Manx GP: Dunlop Shatters Lap Record

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Isle of Man

Post Classic records tumbled on the opening day of the 2010 Manx Grand Prix sponsored by, with both Michael Dunlop in the Senior Post Classic and Chris Palmer in the Junior Post Classic races posting lap and race records.

Perfect conditions all around the course were reported as a packed grandstand settled down for the first day’s racing on the Isle of Man.

Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman revised the start order following the speeds posted by the Post Classic Senior machines with the Post Classics Senior class following the Newcomers A away with Newcomers B slotting behind and Post Classic Junior at the end of the pack.

First away in the Post Classics were Olie Linsdell on the Yamaha FZ 746 and Mark Buckley riding the Suzuki XR69. However, it was Michael Dunlop, who set a series of blistering times in qualifying riding 1981 Suzuki XR69 997cc who established an early lead to Glen Helen with a time of 118.485 from Olie Linsdell and Mark Buckley.

Dunlop extended his lead at Ballaugh (124.607) from Linsdell to 4 seconds with Buckley a further 10 seconds back on Linsdell. Linsdell was the quickest through the Sulby Speed trap on the first lap with 164.1 to Dunlop’s 149.1.

Linsdell was first through the Grandstand with 117.271 on the opening lap with a new lap record, but Michael Dunlop improved it to 117.979 shortly after and led by 6.75 seconds with Scotsman Mark Buckley third with 114.575. Dunlop extended his lead to just over 9 seconds from Linsdell by Glen Helen with Mark Buckley a further 46 seconds behind Linsdell, making up the Top 3.

However, Olie Linsdell came off at Bishop’s Court in what was described by race organisers as a serious incident and was taken by Air Med to Nobles Hospital. No further details were available.

On the second lap Dunlop recorded 118.186 to extend his lead to 1 minute 24 seconds over the second placed rider Mark Buckley with Maria Costello moving up into third. Dunlop had a lead of over a minute and a half through Glen Helen from Mark Buckley and completed his third lap in 110.586, a time that included the pit stop at the end of the second lap. At the end of the third lap his lead was almost 2 minutes from Mark Buckley with Maria Costello holding third place.

Michael Dunlop completed the expected victory with a final lap of 117.355 for an overall race record of 1:18.06.23 with Buckley second (1:20.36.81).

However, a costly final lap for Maria Costello of 22:46.13 (99.425) depriving her of her second MGP podium, which would have been only the third occasion a woman has finished in the top three following Costello’s 2005 third place in the Ultra Lightweight and Carolynn Sells victory in last year’s 400cc Ultra Lightweight race. Geoff Martin eventually took the final podium spot from Chris McGahan on the Miles Trident with Maria in fifth place.

Michael Dunlop says: “I could have gone faster but I held back to make sure that a few more boys could claim their replicas. I’m just so pleased for all the team who have worked so hard on the bike. I felt the bike could have done 121 or 122mph as the bike was faultless – all the team put a lot of hard work in..”

In the Post Classic Junior race Chris Palmer, on the 1962 AJS 7R 350cc, dominated the race and led from start to finish. He posted an opening lap record of 111.729, giving him a 38 second lead from Brian Mateer (108.268mph) on a Yamaha TZB 249 with Stuart Garton in third place with Barry Davidson fourth and Ewan Hamilton in fifth. The top five in the Junior Post Classic race all broke the lap record on the opening lap.

Palmer extended his lead on the second lap with 109.996 from Mateer with Barry Davidson in third after Garton dropped out before Glen Helen on the second lap. Palmer’s third lap (105.143) gave him a lead of almost 2 minutes from Mateer with Davidson holding third and Palmer eventually came home with an impressive final lap of 109.312 for a win by over 3 minutes from Phil McGurk with Barry Davidson taking the final podium slot.

Chris Palmer says: “Traffic wasn’t as bad as I expected but there was definitely a bit of congestion in places. I didn’t want to do anything silly on the last lap so I just rolled it off and came home. The conditions were great on the track and as I’ve been on the Isle of Man for 10 years I now consider myself Manx so it was nice to hear the anthem.”