Pre-TT Classic kicks off race fortnight

By John Watterson   |   Sports Editor   |
Sunday 29th May 2022 9:43 am
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The Pre-TT Classic officially got the TT festival underway on Saturday evening with the Singles race on the Billown Course. It was won by Mike Hose (No4) (Photo: John Watterson) ()

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The two-week long TT Festival officially fired into life on Friday and Saturday with the opening stages of the Classic race meeting at Billown in the south of the island.

Practising took place on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, followed by one final session and three races the same evening.

All took place in near-perfect conditions.

Mike Hose of Moreton, Wirral racked up his 19th win since 1993 when he cakewalked the six-lap Singles race on a 350 Bultaco.

Leading all of the way, his winning margin was very nearly 50 seconds over Huddersfield veteran Bill Swallow on the Seeley AJS, with David Tetley of Selby (Norton) another 30s adrift.

Newcomer Andy Hunt of Ely in Cambridgeshire won the 250cc class on a Ducati Monza, finishing an excellent fourth overall.

Victory in the 1100cc race went to Dominic Herbertson of Hexham on the Davies Motorsport Yamaha TX500. He shot into an early lead of 9.5 seconds after two laps of the 4.25 mile course, but the margin dropped significantly in the latter stages as he struggled with an oil leak.

He held on to finish 2.9s clear of Alan Oversby’s Honda-4, who had a race-long dice with Jamie Coward on the Craven Manx Norton.

Rod Bellas of York won a fiercely contested sidecar race at the end of the evening with new passenger Glenn Dawson. They rode a 1200cc Imp-powered machine.

But they had to overcome a spirited effort from Bellas’s former sidekick Danny Quirk of Leyland on a 1272cc Vincent-engined outfit built by the race winner.

The winning margin was comfortable enough, but Quirk and Weston were pushed all the way to the line by Tony Thirkell and Trevor Johnson on a 1070cc BMW. Indeed there had been a thrilling three-way dice.

Newcomers Marvin Vermeulin and Jouk Hahn of the Netherlands were an excellent fourth in a field of 14 finishers.

The Blackford Financial Services-supported Pre-TT Classic meeting concludes on Bank Holiday Monday with four races in the morning (roads closed between 9am and 12.10pm); and three in the afternoon (1pm to 3.40pm).

Full reports in the Isle of Man Examiner (on sale Tuesday) and Manx Independent (Thursday).

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