Rob Hodson won a thrilling Classic Superbike race at the Manx Grand Prix on Monday afternoon with the Greenall Racing Kawasaki locked in battle with similarly-mounted Craig Neve for much of the four-lap race.
However, the Alasdair Cowan Racing rider went out at Greeba on the final lap, which gave Hodson a more comfortable run to the end and with Nathan Harrison setting the fastest lap of the race on the final lap, he grabbed second from 2019 winner David Johnson to make it a Greenall Racing 1-2.
As the riders swept through Glen Helen for the first time, it was Neve who led by one second from Michael Dunlop (Team Classic Suzuki) with Brian McCormack on the third Greenall machine a further 0.87s back. Harrison, Hodson and Neve’s team-mate Johnson followed.
Neve still led at Ballaugh but the gap was down to 0.3s with Hodson now up to third ahead of team-mates McCormack and Harrison and Johnson. The gap between the front two was almost identical at Ramsey and whilst Johnson was the first to complete the lap at 124.455mph, an opening lap of 125.185mph saw Neve extend his lead to 1.2s.
It was now Hodson in second though with Dunlop dropping to third and Johnson slotted into fourth with Harrison and McCormack in fifth and sixth. At Glen Helen on lap two, Neve had added three tenths of a second to his lead with the gap to Hodson 1.5s but Johnson, Harrison and McCormack all moved up a place as Dunlop dropped back to sixth.
Hodson grabbed the lead for the first time at the Bungalow and a second lap speed of 125.935mph gave him a 2.5s lead over Neve as they pitted for fuel whilst the gap between Harrison and Johnson was just 0.806s. McCormack was still in fifth and although Dunlop completed the lap, he climbed off the bike and retired at the pits, which promoted Michael Rutter into the top six.
A quicker pit stop enabled Neve to reduce Hodson’s lead to 0.664s by the time they reached Glen Helen third time around and by Ballaugh, the gap had come down further to just 0.297s! However, the Wigan rider responded and for the rest of the lap edged away, his lead 4.5s going into the fourth and final lap.
All hopes of a Grandstand finish were dashed when Neve retired at Greeba Bridge and with the breathing space he wanted, Hodson took the chequered flag by 15.341s. Second went to Harrison after the Manxman flew on the final lap and with the fastest lap of the race, 126.326mph, he grabbed second from Johnson by 0.617s.
Ryan Kneen got the better of Rutter to take fourth with Michael Sweeney, Lee Johnston, Michal Dokoupil, Barry Furber and Shaun Anderson rounding out the top ten.
2022 RST Classic Superbike race result - conditions dry
1 9 Rob Hodson Kawasaki ZX-R750 Greenall Racing 01:13:13.606 123.660 Silver
2 15 Nathan Harrison Kawasaki ZX-R750 Greenall Racing 01:13:28.947 123.229 Silver
3 1 David Johnson Kawasaki ZX-R750 Alasdair Cowan Racing 01:13:29.565 123.212 Silver
4 10 Ryan Kneen Kawasaki ZX-R750 Herheim Racing 01:15:01.759 120.689 Silver
5 4 Michael Rutter Suzuki XR69 Bathams Ales 01:15:05.063 120.600 Silver
6 11 Michael Sweeney Kawasaki ZX-R750 Mistral Racing 01:15:43.429 119.582 Silver
7 13 Lee Johnston Honda RC45 Ashcourt Racing 01:16:27.367 118.437 Silver
8 22 Michal Dokoupil Suzuki GSXR750 Cookson Racing 01:17:17.442 117.158 Bronze
9 38 Barry Furber Suzuki GSXR750 DC Motorcycles Newtown 01:17:26.354 116.933 Bronze
10 21 Shaun Anderson Kawasaki ZX-R750 Wilcock Consulting 01:17:29.054 116.865 Bronze
11 19 Richard Wilson Norton RCW588 WizNorton Racing 01:17:48.494 116.378 Bronze
12 26 Paul Potchy Williams Kawasaki ZX-R750 Potchy's MOT station 01:17:54.493 116.229 Bronze
13 25 Michael Evans Suzuki GSXR750 Good with wood 01:19:18.163 114.185 Bronze
14 36 Jamie Cringle suzuki GSXR 750 AGR Motorsport / Gorilla Racing 01:19:26.454 113.987 Bronze
15 60 Anthony Redmond Suzuki GSXR750 Reds Garage 01:19:41.217 113.635 Bronze
16 49 Lancelot Unissart Honda T-Bike RC30 Bike magazine 01:19:58.090 113.235 Bronze
17 29 Dave Hewson Kawasaki ZX-R750 Obsession EngineeringRapid Training 01:20:54.973 111.908 Finisher
18 51 Pete Murray Kawasaki ZX-R750 Arizona Speed Engineering, VRS 01:21:28.719 111.136 Finisher
19 63 Michael Mace Ducati 888 Parkitt Performance Motorcycles 01:22:12.107 110.158 Finisher
20 50 Mark Herbertson Kawasaki ZX-R750 Gilbert Brown & Sons/ Hawkshead 01:22:12.345 110.153 Finisher
21 44 Andrea Majola Ducati 916 The Bike Specialists 01:22:28.926 109.784 Finisher
22 27 Marc Colvin Kawasaki ZX-R750 DRF Services 01:22:31.129 109.735 Finisher
23 37 David Madsen-Mygdal Honda RC30 Gimbert Racing 01:23:24.148 108.572 Finisher
24 61 Wayne Bourgeais Kawasaki ZX-R750 Basto Transports / Objectif 2R 01:06:23.229 102.300 Finisher