RECORD BREAKING VICTORY FOR NEWCOMER JOE YEARDSLEY
Newcomer Joe Yeardsley won the shortened three-lap Mylchreests Group Senior Manx Grand Prix Race in record-breaking style on Monday afternoon, setting a new lap record of 122.051mph on the final lap on the Spin Arena Yamaha.
Yeardsley defeated fellow Manxman Marcus Simpson (JPS Racing powered by Atherstone Yamaha) by 9.5 seconds, the first time newcomers have finished first and second in the Senior race since 2012 with Yeardsley also emulating his father Buddy’s success in the 1985 race. Daniel Ingham (Russell Brook/Brook Built Yamaha) completed the podium in third.
Delayed by more than five hours to allow the roads to dry and ensure conditions were as safe as possible after several showers around the course, it was 4.30pm when the race got underway and when it did it was cut in distance by a lap, but it was Yeardsley who led through Glen Helen on the opening lap.
He led fellow newcomer Simpson by 0.7 seconds with Jamie Williams (NCE Racing Honda) a further 1.5 seconds back and they were followed by Ingham, Chris Cook (Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki) and another debutante, David Rigby (Gasiom/DOT Racing Yamaha), less than seven seconds covering the top six.
Yeardsley’s lead was down to three tenths of a second at Ballaugh with Williams also having reduced his deficit by half a second and round Ramsey Hairpin for the first time, Simpson had not only taken the lead but also pulled 3.6 seconds clear of Yeardsley. Williams was only half a second back in third but Maurizio Bottalico, third in the Junior, was out having retired at Ballaugh.
With an opening lap of 120.053mph, Simpson’s lead over Yeardsley had increased further to 7.2 seconds but Williams was still very much in contention in third, only a further 1.9 seconds adrift as the riders made their compulsory fuel stop.
Ingham was still in fourth, but Rigby was now up to fifth followed by Cook, Tom Robinson (Pete Stacey Kawasaki), Marc Colvin (CBG Contractors Ltd Kawasaki), Victor Lopez (Team ILR Yamaha) and Jack Fowler (MC Services Yamaha). Robinson was soon out though, having stopped at Braddan.
By Glen Helen on lap two, Simpson’s lead had crept out to 8.7 seconds and Yeardsley was beginning to look a bit more secure in second, the gap to Williams now 6.8 seconds. Ingham was only four seconds behind Williams as Rigby and Cook continued in fifth and sixth, but Rigby’s strong ride came to end shortly afterwards as he retired at Douglas Road Corner.
Simpson’s advantage was cut to 4.3 seconds at Ramsey second time around as Yeardsley lapped some three seconds quicker on the run from Ballaugh to Ramsey and as they started the third and final lap there was only 2.5 seconds between the two local riders. Williams was still holding on to third from Ingham albeit by just 2.8 seconds, as Cook and Lopez rounded out the top six.
It was all change at Glen Helen on the final lap though as Yeardsley regained the lead, turning his 2.5 seconds deficit into a 2.1 seconds advantage. Ingham had now claimed third too, at the expense of Williams, with the gap between the two only a second.
The lead had gone out to 3.8 seconds at Ballaugh with another two and a half seconds added by the time they reached Ramsey for the final time and as he flashed across the line to take the chequered flag, Yeardsley got the win from Simpson by 9.5 seconds after a superb 122mph+ lap on the final lap.
Ingham wrapped up third, by more than six seconds, from Williams as Cook and Lopez held station in fifth and sixth respectively. The top ten was completed by Colvin, Fowler, Andrew Fisher (Fisher Racing Yamaha) and Eddy Ferre (Wilson Craig Racing Honda), the French newcomer lapping at almost 117mph on his final lap.