Josh Brookes sealed his first victory around the Mountain Course in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT on Saturday on the Isle of Man.

Brookes beat Jamie Coward (Ted Woof Norton) and Northern Ireland’s William Dunlop (Davies Motorsport Honda) in the opening race of the Festival of Motorcycling.

“My first board wasn’t updated and the second board had me at ‘P +0 so I gave it everything I’d got and risked blowing the engine,” Brookes said.

“It was nice to be able to fill in for John [McGuinness] which is a great honour but also to win the race for the team.”

Ian Lougher, who led the field away on John Chapman’s MV Agusta, retired at Greeba, while 2015 winner Dean Harrison was forced out on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta at Ballagarey.

Michael Rutter slid off the Ripley Land Matchless on the first lap at Ballacraine. Ulsterman Michael Dunlop retired in the pits on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta at the end of lap one.

Brookes, who was fastest in practice, led from the off and established a lead of 33.2 seconds over Coward at the end of the first lap with a standing start speed of 111.295mph. Maria Costello slotted into third on the Beugger Racing Paton ahead of William Dunlop.

British Superbike contender Brookes continued to extend his lead and was now 38.6 seconds clear of Coward at the end of lap two after a lap of 110.539mph.

Costello made her pit stop at the end of the second lap, with Dunlop going straight through to move into third place on the 500 Honda.

Brookes opted to make his pit stop at the end of lap three and as a result, his lead at Glen Helen on the final lap was down to 0.252s over Coward, who was able to complete the four lap distance without a fuel stop on the Norton.

However, Brookes quickly began to open a cushion again and he had 34 seconds in hand over Coward at the finish, with Dunlop – who also made his pit stop at the end of lap three – taking the final rostrum place by 12 seconds from Costello. Coward lapped at an impressive 110.054mph to set the fastest ever lap by a single cylinder machine on his second lap.

Dominic Herbertson (Davies Motorsport Honda) was fifth, 37.3 seconds behind Costello, with Bill Swallow (Gleeve Racing Paton) completing the top six. Michael Russell (Izzard Racing Norton) was the leading privateer rider in seventh place.

 

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