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Dudgeon delights Manx Grand Prix crowd

By Paul Lindsay

Published 01/09/2016

Hot wheels: Manxman Andrew Dudgeon clinched a popular MGP Junior success ahead of Tom Weedon
Hot wheels: Manxman Andrew Dudgeon clinched a popular MGP Junior success ahead of Tom Weedon

Manxman Andrew Dudgeon and Wigan warrior Jamie Hodson were the victors during yesterday's Manx Grand Prix Junior and Supertwin races on the Isle of Man - with TT sidecar legend Dan Sayle also showing his solo prowess, taking a dominant Lightweight win, his third success at the event.

Ramsey rider Dudgeon overcame Maidstone's Tom Weeden on the final lap of four to claim victory in the Junior Manx Grand Prix, setting a new race record for the class in the process.

Riding the Team Slick Performance Racing Suzuki (owned by Slick Bass - former crew chief to four-time WSB champion Carl Fogarty), Dudgeon joined some of the greatest names in motorcycling history when he stood on yesterday's top step.

The Manxman joins the likes of Freddie Frith and Bob McIntyre in tasting success in the race.

Joe Ackroyd took the final podium place with Manxman Brendan Fargher the highest placed newcomer in 13th.

Skerries rider Andy Farrell, third in the 2014 Junior MGP race, held second spot at the opening checkpoint at Glen Helen, behind early leader Weeden, with Ulsterman Dennis Booth third after the opening nine miles of racing.

Weeden's opening lap of 119.060mph gave him a two-second lead over Farrell with Dudgeon (118.295mph) a further five seconds back in third.

Dudgeon moved narrowly ahead of Farrell at Ramsey on the second lap, and was just four seconds behind race leader Weeden at the end of lap two. Farrell held third a further eight seconds down.

Dudgeon took the lead by just a tenth of a second over Weeden at the end of the penultimate lap, with Irishman Farrell still holding onto third with just 37.73 miles of racing remaining.

Unfortunately for the Skerries man, his hopes of third place came to an end at Glen Helen on the fourth and final lap when he crashed out.

This moved Ackroyd, on a former Guy Martin GSX-R600 Suzuki, into third place.

Dudgeon and Weeden disputed the lead throughout the final lap, but the former was able to eke out three seconds on the run from Ginger Hall to the Grandstand to take the win with a superb effort of 120.212mph. Ackroyd held on for third.

Later in the afternoon, Wigan's Hodson emulated his brother Rob by winning the four-lap Manx Grand Prix Supertwin race.

Delighted at taking consecutive wins for the Hodson family, he said: "Riding behind Andy Dudgeon gave me something to focus on. I'm just delighted for everybody involved. This is all I've ever wanted to do."

Skerries rider Dave Lumsden took second place ahead of Dudgeon, who sealed his second podium of the day with third.

Eight-time Isle of Man TT sidecar winner Sayle won the Lightweight class aboard a Moto 3 Honda by one minute and 46 seconds. He said afterwards: "In some places the bike wouldn't have pulled the skin off a rice pudding, but I was pretty comfortable."

Rikki McGovern took second place with Elwyn Fryer third.

The final day of racing at this year's Manx Grand Prix takes place tomorrow with the blue riband Full Factory Winnerswear Senior Manx Grand Prix race over four laps.

Dudgeon will start favourite with Weeden again expected to offer up the stiffest opposition.

Belfast Telegraph

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