When qualifying was complete for the 2015 Classic TT 500cc race at the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course, the top time went to 23-time TT winner John McGuinness on the Team Winfield Paton. Following close behind were two other Paton pilots – Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher.McGuinness, the reigning champion of the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT, was the favorite, but he was forced to retire on the opening lap of four with mechanical problems. The “Morecambe Missile” led at Glen Helen on the 37.73-mile circuit, but was in fifth at Ballaugh before retiring at Ramsey. Farquhar also retired soon after.
This left one MV Agusta to take a dominate lead – the Black Eage Racing MV Agusta piloted by Yorkshire’s Dean Harrison. He eventually took the win by 26 seconds ahead of Lougher on the Giovanna Cabassi Flitwick Motorcycles Paton. Earning the final podium was Harrison’s teammate Lee Johnston.Lougher’s performance was beyond impressive. Just like in the 2014 Classic TT 500cc race, the Welshman received a 30-second penalty for refueling at the end of the first lap. This dropped him back to eighth, but he was able to charge to the front to finish second.Following are official highlights from the 2015 Classic TT 500cc Race Results:McGuinness and Farquhar were the first two to Glen Helen on the opening lap with Dean Harrison splitting the Patons with Lougher in fourth. However it was clear that the Team Winfield pair were both experiencing problems. McGuinness had dropped to fifth by Ballaugh and retired at Parliament Square where he was joined by Farquhar leaving Dean Harrison in front at Ramsey from Lougher with Lee Johnston third and Michael Dunlop and Dan Cooper completing the top five.Harrison’s opening lap of 110.463 gave him a 15-second lead from Lougher at the end of the opening lap and with Lougher’s pit stop and penalty the lead was extended to well over a minute from the Welshman by Glen Helen on the second lap. Harrison’s teammate Lee Johnston was his closest challenger and at the end of the second lap he was18 seconds behind with Michael Dunlop in third. Lougher had moved up to fourth with Danny Webb completing the top five.The pre-race debate centred around refueling with the single cylinders of the likes of Michael Dunlop and Danny Webb on the 1962 Molnar Manx Nortons, running straight through while the twins, triples and fours were obliged to pit on the 151 mile race but the MV’s and Lougher’s Paton proved too strong on the road and the pit stop didn’t dramatically influence the race, apart from Lougher’s penalty.All eyes were at the first timing point at Glen Helen on the third lap, after Harrison and Johnston came into the pits and while Harrison remained in front albeit only three seconds ahead of Dunlop, Johnston had dropped to third, fourteen seconds behind Dunlop with Lougher now only four seconds behind Johnston and Danny Webb completing the top five.Lougher moved up into second place at the end of the third lap but Harrison’s lead was up to 25 seconds and the Yorkshireman duly brought the MV home for a dominant win in 108.855 (01:23.11.161) from Lougher who recorded 108.273 (1:23.37.965) with Lee Johnston taking the final podium place with107.972 (01:23.51.978). Michael Dunlop was reported as retired at the Mountain Box on the last lap leaving Jamie Coward on the Craven Honda to take fourth place. Chris Swallow, riding D.G Kenah Norton completed the top five with Dave Madsen Mygdal, who finished seventh, having the honour of being the first privateer home.South African Johannes Van de Pol came off at Tower Bends and was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital where he was reported to have leg fractures.2015 Classic TT 500cc Race Results:1. Dean Harrison, MV Agusta (12) 2. Ian Lougher, Paton (11) 3. Lee Johnson, MV Agusta (13) 4. Jamie Coward, Honda (17) 5. Chris Swallow, Norton (18) 6. Keith Amor, Norton (14)Photos by Wayne Freestone
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.