Classic TT: Maiden victory for Brookes, Senior podium for Dunlop

Josh Brookes on the Winfield Paton in Saturday's Bennetts Senior Classic TT.
Josh Brookes on the Winfield Paton in Saturday's Bennetts Senior Classic TT.

Josh Brookes claimed his maiden victory around the Mountain Course in a race of attrition in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT on Saturday.

Ballymoney man William Dunlop finished on the podium in third place on the Davies Motorsport Honda behind Yorkshire’s Jamie Coward (Ted Woof Norton).

William Dunlop finished on the rostrum in third on the Davies Motorsport Honda in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT.

William Dunlop finished on the rostrum in third on the Davies Motorsport Honda in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT.

Brookes said: "It’s nice to fill in for John and it's a great honour. Roger has built a great bike so it's nice to give the team the win and be a part of the whole experience. It’s not a TT win but the riders are still racing these bikes as hard as they can, so it’s still special.”

Aussie Brookes sealed the second successive Senior win for Roger Winfield’s team on the 500cc Italian machine at the event after being called up as a replacement for the injured John McGuinness, who won the race for the first time last year. The Morecambe man flagged off the race, which quickly produced several high profile retirements.

Ian Lougher, who led the field away on John Chapman’s MV Agusta, retired at Greeba, while 2015 winner Dean Harrison was forced out on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta at Ballagarey.

Michael Rutter slid off the Ripley Land Matchless on the first lap at Ballacraine, with nothing other than his pride bruised. Ulsterman Michael Dunlop retired in the pits on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta at the end of lap one.

Michael Dunlop retired at the end of lap one on the Black Eagle MV Agusta.

Michael Dunlop retired at the end of lap one on the Black Eagle MV Agusta.

Brookes, who was fastest in practice, led from the off and established a lead of 33.2 seconds over Coward at the end of the first lap with a standing start speed of 111.295mph. Maria Costello slotted into third on the Beugger Racing Paton ahead of William Dunlop.

British Superbike contender Brookes continued to extend his lead and he was now 38.6 seconds clear of Coward at the end of lap two after a lap of 110.539mph.

Costello made her pit stop at the end of the second lap, with Dunlop going straight through to move into third place on the 500 Honda.

Brookes opted to make his pit stop at the end of lap three and as a result, his lead at Glen Helen on the final lap was down to 0.252s over Coward, who was able to complete the four lap distance without a fuel stop on the Norton.

However, Brookes quickly began to open a cushion again and he had 34 seconds in hand over Coward at the finish, with Dunlop – who also made his pit stop at the end of lap three – taking the final rostrum place by 12 seconds from Costello. Coward lapped at an impressive 110.054mph to set the fastest ever speed by a British single cylinder machine on the Mountain Course.

Dominic Herbertson (Davies Motorsport Honda) was fifth, 37.3 seconds behind Costello, with Bill Swallow (Gleeve Racing Paton) completing the top six, despite incurring a 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane.

Michael Russell (Izzard Racing Norton) was the leading privateer rider in seventh place.

The race was delayed by around 20 minutes due to an oil spill on Bray Hill.