Classic TT: Lee Johnston on podium as Dean Harrison clinches 500cc spoils

Dean Harrison (centre), winner of the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT, with runner-up Ian Lougher (left) and Lee Johnston.
Dean Harrison (centre), winner of the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT, with runner-up Ian Lougher (left) and Lee Johnston.
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Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston claimed a rostrum finish with a fine ride to third in the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT on Saturday.

His team-mate on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta machines – Bradford’s Dean Harrison – won the race by 26.8 seconds from the luckless Ian Lougher, who picked up a 30-second penalty for speeding in pit lane.

Veteran racer Lougher, who won the race in 2014 despite receiving a penalty for the same infraction, pitted for fuel at the end of lap one on the Giovanni Cabassi/Flitwick Motorcycles but left himself with a mountain to climb after breaking the pit lane speed limit.

There was huge disappointment for Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar, who briefly took the lead of the race from his team-mate on the Winfield Paton, John McGuinness, who encountered a brake issue before stopping at Parliament Square.

Farquhar was also forced to retire at Ramsey on the opening lap, handing the initiative to eventual winner Harrison.

Michael Dunlop had been challenging for the final place on the podium on the last lap but retired on his Molnar Manx Norton on the Mountain Mile.

Jamie Coward was promoted to fourth on the Craven Manx Norton, finishing a massive 1m 48.9 seconds behind Johnston in third.

Chris Swallow and Keith Amor, both riding Manx Nortons, completed the top six.

On the final lap, Johannes Van de Pol came off at Tower Bends and sustained a reported leg fracture. He was airlifted to Nobles Hospital in Douglas.

There were some 30 retirements in the race, including William Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda, James Cowton and Dan Cooper, Michael Rutter, Olie Linsdell and Alan Oversby.

The race was delayed by 15 minutes to 2.45pm due to oil on the circuit from Stella Maris to Waterworks and The Nook to the Start Line.