Just as the sun descended upon Glencrutchery Road, the eagerly anticipated RST Classic Superbike Manx Grand Prix got underway at 3:30 PM. A scintillating opening lap saw just over six seconds cover first to fourth. Fastest to Glen Helen, Immingham’s Craig Neve held first at lap one’s conclusion, leading Greenall Racing’s Rob Hodson by only 1.2 seconds. Before problems arose, Michael Dunlop racing XR69 tackle instead of the SRAD GSX-R 750 steed for Team Classic Suzuki, held third 0.589 behind Hodson. From lap two on-wards the battle for class spoils became firmly between Neve and Hodson. By the Bungalow, nine plate holder Hodson was into first, heading Alasdair Cowan Racing’s Neve by 0.795 of a second. At lap two’s finalisation, just 2.567 seconds separated Hodson and Neve. Nathan Harrison slotted into third with reigning class Champion David Johnson holding fourth. 21 times TT winner Dunlop retired at the pits whilst Brian McCormack’s challenge concluded at Ballacraine. Post pit-stops, under 0.7 of a second covered Hodson, Neve at Glen Helen and Ballaugh Bridge. By Cronk Ny Mona, Greenall Racing’s Hodson upped the race-lead to just over four seconds. Going onto the fourth, final lap, Hodson’s lead extended slightly to 4.5 seconds. Drama then arose early on lap four as Neve’s bid for victory concluded at Greeba Bridge. This enabled Hodson to gain a firm grip on race proceedings, team-mate Johnson to jump up to second. Hodson went onto clinch a second Manx Grand Prix victory, his first in the yesteryear Superbike class. The fight for second finalised with Harrison bagging second, making it a Greenall Racing 1-2, after a strong final lap, setting the quickest lap of the race, lapping at 126.326 mph. Aussie ace Johnson, competing in his first Mountain Course affiliated race since 2019, finished third, 0.617 behind Harrison. Herheim Racing’s Ryan Kneen took fourth, seven times TT victor Michael Rutter took fifth, Irish Road Race Superbike Champion Michael Sweeney occupied sixth. Concluding the top ten finishers were sole RC45 Honda runner Lee Johnston, Michal ‘Indi’ Dokoupil, Barry Furber who slid off during the morning warm-up session and Wilcock Consulting backed Shaun Anderson. Superbike Classic Manx Grand Prix Result: 1st – Rob Hodson 2nd – Nathan Harrison 3rd – David Johnson 4th – Ryan Kneen 5th – Michael Rutter 6th – Michael Sweeney 7th – Lee Johnston 8th – Michal Dokoupil 9th – Barry Furber 10th – Shaun Anderson 11th – Richard Wilson 12th – Paul Williams 13th – Michael Evans 14th – Jamie Cringle 15th – Anthony Redmond 16th – Lancelot Unissart 17th – Dave Hewson 18th – Pete Murray 19th – Mike Mace 20th – Mark Herbertson 21st – Andrea Majola 22nd – Marc Colvin 23rd – Dave Madsen Mygdal Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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