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Classic TT: Lougher defies odds to seal 500cc spoils

Ian Lougher overcame a 30-second time penalty to win the Bennetts 500cc Classic TT Race on the Isle of Man from Dan Cooper and Bruce Anstey
Comeback hero Ian Lougher bounced back to recover from a 30-second time penalty to win the Bennetts 500cc race at the Classic TT.

'Lucky' Lougher capitalised as race leaders including John McGuinness, Ryan Farquhar and Michael Rutter all retired from the race due to mechanical issues.

Lougher was hit with the penalty after speeding in pit lane after coming in for his pit stop on the Flitwick Motorcycles Paton, which is the same machine Olie Linsdell rode to victory in the corresponding race last year.

Linsdell did a straight swap with the veteran rider for the race, but suffered a setback when the Royal Enfield developed a crack in the frame, ruling him out of the race.

McGuinness was the early leader by eight seconds on the Winfield Paton on lap one at Glen Helen, but his race was over at Ginger Hall, where the TT star came to an abrupt halt due to a front brake issue.

McGuinness's team-mate Ryan Farquhar was holding third place, less than a second behind Lougher.

Farquhar soon hit the front and established a 2.5 second lead over Lougher by Ramsey with Dan Cooper on the Molnar Manx Norton moving into the top three, 20 seconds behind the race leader.

Both Farquhar and Lougher were the only riders who elected to pit for refuelling at the end of the first lap with Farquhar's 109.826mph average giving him a lead of almost six and a half seconds over Lougher. However, Lougher's 30 second penalty dropped him to eighth at the start of lap two.

Cooper was the new leader following Farquhar's pit stop, less than a second ahead of Rutter on the Seeley G50 Matchless.

By the time they reached Ballaugh, Rutter had moved ahead with Farquhar having made up time after his pit looming less than seven seconds back in third. Norton riders Michael Dunlop (Molnar Manx) and Bruce Anstey (McIntosh Norton) were having a real head to head for fourth place with the pair swapping places over the Mountain Course.

That remained the top three at the end of the second lap with Rutter's 109.102mph, the fastest single cylinder Mountain Course lap, giving him a lead of almost eight seconds from Farquhar (106.397mph) who held a 1.6 second lead over Cooper with Dunlop holding fourth, two seconds in front of Anstey.

However, it was all change again on a sensational lap three with Farquhar stopping at Sulby Crossroads and Rutter retiring on the Mountain Mile, which meant that at the end of the third lap, Dan Cooper was 13 seconds ahead of Lougher, who had moved back through the field with a third lap of 110.550mph to keep a Paton on the podium.

Kiwi Anstey edged ahead of Dunlop into third by the grandstand but Dunlop came into the pits at the end of the third and retired.

Lougher was on a charge on the fourth lap and by Glen Helen had cut Cooper's lead to only two seconds. The 10-times TT winner moved into the lead at the next checkpoint at Ballaugh Bridge with a lead of nine seconds and brought the bike home with a final lap of 111.523mph, which gave him victory by 34 seconds from Cooper with Bruce Anstey taking the final podium place.

Cheshire's Connor Behan, riding a '61 Norton, finished fourth with Maria Costello on the Peter Beugger Paton completing the top five.

Nine times TT winner Charlie Williams, in his first competitive race on the Mountain Course since 1984, finished a credible ninth with the added bonus of a 100mph lap on the second lap of the race, his first of the week.

Veteran competitor Dave Madsen-Mygdal, riding a Team Gimbert Honda, was the first privateer to finish in seventh.

William Dunlop was also among the retirements on the Davies Motorsport Honda on lap one at Ballacraine with Roy Richardson and Alan Oversby also experiencing problems.

Andrew Ryder came off at Joey's on the Mountain section and was airlifted to Nobles Hospital but it was reported that his injuries weren't serious.

The four-lap race was delayed by an hour and a half until 2pm due to wet roads.



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