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2017 Classic TT: Superbike clash is mouth-watering finale

This year’s Classic TT reaches a thrilling finale this afternoon when Bruce Anstey pitches his Padgetts Yamaha YZR500 against Michael Dunlop on his Team Classic Suzuki XR69 and a pack of ZXR750s led by Dean Harrison on the Silicone Racing bike.

It’s a dramatic scenario that sees Clive Padgett’s 1993-spec V4 two-stroke against the Superbikes of the eighties and early-nineties. Anstey had been the man in qualifying with the only lap in the 125mph bracket - 125.486mph precisely - until Dunlop came out blazing in Saturday’s practice, putting in a 126.247, closely followed by Harrison’s 126.151.

Steve Wheatman’s Suzuki squad have had a nightmare practice week, losing three engines before technical chief Nathan Colombi was able to put a solid bike under the 28-year-old Northern Irishman.


The rules of the Superbike race have been tweaked so that the big-bore ZXRs that were declared illegal last year are now legal, and are running 800cc motors. Jamie Coward, second in Saturday’s Senior Classic on Ted Woof’s 500cc, two-valve Manx Norton, will find that his 13-stone, six-foot stature will matter less on the 170bhp Mistral Superbike than on a 55bhp single.

His best is 124.012mph, while Austrian Horst Saiger has lapped at 123.828mph on a Greenall Racing ZXR, while Dean Harrison has got round at 123.739mph on the Silicone Engineering machine.

Plucky Josh Brookes, fresh from his first win on the Mountain Circuit on the Winfield Racing 500cc Paton in the Senior race, is aiming to put his 588cc Wiz Norton Rotary among the top five in the Superbike race, even though he will be giving away some 40bhp.

The day’s racing kicks off with the Junior race, which is likely to be a struggle between the 350cc Honda K4s and the Black Eagle Racing team’s replica MVs. The restless Black Eagle boys are putting out not just one type of MV, but two - a four for Dean Harrison and a triple for Lee Johnston.

Michael Rutter, on the Ripley Land Racing bike, will head the Honda challenge, but the versatile Ted Woof this time puts a K4 under Coward. John Davies at Davies Motorsport had two bikes in the top five with his Honda fours in the Senior race, with William Dunlop in third place and 26-year-old Dominic Herbertson in fifth. He puts the same pairing, plus Alan Oversby, on his twins in the Junior contest.

Go on-board with Brookes on the Wiz Norton

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