IOMTT: Classic TT Report - Day #4

Isle of Man Classic TT Race Action Shot

IOMTT Press Release:

After the delayed start to the second day's race program at the 2015 Classic TT Races, the Formula 1 and Formula 2 Race fired into action at 5pm into the setting sun on the Isle of Man.

The much-anticipated head to head between the Japanese Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha Superbikes and the Yamaha YZR500 V4 two stroke Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles machine ridden by Bruce Anstey didn't disappoint with lap records tumbling as Anstey, Dean Harrison, Michael Dunlop, Ryan Farquhar and Peter Hickman went head to head.

However with the tension building and Anstey and Dunlop swapping the lead throughout the race, reports came through at the end of the third lap in the four lap race that Bruce Anstey had been black flagged at Cronk Ny Mona to return to the pits with a loose left exhaust.

Isle of Man Classic TT Race Action Shot

The Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles team battled valiantly to fix the problem and the Kiwi continued but he'd lost a minute to Michael Dunlop, handing victory to Dunlop on a plate. Anstey had the consolation of clawing back a gap of over thirty seconds on James Hillier on the last lap and with Ryan Farquhar losing time on the Mountain section, Anstey snatched an incredible second place by a second from Farquhar.  In the concurrent Formula 2 Race, Ryan Kneen took a commanding victory from James Cowton, breaking the old lap record by a minute with Cowton having the consolation of a new lap record in a race that saw the old lap record broken three times.

Little hinting at the dramatic race that was to come, Australian David Johnson riding the Team York Suzuki, fired up from the Glencrutchery Road start line at around 5pm, but Ryan Farquhar on the Team Winfield Harris Yamaha was first on corrected time at the first timing point at Glen Helen, just past the 9 mile mark.  The Northern Ireland rider had eked out a lead of just over a second from fellow countryman Michael Dunlop on the Team Classsic Suzuki with fastest qualifier Peter Hickman on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki third a further second back and fellow Kawasaki riders Dean Harrison (Steelcote Solutions Kawasaki) and James Hillier (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) completing the top five with Gary Johnston sixth on the second Team Winfield Harris Yamaha and Anstey back in seventh, almost five seconds behind Dunlop after a sluggish start.

At the front of the field the action was really heating up with Dunlop leading by Ballaugh and Harrison hitting the front by Ramsey but with Harrison retiring on the Mountain Mile, Dunlop moved back in front almost three seconds ahead of the fast improving Anstey with Farquhar third.

Isle of Man Classic TT Race Action Shot

However, Anstey came roaring through to move in front by Cronk Ny Mona and the Kiwi lead at the end of the opening lap by less than a second (124.190/ 18:13.707) from Dunlop (124.094/ 18:14.559mph) with the leading pair both inside Anstey's Formula 1 Classic TT record set (123.894mph) in last year's race. Farquhar held third with Hickman (123.533/ 18:19.530) fourth with just over 2 seconds separating the top four in a hugely competitive opening lap.

Meanwhile, the much-heralded appearance of William Dunlop riding the Team National Motorcycle Museum/Crighton Racing Norton Rotary of the type that won the 1992 Senior TT in the hands of Steve Hislop, ultimately entertained the crowd on the early part of the course before expiring at Ballacraine on the opening lap.

On the second lap the top three established a gap from the rest of the field with Anstey extending his lead to over 12 seconds as he came into the pits.  Even slowing down for the pit stop, the Kiwi still shattered his lap record, posting a remarkable 126.261/ 17:55.769, the first sub 18 minute Classic TT lap.  Dunlop was also again inside the lap record from the opening lap with 124.954/ 18:07.021.

Anstey lost 15 seconds to Dunlop in the pits with a pit stop of 1 minute 18 seconds, hinting at the problems that were to come on the third lap, and Dunlop duly held a lead of just over a second at Glen Helen on the third lap, which he extended to almost six seconds by Ballaugh although Anstey again came back and by Ramsey had halved Dunlop's lead.  Farquhar retained the final podium position but with the Team Winfield man 26 seconds behind Anstey, attention was focused on the leading pair when news came through of Anstey's black flag as they approached the grandstand at the end of the third lap.

Isle of Man Classic TT Race Action Shot

Dunlop duly brought his Team Classic Suzuki home to win in 1:13.37.628/ 122.987mph breaking his old race record set in 2013 by over a minute in the process with a last lap of 125.050/ 18.06.187) with Anstey's last lap charge putting him in second place almost two seconds ahead of Farquhar.  South African Allan Venter (Top Gun Racing Kawasaki) , in 14th was the first privateer home.

