfit.
Cummins will again campaign a 750cc Yamaha OW01 in the RST Superbike Classic TT Race while Johnston will have his first taste of two-stroke racing around the Mountain Course riding a 250cc Honda in the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race.
Manxman Cummins has ridden the OW01 for the last two years, finishing a fine fourth in 2016 and backing this up with sixth in 2017 and he has also lapped at an impressive 122.216mph on the ex-Rob McElnea machine.
Johnston will ride a similar 250cc Honda to that ridden to victory by Bruce Anstey in each of the last two years, when he also became the first and only rider to ever have lapped the 37.73-mile circuit at more than 120mph on a 250cc machine. The lap record currently stands at 120.475mph.
The Padgetts Racing team have supported the Classic TT presented by Bennetts, since 2014 when they first fielded Anstey on a YZR500 Yamaha in the Superbike Classic TT Race.
The New Zealander won the race that year and followed that up a year later with second place to Michael Dunlop. He again finished second in 2017, this time to Dean Harrison, setting a new lap record of 127.496mph, the fastest lap ever by a two-stroke machine around the Mountain Course.
STRONGEST ENTRY TO DATE FOR DUNLOP LIGHTWEIGHT CLASSIC TT
This year’s Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race at the Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts, which has attracted an entry of almost sixty riders, is wide open with multiple race win contenders.
Although Bruce Anstey, who won the last two Lightweight Races and is the current lap record holder, is absent due to illness, his replacement on the Padgetts RS250 Honda - Lee Johnston - is a rider of undoubted quality starts from his usual thirteenth place on the grid.
Having finished second twelve months ago, when he lapped at close to 118mph, ten time TT Race winner Ian Lougher returns with the Laylaw Racing Yamaha and starts at number 5.
Daniel Cooper sets off at number one on the Turner Racing Yamaha and he will be targeting a podium place having finished fifth in 2017. Dean Harrison, another potential Race winner will head towards Bray Hill ten seconds later, riding a second Laylaw Racing Yamaha. It will be Harrison’s first outing in the class.
Up and coming road race star Adam McLean goes at number three on the Binch Racing TZ250 Yamaha with Michael Rutter at number four returning on board the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati on which he lapped in excess of 117mph last year.
Australian David Johnson (#6) makes his Lightweight Classic TT debut and will start ten seconds back from Rutter, riding a John Chapman Racing Honda.
Daniel Sayle takes the number seven plate on the Steelcote Solutions Ltd Yamaha and having been running in second place for the first half of the 2017 race before retiring, he will undoubtedly be looking to finish the race and be in contention for a race win.
TT regular Michael Sweeney goes off at #9 on a second Turner Racing Yamaha ahead of veteran 250cc pilots Phil Harvey and Paul Owen (Team 98 Honda) who go at number 10 and 12 respectively while Chris Moore, at number eight, is another experienced campaigner returning to the Classic TT on the Dafabet Devitt Racing Yamaha.
Former Newcomers Manx Grand Prix Race winner Gary Vines (#14), Charles Rhys Hardisty (#15), Davy Morgan (#16), Stuart Hall (#17) and Rikki McGovern (#18) add further strength in depth to the 250cc field with the top twenty rounded out by TT regulars Craig Neve (#19) and John Barton (#20), mounted on Kawasaki and Ducati machinery respectively.
There are also a number of talented riders outside the top twenty including 2016 Manx Grand Prix winner Andrew Dudgeon (#22), David Hewson (#26) and Danish visitor Carsten Svendsen (#28).
David Madsen-Mygdal (#29), Chris Swallow (#30), Ben Rea (#33), Forest Dunn and Neal Champion also have the potential to challenge for top ten places.
Ian Lougher and David Johnson join John Chapman Racing for 2018 Classic TT campaign
John Chapman Racing will field a strong line up at this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT Races, presented by Bennetts, with Ian Lougher and David Johnson joining the Lincolnshire-based team.
Lougher and Johnson will both contest the Bennetts Senior Classic TT riding identically-prepared 500cc MV Agusta triples with Australian Johnson also riding a 250cc Honda in the Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race.
Chapman, a committed MV Agusta enthusiast, first enlisted the services of Lougher for the Senior Classic TT in 2016 and although the Welshman was out of luck in the four-lap race then and again last year, the Italian manufacturer has considerable pedigree in the race with Dean Harrison winning the race in 2015 and finishing second a year later.
