Belfast Telegraph

Dudgeon on hot streak but Classic TT is all the talk

By Paul Lindsay

The Senior Manx Grand Prix will bring the curtain down on this year's Festival today, with local lad Andy Dudgeon a big favourite to land his second win of the week having stood, arms aloft, on the top step in the Junior class on Wednesday.

Unfortunately for this year's event, all the talk surrounds the illegal machines that were excluded from the Classic TT Superbike race on Monday, won by Ballymoney's Michael Dunlop.

Dunlop on the Team Suzuki XR69 was the only rider to keep his coveted podium place, as second and third placed men Dean Harrison and James Hillier were later excluded from the results.

Also excluded were Kawasaki mounted Jamie Coward and Horst Saiger, moving Michael Rutter into second place on the Team Winfield Harris Yamaha and William Dunlop up to third on the Herheim Kawasaki.

The organisers explained the ruling by stating: "The first three bikes in the Superbike Classic TT race were selected for post-race eligibility checks.

"The machines that finished second (Dean Harrison - Silicone Engineering) and third (James Hillier - Greenall Racing) were found to have oversized engines.

"At that point the machines that finished in the next places were called for the same checks.

"At this point the machines of Jamie Coward (Mistral Racing) and Horst Saiger (Greenall Racing) were removed from the result by the respective teams, effectively disqualifying themselves."

Paddock rumours had the disqualified machines running oversized engines of between 830cc and 840cc, but the question now must be asked: do the current rules allow the pre 1992 machines which must run 750cc engines - which include the disqualified Kawasakis - enough scope to compete with rules set out for pre-1986 bikes (1300cc limit), which includes the XR69 Suzuki of Michael Dunlop?

Michael Dunlop did state in the winner's enclosure that his big Suzuki was 'a pig, but it's my pig': a metaphorical description of just how difficult it was to ride the XR69 to victory and a new lap record of 126.808mph.

Justification of his statement was just how far back the next XR69 Suzuki was in the finishing order, ridden by TT winner Gary Johnson, who was almost four minutes behind Dunlop.

It's a can of worms that will be tough to put a lid on.

But that's one for the race officials to deal with.

Belfast Telegraph

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