After another two of the seemingly mandatory delays to the schedule the Junior Manx Grand Prix fired into life. First to be blast away towards the stomach churning descent of Bray Hill was David Lumsden on the Bullock Honda. The track had many damp areas due to overnight rain and the trees keeping the sun out of those areas; enough said on that topic. The early pacesetter was the man who set the best practice time; Matt Stevenson. He started at number 6 (from 29) as a result of his practice speed. Darryl Tweed was 2s behind in second; Wayne Humble was third 1s adrift of Tweed. Dean Osborne was a cigarette paper (0.002s) behind in fourth with Brad Vicars in fifth 1s further behind. At Ballaugh, Stevenson had added 1s to his lead over Tweed; but it was now Osborne who held third place 0.09s behind Tweed. Vicars, James Chawke and Humble filled out the leader board. At the Gooseneck the roads were perfectly dry; there was intermittent sunshine but a stiff and cool breeze. The riders provided some good action as they swept between the stone walls and grass banks. Stevenson was continuing his march at the front leading by 6.1s on our watch from new second place man Chawke. At the Bungalow, Stevenson had increased that to over 9s; behind him Chawke and Osborne were almost inseparable.
A first lap at 119.807mph gave Stevenson a lead of 13.7s as he set off on the second. Chawke (118.378mph) was just 1.57s ahead of Osborne (118.217mph); Humble, Tweed and Vicars filled the leader board; with just 2.2s covering them on the official computer produced time charts. However these did not include Dave Butler who transponder was not hitting the timing beam; hand timing suggested that he was actually fourth. At Glen Helen, Stevenson had a lead of 15s over Chawke; with Osborne 5s further behind. Hand timing slotted Butler into fourth 1s down on Osborne. Stevenson was shown to be 19s ahead as he hit the beam on the approach to Ramsey Hairpin; but he was forced very wide by a too fast entry to the corner and dropped some time to his rivals. He said later that he told himself to calm down and ride smoothly as the race would be his if he did. At the Bungalow his lead was 15.2s as he started the descent towards the refuelling stop. He did not take his own advice; went into Creg ny Baa “too hot” and slid to earth after clipping the air fence; thankfully he injured only his pride.
This left Chawke with a lead of 11s over Butler (transponder now working), who in turn was only 0.008s ahead of Stephen Parsons; Osborne held fourth 1.8s behind Parsons. Vicars, Stephen Smith and Humble were covered by 2.3s in their scrap for the last leader board places. At Glen Helen on lap 3 Chawke was 8s ahead of Osborne; Tweed was third 10s down on Osborne. Butler, Parsons and Vicars completed the top six. At the front Chawke and Osborne matched each other blow for blow; their lap times just 0.35s apart. As they began the last lap Chawke led by 12.5s; with Tweed third, 5.1s down on Osborne. Behind them; Butler had hit problems and dropped off the leader board.
Osborne began to chip at the lead on the run to Glen Helen; where it was 11.3s. Tweed was 7s down on Osborne; but soon his race was over, a refuelling error caused by a misheard announcement meant that he had a dry petrol tank at Quarry Bends. Osborne continued to eat into the lead but could not quite snatch the win from the delighted Chawke; whose margin of victory was 4.44s. Stephen Parson was the fastest of all on lap 4 at 118.701mph; he took the final podium place by 20.8s from Vicars; who was wearing his James Cowton tribute crash helmet. Ryan Maher slid to ground at the Gooseneck; he was uninjured and able to start the Lightweight Race later in the afternoon. Steven Haddow suffered bruising in an accident at the 27th Milestone; Stuart Hall crashed out at Brandwell and is in Nobles Hospital where his condition is described as stable.
Mylchreests Junior MGP
- James Chawke Roberts Kawasaki 117.113mph
- Dean Osborne Osborne Kawasaki 117.001mph
- Stephen Parsons People’s Bike Kawasaki 116.736mph
- Brad Vicars Merlin Honda 116.217mph
- Wayne Humble Humble Yamaha 116.196mph
- Stephen Smith Blythe’s Suzuki 115.980mph