Lougher has enjoyed a stellar record since the inaugural Classic TT and took victory in the 2014 Senior Race on a 500cc Paton despite incurring a pit lane speeding penalty. He lapped at 111.523mph and was on course to repeat his victory in 2015 only for another speeding infringement in pit lane which dropped him down the order before battling back to finish second.
Johnson takes over the machines that Ivan Lintin was due to ride before the Lincolnshire rider suffered serious injuries at the Southern 100, from which he is now recovering.
A regular in the Superbike Classic TT Races, where he finished fourth twelve months ago, he will also be making his debut in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race. However, he has a strong track record riding similar machines at the Phillip Island Classic Festival.
Chapman’s MV Agustas have been built by Ezio and Maurizio Mascheroni and Enrico Sironi from HRT, the company who made major contributions to MV Agusta’s new 675 F3 Supersport machine. The bike Lougher will ride is a perfect copy of the three-cylinder MV Agusta GP 500 that last contested GPs in 1974. Sironi was a member of the legendary MV Agusta technical team back then and still has copies of the original drawings
HRT have been able to replicate the moulds for the GP’s sand-cast engine, then machine components using the same magnesium and aluminium alloys – as well as the steel components – to the exact dimensional specifications. The bike is impeccable in duplicating the original with the modern Avon tyres just about the only facet of the bike not designed 50 years 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.
LAYLAW RACING TO FIELD THREE RIDERS AT THE 2018 CLASSIC TT
Irish outfit Laylaw Racing will have a three rider presence at the 2018 Bennetts Classic TT
Joining Ian Lougher, who is in his fourth year with the team, will be Dean Harrison and Phil Harvey where they will race TZ250 Yamaha machinery.
It marks the debut for Harrison in the Dunlop Lightweight race and with proven two stroke specialist Harvey now in the frame, the team has three riders who are more than capable of scooping up some honours when racing gets underway later this month.
Lougher has finished runner up to Bruce Anstey over the past two years but with the Flying Kiwi absent this year, Lougher must fancy his chances to going one better and taking victory.
A multiple TT winner and lightweight specialist, the Welshman has shown serious pace on the Yamaha machinery in the past.
DEREK MCGEE AND DAVEY TODD JOIN FORCES WITH MISTRAL RACING FOR 2018 CLASSIC TT
Continuing the strength in depth at the Classic TT presented by Bennetts, Mistral Racing will field event newcomers Derek McGee and Davey Todd in this year’s RST Superbike Classic TT Race.
The pairing will be 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.
Although both riders will be making their debut at the event, both have strong pedigree around the Mountain Course and other UK road circuits with McGee currently the leading national road racer in Ireland.
The ‘Mullingar Missile’ made his Isle of Man TT Races debut in 2015, winning the Newcomers Trophy. He missed the meeting in 2017 but returned this year where he took a brilliant second place in the Bennetts Lightweight TT, recording the second fastest lap ever on a Supertwin machine.
He also challenged for top ten finishes in both of the Monster Energy Supersport Races and improved his personal best lap around the 37.73-mile circuit to 127.817mph on his way to 15th in the RST Superbike Race.
Todd has been a revelation ever since he turned his attention to road racing midway through 2017 and, riding for the Burrows Engineering team, he came away from this year’s Isle of Man TT Races as the second fastest newcomer ever with a lap of 128.379mph during the Pokerstars Senior TT Race, finishing an excellent ninth place, and becoming the second fastest newcomer in history. He also picked up the RST ‘Star of Tomorrow’ award for his performances at this year’s TT.
The Saltburn rider achieved four top twelve finishes and he followed this up with a string of high class performances at the recent Southern 100 Road Races which included third place in the feature Solo Championship Race. He also became the fastest ever newcomer to have lapped the 4.25-mile Billown circuit.
Mistral Racing have competed at every Classic TT since its maiden year in 2013 and highlights have included Dan Kneen’s fifth place in last year’s Superbike Race. They have over 25 years’ experience in performance motorsport and motorcycle tuning, and are recognised as one of the most accomplished engine tuning companies in the UK. With McGee and Todd piloting the ZXR750 Kawasakis, they have every chance of recording a podium finish.
Flitwick Motorcycles step up Classic TT presence
Perennial Classic TT contenders Flitwick Motorcycles look set to continue their assault on the podium at the 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts, with three riders and an ever expanding stable of top quality classic racing machines.
