SU­PER­BIKE CLAS­SIC

Classic Racer - - CLASSIC RACER PEOPLE -

The out­right lap record for the Clas­sictt crept up to 127.496mph in the Su­per­bike event, not far short of the Su­pers­port stan­dard for thett proper. The show-stop­ping lap of 17min 45.348sec came from Bruce An­stey on the EX-GPYZR500, but it still wasn’t enough to se­cure him the hon­ours in what was the fi­nale to the clas­sic road race as­pect of the Isle of Man’s Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­cy­cling. The hon­ours ul­ti­mately went to Dean Har­ri­son on the Sil­i­cone En­gi­neer­ing ZXR Kawasaki. Har­ri­son was on the pace from the word go and had a three-se­cond ad­van­tage over Michael Dun­lop’steam Clas­sic Rac­ing Suzuki at Glen He­len, with An­stey nine tenths be­hind in third. An­stey had edged ahead of Dun­lop by Bal­laugh, while Har­ri­son had es­tab­lished a 6.9s ad­van­tage by Ram­sey Hair­pin. A stand­ing start av­er­age speed of 126.367mph was the only sub-18 minute opener, giv­ing Har­ri­son a 5.9s ad­van­tage over An­stey, with Horst Saiger up to third on the Greenall Rac­ing Kawasaki at an­other 14s. Michael Dun­lop rounded off a dis­ap­point­ing meet­ing for him (Gil­era lap apart) with an­other re­tire­ment on the bike orig­i­nally ear­marked for Lee John­ston.the is­sue was pos­si­bly ECU man­age­ment sys­tem-re­lated. Jamie Coward had moved up to fourth on the Mis­tral Rac­ing Kawasaki, with Aus­tralian David John­son and Lin­colnshire’s Gary John­son fly­ing the Suzuki flag in fifth and sixth. Such was the stan­dard of rid­ers and ma­chin­ery that the top 13 lapped in less than 19 min­utes from a stand­ing start. James Hil­lier re­tired the Ox­ford Prod­ucts 888 Du­cati from 13th spot at Bal­lacraine on lap two, where Coward’s Kawasaki was re­ported to be smok­ing heav­ily. He later re­tired with what was re­ported to be a bro­ken fuel pipe. Har­ri­son was clocked at more than 127mph from Bal­laugh-to-bal­laugh, in­deed his lap two av­er­age was a record of 127.212mph – 1.8s faster than An­stey whose record of 126.995mph lasted less than the time it took to write the fig­ures down. Head­ing into the pits, Har­ri­son had an ad­van­tage of 9.6s over the Kiwi, with Aus­trian Saiger lead­ing the chas­ing pack in third from the two John­sons, Ivan Lintin and Josh Brookes, whose lap of 122.926mph on the Ro­tary Nor­ton was get­ting close to ‘Hizzy pace’ from the 1992 Se­niortt. Back then, His­lop’s fastest lap on the Abus Locks-spon­sored Ro­tary was 123.50mph in an all-out fi­nal lap at­tempt to see off Carl Fog­a­rty’s Owo1yamaha, but the lap two equiv­a­lent of 18m 23.4s was only one-and-a-half sec­onds faster than Brookes on the 25-year-old Ad­vanced Per­for­mance Coat­ings ma­chine. Har­ri­son eked out more time in the pits as An­stey’s thirstier two-stroke took on more fuel, so at Ram­sey on lap three the lead had stretched to 30.279sec, with Bruce in turn 34.6s up on Saiger. There was a groan of dis­ap­point­ment when Brookes’s gal­lant ride on the Nor­ton came to an end at Glen­tram­man. Min­utes later, Gary John­son’s teamy­ork Suzuki stopped at the 27th Mile­stone. Ad­di­tion­ally, there were prob­lems for Ivan Lintin, whose Kraus Rac­ing Kawasaki was placed sixth at half-dis­tance. The reshuf­fle el­e­vated Manx­men Dan Kneen and Conor Cum­mins to fifth and sixth, but out in front, the mar­gin be­tween Har­ri­son and An­stey was 19 sec­onds. The lead peaked at 29 sec­onds be­fore Har­ri­son eased up and An­stey quick­ened up in the fi­nal half lap. It was back down to 22.4s at Ram­sey Hair­pin, then 18.7s at Cronk-ny-mona, but Har­ri­son had the race un­der con­trol and crossed the line with a win­ning mar­gin of 16 sec­onds. An­stey later ad­mit­ted that when he re­alised the race win was lost he in­stead set his sights on the lap record, and he duly achieved that with his time of 17:45.348.This was al­most six sec­onds faster than Michael Dun­lop’s record of 12 months ear­lier and 2.4 sec­onds bet­ter than Har­ri­son had set on lap two of this year’s race. But the day’s hon­ours and a new race record went to the lat­ter man. “I got stuck in at the start and got an early board with P1 +8. When it got to 29 sec­onds I cruised the last lap,” said Dean af­ter his se­cond Clas­sictt suc­cess. “I felt a bit un­der the weather ini­tially.there were a few damp patches so I took things cau­tiously.the boys were very slick in the pit stop, so thanks to the team and ev­ery­one who waved me on out on the course.” His race record was 26.827 sec­onds quicker than Dun­lop’s pre­vi­ous one. An­stey had to take con­so­la­tion from the out­right lap record, but the mar­gin of 16.08 sec­onds was tight con­sid­er­ing that he’d spent an es­ti­mated ex­tra 15 sec­onds than his ri­val in the pits. “The bike ran su­perbly all week, so I have no com­plaints,” said Bruce. “I was per­haps too cau­tious on lap one, but there was a lot of ce­ment dust around, in ad­di­tion to a few damp patches.” Horst Saiger was de­lighted with his first podium at ei­ther thett or Clas­sictt, in­deed he said he was: “Be­hind the Moon!” “I don’t know what that means,” he con­fided. “This bike is more than good. I ride it faster and faster, and yet I am com­pletely in con­trol.” His only dis­ap­point­ment was that he missed a 125mph lap. “When Dean passed me I tried to keep with him, but knew I had to slow down oth­er­wise I would end up in hos­pi­tal again.” Davo John­son had a good solid race to fin­ish fourth on the No1 plat­edteamy­ork Suzuki, while Dan Kneen (Mis­tral Kawasaki) and Conor Cum­mins (Pad­gett’s Owo1yamaha) se­cured fifth and sixth hav­ing been 17th and 12th re­spec­tively at the end of lap one. The lead­ing pri­va­teer was sea­sonedtt cam­paigner Dan Ste­wart of Bar­row, on the Wil­cock Con­sult­ing Kawasaki in 11th spot. “That was un­ex­pected,” he said. “It’s nice to be turned into the win­ners’ en­clo­sure for the first time af­ter 17 years of try­ing.”

Ian Lougher gets clos­eto the spec­ta­tors on Harold Leece’s hedgeatthe sev­enth mile­stone, on his wayto the run­ner-upspot in the Light­weight 250cc race. (Main pic­ture) Michael Rut­ter leaves the town of Ram­sey and the rest of the field be­hind in the Ju­nior race on the Ri­p­ley Land Honda.

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