2022 Manx GP: Classic Senior win for Johnston

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Picture: David Watts

Lee Johnston claimed an eight-second victory over Italian Stefano Bonetti in the three-lap Classic Senior Manx Grand Prix, the Davies Motorsport Yamaha rider also setting the fastest lap of the race at 111.029mph

Bonetti (Peter Beugger Racing Paton) grabbed the early advantage through Glen Helen on the opening lap, the Italian leading Johnston and Dominic Herbertson by 2.8s on the two Davies Motorsport Yamaha’s. Mike Browne (Peter Grantham Lodge Norton) slotted into fourth ahead of Rob Hodson (Ruthless Racing Hodson) and James Hillier (CSC Racing Yamaha).

By Ramsey, Bonetti’s lead had increased to 3.7s and an opening lap of 109.211mph saw him maintain his lead but Johnston had charged over the Mountain and was now only 1.16s behind the Italian. Herbertson had dropped to third, 2.7s adrift of Johnston but ten seconds clear of Hillier with Browne and Jamie Coward in fifth and sixth.

The gap between the leaders at Glen Helen second time around was just 0.9s with Herbertson dropping 6.5s behind Johnston and the latter was certainly charging as he cut Bonetti’s advantage to 0.3s at Ballaugh. Hillier was also charging and was now only 3.7s off a podium position.

Indeed, the gaps were tightening up with less than 12 seconds covering the first four riders at Ramsey but it was now Johnston in the lead, the Northern Irishman turning his deficit into a one second advantage as he started his run over the Mountain for the second time.

With a speed of 110.342mph Johnston’s lead extended to 7.2s as he started his third and final lap but whilst second to fourth behind him remained the same, Hillier was losing time and was now falling into the clutches of Browne. Indeed, the gap was just 1.87s at the Grandstand with the Irish rider lapping at 109.034mph second time around.

Bonetti cut Johnston’s lead to 4.3s as they took the left hander at Glen Helen for the final time and, further back, Hillier’s problems saw him drop to sixth with Browne and Coward now slotting into fourth and fifth respectively.

By Ballaugh, Johnston’s lead was down to 3.3s but Herbertson stopped and retired at the same spot which meant Lightweight race winner Browne was now up to third. Johnston responded to Bonetti’s charge though and with a final lap of 111.029mph, he took victory by 8.24s from Bonetti.

Browne completed his fine day with a lap of 110.312mph for his second podium finish in the space of a few hours, third place no mean feat given his lack of practice on the bike, with Coward, Alan Oversby and Michael Sweeney completing the top six.

Michael Russell, Hefyn Owen and Will Loder occupied seventh to ninth and it was Hillier who rounded out the top ten after pushing in from Governor’s Bridge.

2022 Bremont Classic Senior race result - conditions dry

1 3 Lee Johnston Yamaha TX-500 Davies Motorsport / Haith 01:01:39.208 110.154 Silver
2 10 Stefano Bonetti Paton A1-B22 Peter Beugger Racing 01:01:47.453 109.909 Silver
3 14 Mike Browne Norton ES2 Peter Grantham Lodge 01:02:21.844 108.899 Silver
4 5 Jamie Coward Norton 500Manx Ted Woof / Craven Manx Norton 01:02:42.947 108.289 Silver
5 11 Alan Oversby Honda CB500 Martin Ireland 01:05:23.981 103.845 Bronze
6 9 Michael Sweeney Honda CB500 CSC / IMS Racing 01:06:07.469 102.706 Bronze
7 20 Michael Russell Norton 500Manx Izzard Racing 01:06:43.738 101.776 Bronze
8 28 Hefyn Owen Seeley G50 Owen Racing 01:07:07.721 101.170 Bronze
9 33 Will Loder Seeley G50 MRE 01:07:44.571 100.253 Bronze
10 2 James Hillier Yamaha 500 CSC Racing 01:08:23.296 99.307 Finisher
11 26 John Leigh Pemberton Norton 500Manx Torry Hill Chestnut Fencing 01:08:40.766 98.885 Finisher
12 18 Nathan Harrison Honda CB350 Quayside Tyre & Service Centre 01:09:20.540 97.940 Finisher
13 29 David Madsen-Mygdal Honda CB450 Gimbert Racing 01:09:46.539 97.332 Finisher
14 55 Andy Hornby* Honda CB500 HEL Performance /Opie Oils D & M 01:10:02.729 96.957 Finisher
15 34 Richard Parker Honda CB350 John Chapman Racing 01:12:24.050 93.803 Finisher
16 37 Colin Stockdale Honda T-Bike CB500 John Reed 01:13:02.169 92.987 Finisher

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