Regular rider Olie Linsdell looks set for a busy fortnight with entries in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race, the Locate.im Junior Classic TT Race and the RST Superbike Classic TT Races for Team Flitwick. Once again Enfield mounted for the opening Senior Race, the 2013 winner is confident that he can challenge for the podium as he arrives at the event injury free for the first time in four years.
Olie will be joined in the Senior Race by Classic racing specialist Chris Swallow on a similar specification Enfield, this time housed in a Seeley chassis. No stranger to the podium himself the team is confident that Chris will be right in the mix on the Flitwick machine. As long as parts availability allows, a third Flitwick Enfield will also start this race, as 2017 newcomer David Linsdell looks to campaign the original Seeley Enfield that team owner Steve Linsdell rode to 2nd place in his 1981 Newcomers Manx Grand Prix.
For the Superbike Race Olie will ride the hub-center steered Yamaha GTS based machine that was campaigned so successfully by Steve Linsdell throughout the 1990’s. As the bike has not been used in anger for so long, the team are looking at 2018 as a development year, but are confident that the unique machine will put on a solid display while once again exciting fans around the Mountain Course.
For Monday's Junior Race the team will field two machines, with both Linsdell brothers down to compete in the smaller capacity event. Olie will look to challenge for the win on a top-spec TAB framed Honda 350 twin in a class where he always feels at home, while David will ride a single cylinder 350 Ducati as he looks to improve on his 2017 performance.
The Team would like to thank the continued support of sponsors Steve Bond, John and Olaug of SMV and Meryn Hackett, whose support is greatly appreciated.
Team owner Steve Linsdell says:
"Flitwick Motorcycles have supported the Classic TT since the beginning and having stepped back from modern racing, it has firmly established itself as the main event of our season. Having had a few years plagued by injury I wanted to have a real push to get us back to where we know we should be. Olie is back to full fitness and having Chris on board is a real boost as he knows how to ride a classic bike fast around the mountain course.”
“It’s been a struggle with so many bikes to prepare, but I am confident that I can give both riders the tools for the job. Olie did 140mph through Sulby last year on my Bullet, so a 110mph lap is certainly not out of the question! I’m also looking forward to having two bikes from my past out and competing again – the 500 Enfield I did my newcomers race on that David will ride as long as I can make enough parts and my Hub Centre Steered Yamaha special that Olie will ride in the Classic Superbike race. It’s been a while, so it will be good to see them back where they belong!"
Strong Davies Motorsport Team confirmed for 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts
Midlands based Davies Motorsport will continue their association with the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts, in 2018 with one of the strongest line up on the grid at this year’s event.
The team will again run three riders with Alan Oversby and Dominic Herbertson joined by new recruit Lee Johnston contesting the Bennetts Senior Classic TT and Junior Classic TT Races on their latest-spec Honda machines.
The team has been a mainstay at the event since the inaugural year of 2013. William Dunlop and Oversby represented them ever year and achieved four podiums.
Dunlop took second in the 2013 Bennetts 500cc Classic TT, before recording third in the same race twelve months ago while Oversby finished in third place in the 350cc Classic TT Race in 2014.
The Grange-over-Sands rider led in the early stages and lapped at an impressive 104.140mph before having to settle for second behind eventual race winner Johnston. He also added another podium to his name in 2016 with third in the same race.
Johnston will have his first taste of the Honda machinery having previously campaigned MV Agustas for Black Eagle Racing - winning in 2014, as well as finishing second in the corresponding race last year. He still holds the Junior lap record at 105.239mph while he also took third place in the 2015 Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race.
Rising star Herbertson made his first impression at the Classic TT in 2016 when he finished sixth in the Bennetts Senior Race. That brought him to the attention of Davies Motorsport and he rode superbly for them in 2017, finishing fourth and fifth in the Junior and Senior races respectively. He lapped at more than 108mph in the Senior Race and also had his best ever TT earlier this year as he lapped at close to 128mph on his way to twelfth in the RL360 Superstock Race.
With all three riders having proven pedigree around the Mountain Course, they are sure to be among the race favourites for the two four-lap races.
Davies Motorsport have been long-time front runners on the Classic racing scene and the team is headed up by John Davies, who sponsored numerous high profile riders in the 1980s and 90s including Alex Bedford, Kevin Mitchell, Neil Hodgson and Steve Thompson.
Davies himself was a regular competitor at the Manx Grand Prix between 1978 and 1997, with his best finishes being second in the 1978 Senior Newcomers race and a brace of fourths in the 1986 and 1987 Lightweight 250cc Races. He also campaigned a 500cc Grand Prix Harris Yamaha for the Padgetts team.
