Belfast Telegraph

Weeden thrilled to roar back on the final lap to clinch Manx joy

By Paul Lindsay

Yesterday's four-lap Senior Manx Grand Prix was a fitting conclusion to this year's event, with Maidstone's Tom Weeden taking victory by less than a second over Andrew Dudgeon - in a reverse of Wednesday's Junior Manx Grand Prix result.

Joe Ackroyd, on a former Guy Martin Tyco Suzuki, finished third.

Weeden clinched the win with an amazing last lap of 121.109mph, the fastest of the race, clawing back what seemed an impossible 9.7-second deficit over Dudgeon.

The 22-year-old said: "I'm just so happy to win. I knew I was nine seconds down on the last lap and thought I've just got to make the most of it, so I loosened up and put everything into it.

"I had a little slide at Keppel Gate but got myself together and pulled my finger out."

Dudgeon later revealed that he'd hit a bird at Ballagarey and been held up by backmarkers on the last lap, but gave credit to Weeden on his win.

"I came up on a couple of backmarkers on the last lap, but I don't want to take anything away from Tom who rode brilliantly," he said. "I was pushing on and made a couple of mistakes on the last lap, but I'm happy with three podiums this Manx Grand Prix."

Eventual third-placed man Ackroyd, on the Steve Wheatman prepared GSX-R600 Suzuki, had some problems on the start line, but gave a great performance after starting in 17th.

Dudgeon was first across the line on the opening lap with a 118.960mph effort, just a second ahead of Weeden (118.847mph) with Ackroyd (117.953mph) completing the top three. Richard Wilson's 117.416mph kept him in fourth ahead of Barry Lee Evans (117.071mph).

The leading duo stretched away and with that 9.7-second lead at Glen Helen on the last lap, only a fool would have bet against Dudgeon. But nothing is a certainty on the Mountain Course and Weeden was a deserved winner after his final lap of 121.109mph.

Belfast Telegraph


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