Gun to flag victories for Hodson and Sayle at MGP 2016.
The afternoon weather was not as good the morning’s, some grey clouds scudded overhead and the threat of rain was always there; although it never came to more than a few spits at White Gates, in Ramsey. The afternoon gave us a double-header, with the Supertwins and Lightweight Races running concurrently.
The races brought us two start to finish victories; including the first win for a Moto 3 machine on the Mountain Course. In the Supertwins; Wigan rider Jamie Hodson emulated his brother Rob; the 2015 winner; by taking victory in the 2016 Manx Grand Prix Supporters’ Club sponsored race at the IMGold Manx Grand Prix.
A clearly elated Jamie Hodson, said in the winner’s enclosure:
“I started flapping after the pit stop. Riding behind Andy Dudgeon gave me something to focus on so I just rode to my boards. I’m over the moon for everyone who helped me. This is all I’ve ever wanted to do and I can’t believe it. The bike has been going really well so we geared it down a bit, but it cost me some time over the mountain with the wind. Finishing a race is an achievement but winning one is something else. The race was as good as perfect.”
With Andrew Farrell sidelined by his accident at Glen Helen in the morning’s Junior Race, it was 64 years young Nick Jefferies; the1983 Senior MGP and ’93 Formula 1 TT winner; the third finisher in the corresponding race last year; who was first away on the Phil Morris Holdings ER6 Kawasaki. He was followed by Junior Race winner Andrew Dudgeon, the fastest qualifier, and Skerries’s Dave (Hammer) Lumsden on Martin Bullock’s Full Factory Winnerswear Kawasaki.
Jefferies was first on the road to Glen Helen; but it was Hodson who was quickest to the commentary point; he led by 3s from Darren Cooper (Flue-stox Kawasaki) with Richard Charlton (Michelin Kawasaki) 0.5s behind in third. Lumsden was less than a half a second back in fourth with Spain’s Victor Lopez Santos, a newcomer in 2015; on the Team Martimotos Kawasaki in fifth. Jonathan Perry (Kevin Little Motorsport KLM Kawasaki), fresh from the excitement of his newcomer B runner up place in Tuesday’s Race, was running well in sixth.
Dave Lumsden moved up into second, 4.4s behind Hodson and just 0.1 second ahead of Cooper at Ballaugh. Jefferies was first to sweep up May Hill out of Cruickshank’s Corner. Next it was Dudgeon; who had Lumsden just 1s behind him. Hodson was next; he was very neat and fast. When the dust had settled the watch showed Hodson leading by 6.8s from Lumsden; Cooper was third just 0.7s down on Lumsden. That remained the order at the Bungalow, with Hodson stretching the lead over the second placed man to almost 8 seconds whilst the gap between Cooper and Lumsden was only 0.2s.
Hodson’s opening lap of 112.331mph gave him a lead of 9.85s from Lumsden -111.424mph with Cooper – 111.274mph third 1.64 seconds behind. Charlton – 110.897mph; Dudgeon – 110.439mph; and Perry – 110.439mph completed the leader board.
Hodson led by 14s at Glen Helen on lap 2; behind Perry was on a charge and had moved into fourth. At White Gates, Hodson led on the road and by 15s on time from Lumsden. Perry and Cooper were tied for third; with Dudgeon 3.2s behind them in fifth; with Charlton sixth.
Hodson’s second lap of 112.969mph gave him a lead of over thirteen seconds from Lumsden who set the fastest lap of the race at 113.423mph. Lumsden also made a faster pit stop and left pit lane 11s in arrears. However, the luckless Perry had another problematic pit stop, as he had in Monday’s Newcomer B race, one which cost him victory in that race. This time he lost over thirty seconds to his nearest rivals due the machine being reluctant to fire up again. This misfortune dropped from third to 6th at Glen Helen on the third lap, some 28 seconds off the final podium place. Meanwhile Dudgeon; aided, by a rapid pit stop; and Lumsden were just 1s apart in their battle for the podium places.
At White Gates, Dudgeon led on the road; but he was 1.1s down on Lumsden; who was 15s adrift of the race leader. Lumsden and Dudgeon continued their battle over the Mountain section with Lumsden increasing his advantage to almost 2s by the Bungalow; whilst Hodson’s lead was still a comfortable 10.4 seconds, he had lost a couple of seconds on the Mountain; however all that he had to do was circulate with his rivals to win.
Hodson’s third lap of 108.262mph gave him an 11s lead from Lumsden – 108.493mph; Dudgeon – 108.896mph continued his challenge less than a second further back in third whilst Cooper – 107.606mph; Perry -106.099mph and Charlton -107.306mph filled out the leader board..
Hodson duly held on to take the chequered flag at an average race speed of 111.594mph; with Lumsden holding off the challenge from Dudgeon to take second place at 111.212mph, just over three seconds ahead of Dudgeon – 111.136mph. Cooper – 110.919mph; Perry – 110.582mph and Charlton 110.417mph completed the leader board.
In the concurrent Lightweight race, 8 time TT sidecar passenger race winner Dan Sayle, the fastest qualifier, dominated from gun to tape; setting a new race record of 108.111mph, to claim his third Manx Grand Prix win.
Sayle, riding the 2014 Honda NSF250R Moto 3 machine, dominated the concurrent race from the start and later explained how the bike tackled the Mountain Course:
“In some places it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding but it was good to ride. Once I got my first couple of boards I was pretty comfortable. I set out to win this race years back so I’m glad to have done it again.”
Sayle reached the Glen Helen timing point first on the road and on the clock. He had a lead of 1.5 seconds over Dave Taylor, with Rikki McGovern on the Honda RVF 400 in third. At White gates the lead had expanded to 8.5s and it continued to grow on the run over the mountain. Sayle’s opening lap of 107.663mph gave him a 15s lead from Rikki McGovern – 106.439mph, with Dave Taylor – 106.092 holding third place.
Sayle continued to dominate the race and extended his lead to over thirty seconds with a second lap of 109.228mph. With his nearest rivals McGovern and Taylor both coming in to the pits at the end of the second lap, Sayle’s lead was almost 1 minute and 45 seconds by Glen Helen on the third lap which he extended to almost 2 minutes from McGovern with a third lap of 108.737mph.
Having fitted the little Honda with a Dave Molyneux special tank; Dan elected not to pit, running through at the end of the third lap, and posted a last lap at 106.847mph to win by one minute and 46 seconds from McGovern – 105.878mph. However; there was drama for the last podium place in the Lightweight class. Third placed man Dave Taylor; who was in company with McGovern and Lancelot Unissart at White Gates, had to push in from Governors and eventually finished in eighth place. Lancelot Unissart who had been in fourth position in Ramsey retired at the Bungalow which meant that a very surprised Elwyn Fryer -103.942mph was called back from the race paddock to the winners enclosure to complete the podium.