Specialising in Honda machinery, nephew Colin Davies handles all the technical aspects for the team and he too has a wealth of experience at all levels including numerous years as technician to Kevin Schwantz at Lucky Strike Suzuki where together they won the 1993 500cc World Championship.
Returning John McGuinness heads impressive line up for Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race
This year’s Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race will again signal the start of the 2018 Race programme for the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts and with an 80-strong grid, another fiercely contested Mountain Course Race is expected.
Heading the entry at number one is 2016 Race winner and current Senior Classic TT Race lap record holder John McGuinness who returns on the Team Winfield Paton. After almost 18 months out of racing, 23-time TT winner McGuinness’s comeback is eagerly anticipated.
The twin-cylinder Paton has won no less than four of the five previous Senior Classic TT Races but there are plenty of other riders capable of stopping their domination, perhaps none more so than ten-time TT winner Ian Lougher (#5) on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta. Lougher won the race in 2014 and will certainly be aiming for the top step again.
Maria Costello (#10), third in 2016 and fourth last year, will again be mounted on the Team Beugger Racing Paton but perhaps the biggest threat to the Italian multi-cylinder machines will come from the three pronged attack of the Davies Motorsport Honda team.
Works Honda TT rider Lee Johnston will, arguably, be their strongest challenger as he sets off at number 13 but both Alan Oversby (#2) and Dominic Herbertson (#8) will be pushing for a podium - at least - with the latter finishing in fifth place twelve months ago.
The field is packed with potential rostrum men riding British machines led by last year’s runner-up Jamie Coward (#3) on the Ted Woof/Craven Manx Norton. The Yorkshire rider has the distinction of setting the fastest ever lap on a British single-cylinder machine during last year’s meeting.
Six-time TT winner Michael Rutter (#4) will again ride the Ripley Land Racing Matchless with former World Championship 125cc and Moto3TM competitor Danny Webb (#17) on board the Dunnell Racing Norton with Michael Russell (#19) riding a similar machine for Izzard Racing.
Olie Linsdell, the maiden winner of the Senior Classic TT Race in 2013, will again be on the Flitwick Motorcycles/Steve Bond Royal Enfield, this time with the number nine plate, while the CSC Racing Honda pairing of Daniel Cooper (#11) and James Hillier (#14) and the father and son duo of Bill and Chris Swallow also feature in the top twenty. Bill goes at number 15 on a Ducati while Chris is a place behind on the grid on another Royal Enfield.
Austrian ace Horst Saiger rounds out the top twenty on the Egli Motorradtechnik Vincent machine but there is also quality throughout the field and other riders outside the top twenty include Mark Parrett (Norton), Mark Herbertson (Matchless), Peter Boast (D&M Engineering Honda), Phil McGurk (Dave Hardman BSA), Dave Matravers (Round Oak Services Paton), Steve Ferguson (Greenall Racing Honda) and John Barton (Wemoto.com Matchless).
The Welsh family of Hefyn, Bob and Mereydd Owen are back for another attempt as are David Madsen-Mygdal, Lancelot Unissart, John-Leigh Pemberton, Alex Sinclair and Chris McGahan.
Josh Daley, Matt Mylchreest, Barry Lee Evans and Dean Osborne are amongst the debutantes in the four-lap race which is scheduled to get underway at 11.00am on Saturday 25th August.
MICHAEL RUTTER FACES STRONG CHALLENGE FOR TITLE DEFENCE IN HONDA DOMINATED LOCATE.IM JUNIOR CLASSIC TT RACE
Thrilling racing and a close finish are expected to be the order of the day in the Locate.im Junior Classic TT at this year’s Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with a grid of almost 80 entries featuring many of the world’s leading road racers.
Last year’s winner Michael Rutter returns with the Ripley Land Racing Honda which he also took to victory in 2015 and he will set off at number four again in a race which looks set to be dominated by the Japanese marque.
The Davies Motorsport trio of Alan Oversby (#2), Dominic Herbertson (#8) and 2014 race winner Lee Johnston (#13) are all race contenders, as is Jamie Coward (#3) returns on board the Ted Woof/Craven Honda that he took to third place twelve months ago.
Daniel Cooper on the CSC Racing Honda has the honour of setting off first down Glencrutchery Road and he will be looking to get back on to the Classic TT podium for the first time since 2014.