It was the same story in the Motorsport Formula 2 Race with lap and race records being shattered as Ryan Kneen, on the Yamaha took a dominant victory by over 12 seconds from Peter Berwick rider James Cowton, also on a Yamaha.  Kneen broke the old lap record on the opening lap with a time of 112.763/20:04.539 which Cowton went inside on his second lap with 113.232mph/19:59.560, the first sub 20 minute lap for the Classic TT F2 Class.  Kneen's second lap of 112.890/20:03.192 was also inside his lap one time.

Kneen continued to power round the Mountain Course and came home in 1:21.13.592/ 111.481 which included a last lap of 113.075, his fastest of the race, to finish almost 12 seconds ahead of Cowton (1:21.25.526/ 111.208j).  Consolation for Cowton in finishing runner up came with his last lap, the fastest of the race, a new lap record for the F2 Classic TT Class of 113.458/ 19:57.162.  Charles Rhys Hardisty, riding the EPS Motorcycles Yamaha, came home third, finishing as the leading privateer to boot.

Isle of Man Classic TT Race Action Shot

Classic TT 350cc Race Report:

After a delay of almost four hours due to technical issues with the communications system between Sector Marshals and Race Control, the second day's racing at the 2015 Classic TT Races finally got underway at 2pm.  Conditions were reported as perfect for racing around the Mountain Course with dry roads all round the 37¾ mile circuit.

The first race of the day, the 350cc Classic TT Race, was cut to three laps from four as a result of the delay which was expected to hand the advantage to the MV Agustas with their greater power as they could now run straight through rather than having to refuel.

However, that didn't prove to be the case as Dan Cooper, riding the Team Molnar Manx Norton, held a lead of over a second going into the final lap only for the Gloucester rider to retire at Ballacraine with a split fuel tank, leaving Michael Rutter on the Ripley Land Racing Honda with a commanding lead of over a minute and ultimately the race win.  Behind the Midland's based rider, the war of attrition saw only four of the fifteen fastest qualifiers complete the race.

Shortly before the start, Dean Harrison was a late withdrawal leaving Lee Johnston, last year's race winner and fastest qualifier, on the MV Agusta, as the sole Black Eagle Racing representative.  However, the Northern Ireland rider had a poor start, which saw him in 8th at the opening checkpoint at Glen Helen. He was down to 17th by the second checkpoint at Ballaugh and out of contention before retiring shortly after.

Keith Amor on the Tony Dunnell Rig Deluge Manx Norton was first away from the Grandstand followed by Michael Rutter and it was Rutter who was fastest to Glen Helen followed by Dan Cooper almost five seconds back with William Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda in third a further 0.2 seconds back.  Jamie Coward moved into third at Ramsey with William Dunlop reported as a retirement in Parliament Square but Coward was then himself forced out on the Mountain Mile.

Rutter opening lap of 100.988mph (22:24.995) gave him a lead of almost 2 seconds from Cooper (100.848mph/ 22:26.848) with Keith Amor (98.429/ 22:59.954)) moving into the top three at the end of the first lap following Coward's retirement.  Chris Swallow was a further five seconds back in fourth with Philip McGurk (97.532/ 23:12.652) completing the top five at the end of the opening lap.  However, Swallow's challenge was effectively ended with a 30 second technical infringement penalty as a result of a reported pit crew infringement, one of four riders to pick up penalties.

Keith Amor was a retirement at Quarry Bends on the second lap, which saw Swallow move into the top three and at the end of the second lap, Cooper remained at the front, (101.229/ 44:43.583) over a second ahead of Michael Rutter (101.176/ 44:44.980).

However with Cooper retiring at Ballacraine on the final lap, Rutter was left to take the checkered flag in a overall time of 1:06.51.993/ 101.566, with last lap of 102.356mph/ 22.07.013 the fastest of the race.

With Cooper retiring, McGurk, the leading privateer, moved into the final podium place but the drama didn't end there with Chris Swallow retiring at Graham Memorial, McGurk moved into the runner up slot. Nigel Moore was also a last lap retirement when running third, shortly before the checkered flag, leaving Doug Snow to take the final podium place.

Snow had to be brought back from Parc Ferme to the winner's enclosure, so close was Moore to the finish line before he broke down.   David Madsen-Mygdall (Team Gimbert Racing) and James Hillier Honda/CSC Racing completed the top five with Dave Edwards claiming the Phil Read trophy for the first 250cc machine home.

Appropriately six-time TT Race winner Jim Redman, who claimed four consecutive 350cc World Championship titles from 1962 to 1965, presented Michael Rutter with the trophy.

Classic TT 2014 - On Bike - Lee Johnston - F1 Race - HD:

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