Belfast Telegraph

Lightweight victory and 120mph lap for Flying Kiwi Anstey

 

By Roy Harris

The opening two races of the 2017 Classic TT were dominated by Bruce Anstey and Josh Brookes.

Anstey re-wrote the record books for 250cc machines on his way to a 1m 27.217sec victory in the Lightweight Classic race over Ian Lougher and Brookes, a former British Superbike champion, who won his first race around the TT Mountain Course riding the 500cc Winfield Paton.

Anstey was in record breaking form from lap one of four on the Padgetts Honda when he became the first man to on a 250cc machine to lap the circuit in under 19 minutes, then on lap two he the first 250cc rider to post a 120mph lap (120.475mph), and at the end of the race he had broken his own race record by over a minute.

The Flying Kiwi revealed afterwards that the 120mph lap had been the team's specific target saying, "Clive (Padgett) has done a superb job getting the bike up to spec over the winter. We have been targeting the 120mph lap, so it's great to get it in the bag. I used Ian (Lougher), who started in front of me as a bit of a target and went flat out on the first two laps."

Michael Rutter took the chequered flag in what he thought was second position, but he was disqualified for a technical infringement with his 750cc Ducati, handing Ian Lougher on the Laylaw Yamaha second position in the results with Ivan Lintin elevated from fourth to third.

Earlier, Australian Brookes led the Senior Classic from start to finish on the 500cc Paton normally ridden by the injured John McGuinness, taking victory over the Craven Norton of Jamie Coward, who became the first man to do a lap at over 110mph on a single on lap three, with William Dunlop a fine third on the Davies Motorsport Honda and Maria Costello fourth on a Paton.

Notable retirements included Dean Harrison, Ian Lougher and Michael Dunlop, while Michael Rutter slid off at Ballacraine uninjured - all on lap one.

After his win, Brookes said: "It was nice being able to fill in for John and win here for the first time, which is a great honour. Also to win for Roger Winfield and the team is terrific."

Brookes, over 50 seconds in front, pitted for a splash and dash at end of lap three, while Coward was able to do the four laps on a full tank on the Norton single, with Brookes only 2.5secs ahead at Glen Helen on the final lap, extending the gap to 34.30secs at the chequered flag.

Between the two races, Michael Dunlop rolled back the years in celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the first 100mph lap of the TT Circuit by Bob McIntyre in 1957, riding a replica of the Gilera that the Scot rode, push start and all.

Michael said afterwards: "What an honour today was. I gave it a full go and done a lap of 100.5mph. That was some feat by Bob back in the day."

Racing continues on the Isle of Man today with the Sure Junior Classic TT scheduled for 11.15am, the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT at 2pm and the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers 'A' and 'B' races from 5.15pm.

The Superbike 4-laps will be an interesting duel between the lightweight Padgetts YZR 500cc two-stroke grand prix machine in the hands of man in form Anstey versus the heavier four-stroke Team Classic Suzuki XR69 of Michael Dunlop and the ZXR 750 Kawasaki, allowed to run big-bore 800cc motors to be competitive, of Dean Harrison, Horst Saiger, Derek Sheils, Ivan Lintin, Jamie Coward and William Dunlop, and the Norton Rotary of Josh Brookes.

Brookes and Anstey are on a high after Saturday's victories, Michael Dunlop has had a nightmare practice week and two non-finishes at the weekend, while Coward, William Dunlop and Lintin had podiums in the Senior and Lightweight Classic TT races on Saturday.

The Junior Classic looks to be a Honda-MV Agusta battle, with Coward, Michael Rutter, Alan Oversby and William Dunlop, on the Japanese machines with Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston on the Black Eagle Italian MV's.

The single cylinder brigade is led by the Nortons of Cameron Donald and Danny Webb, while AJS has Ivan Lintin and Chris Swallow.

• Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) won a thrilling British Grand Prix MotoGP race at Silverstone from Yamaha duo Maverick Vinales and long-time leader Valentino Ross to take a nine point lead in the championship after series leader Marc Marquez suffered a rare Honda engine 'blow-up' whilst in the leading group.

Pole position man Cal Crutchlow ran with the leaders eventually finishing a good fourth.

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