SMITH, INGHAM & OSBORNE TOP SENIOR ENTRY
Always one of the most fiercely-contested classes at the Manx Grand Prix, the four-lap Mylchreests Group Senior Race at this year’s event will be no exception with 60 riders set to tackle the iconic 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
With 750cc manufacture having all but disappeared from the market, the Senior has adopted new rules for 2022 meaning it’s now a straight contest for the Supersport machines, and it’ll be Stephen Smith – third in the 2019 Junior – who leads the field away on the Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki.
Smith has a good team around him but he’ll need it, with Dan Ingham breathing down his neck from his number 2 starting position. Both riders have already broken the 120mph barrier and Ingham, a former podium finisher in the Ultra-Lightweight class, has a great chance of victory on the Russell Brook/Brook Built Yamaha.
The third rider on the entry to lap in excess of 120mph is Port Erin’s Dean Osborne who, after a brief foray into the TT in 2019, returns to the Manx where he’s already taken three podiums, including victory in the 2014 Newcomers Race B.
Starting at number 3, he rides a Honda for the vastly experienced TC Racing team but there are plenty of riders behind him who will more than fancy their chances of victory, including Spaniard Victor Lopez Santos. The Xecretia Road Racing Team rider will be hunting Osborne down from his number 4 position and will be keen to make amends for missing the 2019 races after crashing in qualifying.
At number 5 is Andrew Fisher on another Yamaha from Fischer Racing, and he’ll be closely followed down Bray Hill by Tom Robinson (Kawasaki) and David McConnachy (Peter Dobson Racing, Triumph). All three have yet to grace the podium but having all lapped at more than 118mph, they’re edging ever closer…
As well as Osborne, two more local riders in with a chance of success are Marc Colvin (RC Racing, Suzuki) and Jamie Williams (NCE Racing, Honda), the duo starting at numbers 8 and 10 respectively.
Colvin took a strong ninth in the 2019 Senior whilst Williams is the fourth fastest rider in the field with a personal best lap of 119.939mph. That came when he placed fifth in the 2017 Senior, two days after he’d taken an excellent third in the Junior, and with three bronze replicas from the 2018 TT, his credentials are clear to see.
Sandwiched in between them at number 9 is another overseas challenger, Italy’s Francesco Curinga (Yamaha), who took a brace of second place finishes in the 2019 Lightweight Races.
Experienced and regular Manx GP runner, Chris Cook, is Kawasaki-mounted from number 12, with Michael Rees starting from number 13 on the Rapidgrid Kawasaki.
Ten seconds behind him will be Arnie Shelton who could well be a dark horse for honours, the Bourne rider having finished eighth last time out in the Senior where he lapped at more than 118mph in just his second year racing on the Mountain Course.
Two ends of the spectrum can be found at numbers 15 and 16; Samuel Mousley (Gwrhyd Specialist Stone Quarry, Honda), second in the 2019 Newcomers Race A, setting off ahead of Northern Ireland’s Dennis Booth (Kawasaki) who has been a Manx Grand Prix regular since 2005.
Rounding out the top twenty of perennial Manx GP starters, Radley Hughes (Royal Air Force Motorsport, Honda), Gaz Evans (Kawasaki), Shaun Evans (Kawasaki) and Emmett Burke (Hertmx.com, Suzuki).
The full top 20 for the Mylchreests Group Senior Race is as follows:
- Stephen Smith
Kawasaki - Alasdair Cowan Racing
- Daniel Ingham
Yamaha - Russel Brook/Brook Built
- Dean Osborne
Honda - TC Racing
- Victor Lopez Santos
Honda - Xecretia Road Racing Team
- Andrew Fisher
Yamaha - Fisher Racing
- Tom Robinson
- David McConnachy
Triumph - Peter Dobson Racing
- Marc Colvin
Suzuki -RC Racing
- Francesco Curinga
- Jamie Williams
Honda - NCE Racing
- Chris Cook
- Michael Rees
Kawasaki - Rapidgrid
- Arnie Shelton
- Samuel Mousley
Honda - Gwrhyd Specialist Stone Quarry
- Dennis Booth
- Radley Hughes
Kawasaki - Royal Air Force Motorsports
- Gaz Evans
- Shaun Evans
- Emmett Burke
Suzuki - Hertmx.com