James Hind continued his lap record breaking in the Lightweight Manx Grip; but this time he brought the machine home to claim his maiden victory on the Mountain Course. French winners are like London buses; you wait an age for one and then two come along together. In the Ultra Lightweight MGP it was Lancelot Unissart who claimed victory and his second podium finish.
The Lightweight looked likely to be a dust up between Hind and Francesco Curinga; fastest in qualifying on the gorgeous Paton. At the first timing point at Glen Helen it was Curinga who had the lead of the race; he was 2.6s ahead of Hind, with Dave Butler third 1.5s down on hind. Mark Purslow, Michael Rees and Chris Moore held the leader board places. At Ballaugh, the top positions were reversed, Hind led by 3.8s and Butler was just 1.5s down on Curinga who may have been hampered by a slower rider. Hind continued to charge away at the front; he was on lap record pace and led Curinga by 8.5s as he reached Ramsey Hairpin for the first time. Butler was third, 2s down on Curinga; Purslow, Moore and Rees completed the top 6. At the Bungalow it was a lovely evening with bright sunshine for the first two laps; however it was cold in the light northerly breeze. As he swept through and over the tram lines Hind led by 9.6s.
As he crossed the line to begin the second lap Hind led by 10.94s; having set a new lap record at 115.203mph. Curinga lapped at 114.1144mph to give himself an advantage of 4.7s over Butler who lapped at 113.701mph. Hind continued to pull away from Curinga; the lead was 13s at Glen Helen, 18.4s at Ballaugh and 23.2s at Ramsey; where Curinga was 7.5s ahead of Butler.
Another record lap at 116.453mph gave Hind a commanding lead of 29.27s as he came into the pits for his mandatory stop. Curinga had lapped at 114.652mph to be 13.3s ahead of Butler (113.820mph). Moore, Rees and Brad Vicars completed the leader board. Purslow had been slowed by mechanical issues and retired in the pits. For Rees the stop was a disaster; he was at rest for 95s; and dropped down the order.
On the final lap Hind led by 20s at Glen Helen, by 27s at Ballaugh and caught Curinga on the road before Ramsey; giving himself a 30s lead. They circulated together for the remainder of the lap and made a fine sight as they flicked left and right through the Bungalow. Curinga crossed the line first; but Hind was the victor by 28.7s; what a talent this young man is. Butler duly took third place. Rees recovered some lost ground on the final lap but missed out on a leader board finish by 21s.
The concurrent Ultra Lightweight Race was led away by fastest qualifier Alex Sinclair. At Glen Helen it was Lancelot Unissart who had made the best start; he led by 3s from Leon Murphy; who was just 0.1s ahead of Daniel Ingham; with Rad Hughes fourth only 0.3s down on Sinclair. Unissart was fastest on the run to Ramsey, where he led by 7s from Hughes who was 1.5s ahead of Sinclair. Hughes wad rapid over the mountain section and with a lap at 104.600mph he led by 1.435s as he crossed the line. Unissart (104.485mph) was 0.89s ahead of Ingham (104.414mph).
Unissart was the leader as they went through the challenging Glen Helen section for the final time. He led by 1.7s from Ingham, with Sinclair now third. Hughes was encountering problems and had dropped to fourth. At Ramsey, Unissart had increased his lead to 9.8s; whilst Ingham had a slender 2.5 advantage over Sinclair. Lloyd Collins, Tom Snow and the ailing Hughes completed the leader board.
Coming into the pits for the compulsory stop Unissart led by 9.71s and added 10s to that by simply putting his foot down and continuing; whilst Ingham took 10s putting a little extra fuel into the tank. This meant that at Glen Helen, Unissart led by 25s from Ingham who had Snow just 3s behind him and charging on the little Honda. At Ramsey, Unissart led by 26s; with Ingham still 3s ahead of Snow. There was no change in the order as they passed through the Bungalow; but for Ingham the disappointment of retirement befell him at Windy Corner. So it was that we had our second French winner of the meeting and he was delighted to have won; and showed a fine command of Anglo Saxon English during his post race interview.
MGP Supporters Club Lightweight Race
- James Hind Yamaha 114.307mph
- Francesco Curinga Bremar Paton 113.394mph
- Dave Butler AG Kawasaki 112.755mph
- Chris Moore Outhwaite Yamaha 110.864mph
- Brad Vicars VRS Kawasaki 109.303mph
- David McConnachy Bespoke Kawasaki 109.068mph
Ultra Lightweight Race
- Lancelot Unissart Pullen Honda 104.652mph
- Tom Snow Falcon Honda 104.233mph
- Alex Sinclair CSC Yamaha 103.269mph
- Lloyd Collins Hack Kawasaki 102.801mph
- Sebastian Witt Kramer 102.598mph
- Radley Hughes RAF Kawasaki 102.378mph