Belfast Telegraph

Junior Manx Grand Prix: Sweeney has high hopes

By Paul Lindsay

Skerries rider Michael Sweeney will start favourite in today’s four lap Junior Manx Grand Prix on his R6 Yamaha, ridden to success last year at the TT by Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop.

With a lap of 119.734mph on Friday night during practice, the 27-year-old is quietly confident, but will find some stiff opposition in the form of Drogheda’s Wayne Kirwan, Simon Fulton and Manxman Dan Sayle — better known for his sidecar passenger exploits, winning both three wheeled races this year at the TT with Klaus Klaffenbock.

Andrew Brady, Stephen McKnight and Trevor Ferguson will be looking to get in among the replicas, with Moy man Ferguson calling on the spannering expertise of his ‘crew chief’ and TT regular Ryan Farquhar.

One interested spectator at the Manx Grand Prix is Ramsey resident Conor Cummins. The 24-year-old is recovering after his high-speed crash at the Verandah during this year’s Senior TT.

Cummins’ father Billy is competing in the Manx Junior Class today, lapping at a respectable 103mph during practice, and has been taking course tips from his high profile son — currently the fastest man ever around the Mountain Circuit with a lap of 131.511mph.

“The shoe’s on the other foot now, so to speak,” explained Cummins.

“Dad’s just out having a run round and enjoying himself, but I’ve been taking him round and showing him lines and stuff like that.

“I’ve been trying to crank it back a bit as I don’t want to be pushing him into turns too quickly at this stage and it’s a bit strange for me, giving my dad advice on how to ride the TT Course.”

Today’s four lap Junior race commences at 10.15am followed by the four lap Senior Classic.

Alan Oversby is now a clear favourite as Olie Linsdell will not be on the starting line following his crash in Monday’s Senior Post Classic event.

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