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Category: IOM TT - Manx Grand Prix

  1. David Johnson sets third fastest time in TT Superbike qualifying

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    It’s been a disruptive week on the Isle of Man for the 2019 TT races, with just two qualifying sessions going ahead in seven days. The Honda Racing team with Ian Hutchinson and David Johnson have been patiently waiting for the sun to shine and today there was action again around the Mountain course, where Johnson set the third fastest time in the Superbike class, aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.

    Since last Saturday (25 May) only three sessions have been held, one of them being the Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomer last Sunday. In Tuesday’s first scheduled session Johnson impressed with his pace and was amongst the quickest in the Superbike and Superstock class – a feat the Australian was able to repeat today with a third place in the Superbike qualifying, posting a time of 17:39.206 mins (128.236 mph). Johnson also was quick on the Honda CBR600RR, posting the ninth fastest time in the Supersport class.

    Teammate Hutchinson suffered a crash in Tuesday’s practice session at the 11th Milestone – the 16-time TT winner was left uninjured after the fall. This afternoon ‘Hutchy’ went straight out on the Fireblade in the Superbike class, and ended the qualifying session aboard the CBR600RR strong; setting the sixth fastest time.

    Tomorrow (Monday 3 June) will be the first race day of the 2019 TT races with the RST Superbike Race (4 laps) scheduled to go at 10:45, the Monster Energy Supersport TT Race (4 laps) will follow and is scheduled to go ahead at 18:30 (all times local).

    Click here for Monday’s full schedule.

    To keep up-to-date with all the latest team news follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter and Honda Pro Racing on Facebook and Instagram.

  2. IAM RoadSmart warns drivers to expect ‘the famous five’ if they are stopped by the police in the future

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    With the news today that three police forces are trialling roadside eyesight tests and could take licenses away at the roadside, IAM RoadSmart has warned motorists that they can expect to be tested for a suite of reasons if they happen to be stopped by the police for any reason.

    Every driver stopped by police from Thames Valley, Hampshire and the West Midlands in September will be required to read a number plate from 20 metres. Anyone who fails will have their driving licence revoked there and then.

    Police officers in those areas will be implementing their powers to request an urgent revocation of a licence through the DVLA, if they believe the safety of other road users will be at risk if that motorist remains on the road.

    IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, has welcomed this new trial and warns drivers that if it is a success they can expect additional basic safety checks from traffic police in the future.

    Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Law abiding drivers have nothing to fear from this – but we believe that extending the range of checks that the police could and should be doing will help remove many more unsafe drivers from our roads.

    “They should be, as a matter of course, examining the following five key items: driving licence, MOT, vehicle insurance, drink/drugs and now eyesight.

    “Adding a vision test to the standard list of roadside checks will be a sharp warning to those drivers who chose not to wear their glasses, or not get their eyesight checked, that the enforcement is now out there to back up the regulations. Our message is simple - don’t risk it!”

  3. Dean Harrison takes dominant victory in RST Superbike Classic TT Race

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    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 also reported to have problems on the grid 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 125.471 gave him a lead of over nineteen seconds from Michael Rutter (123.309) with Gary Johnson (122.980) 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 122.929 with Saiger (122.247) 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 (123.560) with Cummins clinching the final podium place with his last lap of 123.832 - 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. 

  4. Lee Johnston continues Padgetts Motorcycles.com Lightweight Classic TT winning streak

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    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.

  5. McGuinness makes winning return to Mountain Course in Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race

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    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 thought I’d be back in the 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.