1988

Classic Racer - - PRODUCTION TT -

The 1988TT was all about the suc­cess­fultt de­but of Honda’s VFR750 RC30 with His­lop and Mor­ri­son tak­ing a 1-2 in the Pro­duc­tion B race, de­spite hav­ing to stop for fuel at the end of each lap. Race dis­tance had been in­creased from three laps to four and with the World For­mula One Cham­pi­onship race mov­ing from its tra­di­tional Satur­day slot to Mon­day, the race was given its own place on the sched­ule. In­deed, it was given the prime Satur­day af­ter­noon spot on the pro­gramme and with no less than 109 en­tries, it was a sign of the times with 350s and 500s dis­ap­pear­ing from the rac­ing scene and Pro­duc­tion-based rac­ing slowly tak­ing over. His­lop tore the record books apart, tak­ing 15 sec­onds off the lap record from a stand­ing start and al­though Mor­ri­son took over the lead on lap two, His­lop was back in front a lap later and a new lap record of 112.94mph on the fi­nal lap saw him take the win by over 12 sec­onds. John­son took third on his Bi­mo­tayamaha with James Whitham the best placed Suzuki in fourth. The rac­ing for the week had ac­tu­ally started on the Fri­day evening, for the first time though with the com­bined C and D classes where the records were again smashed, par­tic­u­larly in the for­mer where Roger Hurst (600cc GPX Kawasaki) looked like he’d deny the dom­i­nant CBR600 Honda.

He led for the first three laps and held a 10 sec­ond lead at one point but Mor­ri­son and his Honda had closed to within 1.4s go­ing into the fi­nal lap and the tena­cious Scots­man claimed his firsttt win by three sec­onds at the con­clu­sion of the four laps. His­lop set a new lap record of 109.83mph on the fi­nal lap to claim the fi­nal podium spot from start­ing part­ner Leach by just 0.2s with Honda tak­ing eight of the first 10 places. Wood­land made it a hat-trick of wins in the D class where he was rid­ing the Fzr400yamaha once more, but luck was on his side af­ter Brian War­bur­ton’s 600cc Honda can­noned into him at Ap­ple­dene. Wood­land had passed War­bur­ton only for the vet­eran, hav­ing his first race on the is­land for 12 years, to pass him back.trag­i­cally War­bur­ton lost con­trol and was killed in the crash but Wood­land stayed on. De­spite the loss of his brakes he man­aged to fin­ish 16 sec­onds in front of Graeme Mcgre­gor, rid­ing a 250cc Suzuki he’d only seen that morn­ing.the Aus­tralian was a late re­place­ment for Andy Mcglad­dery who’d suf­fered a bro­ken col­lar­bone in a prac­tice crash. Brian Reid took third as the FZR400 Yamaha filled five of the first six places. The Pro­duc­tion A race was moved to Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon and it pro­duced one of the clos­es­ttt fin­ishes of all time af­ter a mag­nif­i­cent all-yamaha, all-york­shire duel, saw just 0.8 of a sec­ond sep­a­rate win­ner Leach and John­son. Leach led from the start and held a 10-sec­ond lead at one stage over Wil­son with John­son back in fourth. Go­ing into the fi­nal lap, he was some 16 sec­onds clear of John­son who was still in third but with Leach hav­ing to ease the pace in the clos­ing stages due to his chain jump­ing the sprocket, John­son be­gan to reel him in. He blitzed the fi­nal lap with a new lap record of 116.55mph, less than 20 sec­onds slower than the out­right lap record, but it was to be in vain as Leach held on by 0.8s. Wil­son took third with fel­low Suzuki rider Mel­lor in fourth and Haynes the first Kawasaki home in fifth.

Above: It’s 1988, the Prod B class and James Whitham mus­cles the Men Only GSX-R around the Moun­tain Course.Right:trevor Na­tion in the Prod B TT 1988.

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