Rutter has a team-mate this year in the shape of Derek McGee - the Irish rider, who achieved his maiden TT podium in this year’s Lightweight TT Race – who will go ten seconds behind his team leader with Olie Linsdell (#9), Conor Cummins (#10) and Phil McGurk (#11) adding further weight to the Honda challenge.
Only two of the first ten starters won’t be Honda mounted - Danny Webb (#6) on the Dunnell Racing Norton and Chris Swallow (#8) on his Velocette both fly the British flag.
Classic racing legend Bill Swallow (#17) is also on board a Velocette and aside from Bob Owen (#20) on an Aermacchi, the remaining top twenty all on the favoured 350cc single cylinder Honda with Hefyn Owen (#14), Alex Sinclair (#15), David Madsen-Mygdal (#16), Peter Boast (#18) and Steve Ferguson (#19) all top ten contenders.
There are a number of other riders more than capable of finishing inside the top ten seeded outside of the top twenty including Chris McGahan (#21), Mark Herbertson (#22), Dave Matravers (#26), Chris Moore (#30), Lancelot Unissart (#33) and Sam Johnson (#39). A number of regular TT competitors have also entered the Junior Classic TT Race including Timothee Monot, Dave Moffitt and Forest Dunn.
The four-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 10.15am on Monday 27th August.
EX-RENZO PASOLINI BENELLI 350/4 RETURNS TO ISLE OF MAN FOR 2018 CLASSIC TT PRESENTED BY BENNETTS
For the sixth consecutive year, Team Obsolete has been invited to the Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts to display and parade a genuine exotic bike from its world renowned collection.
This year they will be bringing the Ex-Renzo Pasolini 1967 Benelli 350/4 to participate in the Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Lap of Honour on the Mountain Course on Monday 27th August, part of a stunning parade that will feature a number of memorable pre-1992 Race bikes. The iconic machine will be ridden by 1984 Senior Historic TT Race winner Dave Roper. The bike will also feature in the VMCC Festival of Jurby on Sunday 26th August.
The bike is the very same seven speed Benelli that Renzo rode to an amazing 2nd place finish in the Junior TT in 1968 behind Agostini on his MV. It is also the very same bike that rider Dave Roper so famously rode to victory at the 1993 Daytona 350 ‘Historic GP’ and later crashed at Kerrowmoar while leading the 1993 Junior Classic Manx GP.
Robert Ianucci, who manages Team Obsolete said:
“After an extensive rebuild the Benelli has been run several times in preparation for the coming event. We are excited to return the machine to the island 50 years after Pasolini’s podium to share its song with the faithful once more.”
JOHN MCGUINNESS TO MAKE TT COURSE RACING RETURN AT 2018 CLASSIC TT RACES PRESENTED BY BENNETTS
John McGuinness will make a sensational return to racing around the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course having confirmed his entry for the 2018 Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
Now back to full fitness, 23-time TT Race winner McGuinness, unquestionably the most successful TT rider of his generation, will again campaign the 500cc Team Winfield Paton in the four-lap Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race due to be held on Saturday 25th May.
Having been out of race action since the 2017 North West 200, where he sustained career threatening injuries, McGuinness got a taste of the 37.73-mile Mountain Course again at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, with two parade laps on the SG7 Norton he had been due to ride before failing to regain full fitness in time for the June event.
He will be looking to make a winning return in August, lining up on the same 500cc Paton that he rode at the Classic TT between 2013 and 2016. Technical issues held the Morecambe Missile back in his first two attempts with the team but team and rider made amends in 2016 when he ran out a clear winner.
Indeed, having overhauled early leader Dean Harrison in the 2016 Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race, McGuinness’ fastest lap of 113.342mph saw him set a new class lap record which still stands today and his winning margin over the Bradford rider was decisively over 20 seconds.
Speaking about his competitive return to the TT Mountain Course John McGuinness said:
“It’s been a hard road back from the North West 200 crash and I thought we were there heading into the TT but another set back just left us a few weeks short. I absolutely loved doing the two parade laps this year and the reaction I got from the fans was amazing. The next big target for me was always the Classic TT, and everything is going in to being fully fit and prepared for a proper return to racing.”
He continued by saying:
“I’m buzzing about the whole thing really. I love the Classic TT atmosphere and I really enjoy working with Roger Winfield and his team and their Paton is a joy to ride around Mountain Circuit. I’m not going to make any predictions on how competitive we are going to be, but when I rode the Norton at the TT, the feeling was good and, above all else, I just want to be out there with the rest of the guys again, going as fast as we can and putting on a good show for the fans. If we get a result out of it then that will be a bonus on this occasion.”