Dean Harrison won the three-lap Classic Senior race at the centenary Manx Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, the Bradford rider setting a new lap record of 111.395mph on Ted Woof’s Craven Manx Norton to win by a commanding 52.5s.
“That was so much fun,” he said afterwards. “Winning the Manx on a Manx ticks all the boxes and it’s the best Classic bike I’ve ridden. It handles so well, and I just kept it singing everywhere. I could have gone quicker on the last lap and maybe done 112mph, but I could see on my boards I had a good lead so knocked a bit of pace off.”
The battle for second went all the way to the end with John McGuinness (Winfield Paton) coming home ahead of one-time leader Mike Browne (Peter Grantham Lodge Norton) with Shaun Anderson (Peter Beugger Paton) just missing out.
Slightly delayed after overnight rain to a 2.15pm start, it was McGuinness who led through Glen Helen on the opening lap, his advantage over Harrison two seconds with Browne in third, just 0.8s behind Harrison but ahead of Anderson, Adam McLean (Flitwick Motorcycles Royal Enfield) and James Hillier (CSC/IMS Yamaha).
McGuinnes still led at Ballaugh but by Ramsey, Browne had moved into the lead and an opening lap of 110.035mph gave him a 4.6s advantage over Harrison with McGuinness now in third.
He then had to make his compulsory pit stop on his twin cylinder Paton whilst the single cylinder Nortons went straight through.
Anderson completed the opening lap in fourth before making his pit stop with McLean and Hillier still in fifth and sixth. Michael Russell (Izzard Racing Norton), Rob Hodson (Ruthless Racing Honda), Hefyn Owen (Owen Racing Seeley) and Will Loder (MRE Seeley) rounded out the top ten.
Through Glen Helen for the second time and Harrison had overhauled Browne with the gap between the duo just seven tenths of a second at Ballaugh.
However, a second lap of 111.395mph by Harrison saw him set a new Classic Senior Manx GP lap record and the quickest ever lap by a 500cc British single cylinder machine and it gave him a more comfortable lead over Browne of 11.1s.
McGuinness was still in third, but Anderson had brought the gap down further to 1.6s with McLean still in contention.
At Glen Helen on the final lap, Browne was in trouble, slipping some 28s behind Harrison and he was now coming under threat from both McGuinness and Anderson.
Leading on the road, Harrison continued to press on as he looked to better his previous lap, but he eased off as he descended the Mountain for the final time to eventually win by 52s. The battle for second kept changing through all the sectors though and it was McGuinness who grabbed the runners-up spot, 4.3s ahead of Browne with Anderson 4.5s adrift in fourth.
McLean, having his first race around the Mountain Course since 2018, had a strong ride into fifth ahead of Russell with Hillier, Hodson, Loder and veteran David Madsen-Mygdal completing the top ten.