After six previous podium finishes at the Classic TT, Jamie Coward finally took his first victory around the Mountain Course on Monday afternoon as he took full advantage of early leader Lee Johnston’s retirement to win the Junior race on the Ted Woof/Craven Honda by 37.9s from Michael Rutter with Dominic Herbertson in third.
Cut from four laps to three due to early morning fog, it was the Davies Motorsport Honda of Johnston that led at Glen Helen on the opening lap with his advantage over Coward being a healthy 4.9s whilst team-mate Herbertson was a further half second back in third. Rutter, on the Ripley Land Honda, Hefyn Owen and Alan Oversby completed the top six but Richard Wilson, second quickest in practice, hit trouble on the first nine miles and was outside the top twenty.
By Ramsey, Johnston had added a second to his lead but Coward had pulled away from Herbertson with the gap now almost eight seconds. Rutter and Owen remained in fourth and fifth as Derek Sheils moved up to sixth at the expense of Oversby.
Rutter was now leading on the road but with an opening lap of 103.38mph, it was Johnston who led and his advantage over Coward had increased to nine seconds. Herbertson was still in third but had lost more ground and was now almost 11s in arrears although he was more than 13s clear of Rutter. Sheils had overhauled Owen to move up to fifth with the top five riders all over the 100mph mark.
Through Glen Helen on the second lap Johnston had added another second to his lead with Coward doing the same to Herbertson. Rutter, Sheils and Owen continued to occupy fourth to sixth but although Wilson was climbing back up the leaderboard, Michael Sweeney was forced to retire.
Coward took three seconds out of Johnston’s lead on the run from Glen Helen to Ballaugh and had overtaken Rutter to lead on the road and as they rounded Ramsey Hairpin for the second time the difference between the top two was down to six seconds. Herbertson had dropped to almost half a minute behind in third as Rutter, Sheils and Owen all held station.
However, drama soon followed as Johnston retired at the Gooseneck and with a second lap of 104.05mph, the fastest of the race, Coward now led by 27.7s from Herbertson and Johnston’s demise allowed Rutter to move up into the final podium position. Sheils and Owen were promoted up to fourth and fifth and with Oversby also retiring at Sarah’s Cottage, it was now Dan Sayle in sixth.
As Coward continued to pull away, all eyes on the final lap fell on the battle for second as Rutter closed in on Herbertson and by Ballaugh the gap was down to five seconds. Through Ramsey for the final time, the gap had come down further and Rutter was now only 2.3s adrift as he sat behind race leader Coward and by the Bungalow he’d moved ahead.
Coward duly came home for a popular maiden Classic TT win but the battle for second went all the way to the chequered flag and Rutter got the verdict from Herbertson by just 0.351s!
Sheils and Owen completed their fine rides in fourth and fifth with Sayle taking sixth ahead of Alex Sinclair. A final lap of 101.42mph enabled Wilson to take eighth with Rob Hodson and Paul Jordan completing the top ten.
Locate.im Junior Classic TT - conditions dry
1 8 Jamie Coward Honda / Ted Woof / Craven Honda 01:05:39.499 103.435 Silver
2 4 Michael Rutter Honda / Ripley Land Racing 01:06:17.418 102.449 Silver
3 9 Dominic Herbertson Honda / Davies Motorsport 01:06:17.769 102.440 Silver
4 6 Derek Sheils Honda / Greenall Racing 01:07:32.927 100.541 Silver
5 14 Hefyn Owen Honda / Owen Racing 01:07:41.918 100.318 Silver
6 18 Daniel Sayle Honda / John Chapman Racing 01:07:46.807 100.198 Silver
7 15 Alex Sinclair Honda / Fox Classic Racing 01:08:33.510 99.060 Silver
8 2 Richard Wilson Honda / Chris Hughes Racing 01:09:04.295 98.324 Silver
9 19 Rob Hodson Honda / Geoff Bates Racing 01:09:30.740 97.701 Silver
10 1 Paul Jordan AJS / Ripley Land Racing 01:09:53.479 97.171 Silver
11 33 Dean Osborne Honda / Ken Garfield Racing 01:10:49.262 95.895 Bronze
12 16 David Madsen-Mygdal Honda / Team Gimbert Racing 01:10:52.258 95.828 Bronze
13 20 Tom Weeden Honda / Goathland Garage Classics 01:10:53.443 95.801 Bronze
14 22 Mark Purslow Honda / TAB 2 Classics 01:11:17.445 95.263 Bronze
15 12 Ewan Hamilton Honda / McFee Family Andreas IOM 01:11:17.728 95.257 Bronze
16 39 Will Loder Greeves / Will Loder Racing 01:11:29.786 94.989 Bronze
17 64 Chris Moore Honda / JL Exhausts / Silverstar Services Lt 01:13:30.886 92.381 Bronze
18 27 Dave Matravers Seeley AJS / Paul & Dawn Matravers 01:13:45.974 92.067
19 28 Alec Whitwell Bates Honda / Geoff Bates Racing 01:14:16.364 91.439
20 42 Richard Lambourne Honda / Davy Hastings Racing 01:14:26.744 91.226
21 46 Jeff Smith Honda / Robspeed Motorcycles 01:14:39.661 90.963
22 54 Karl Fox Honda / Dave Gawthorpe / Bob Jackson Ra 01:15:04.959 90.452
23 56 Jack Hunter Honda / Atherstone Accident Repair Centre 01:15:17.839 90.194
24 55 Tony Tuttle Honda / Tony Tuttle Racing 01:15:33.633 89.880
25 74 Simon Collins* Honda / Thug Bike England Ltd. 01:15:36.079 89.832
26 52 Colin Stockdale Honda / John Reed 01:15:54.568 89.467
27 69 Lee Jennings Molnar Manx / Lee Jennings Racing 01:16:31.159 88.754
28 75 Terence Sansom Honda / Paul & Dawn Matravers 01:16:33.954 88.700
29 68 Paul Williams Honda 01:16:43.866 88.509
30 41 Russell Roebury Honda / Almik Engineering / Demar Uk 01:17:06.382 88.078
31 71 Gary Freeman Honda / Isle of Man Copiers - Mark Corrin 01:17:06.435 88.077
32 66 David Glover Honda / CMJ Crane Services Ltd 01:17:10.927 87.992
33 58 Grant Sellars Norton 01:17:48.397 87.286
34 49 Keith Dixon Seeley / Minnovation Racing 01:17:58.832 87.091
35 70 Justin Roebury Honda / G&C Engineering Limited 01:18:03.202 87.010
36 67 Gary Hutton Honda / Dempster Racing 01:18:32.160 86.475
37 59 Jason Lamb Honda / ML and JL Services 01:19:40.290 85.243
38 53 Roy Phipps Honda / Biketech Stoke Limited / Hamnett 01:21:37.992 83.194