Manx GP: Senior glory hands Evans rare double

Michael Evans flies through St Ninian's in the Senior Manx Grand Prix.
Michael Evans flies through St Ninian's in the Senior Manx Grand Prix.

Manxman Michael Evans became only the third rider ever to clinch the Junior and Senior Manx Grand Prix double with a record-breaking performance in the blue riband race on Friday.

Evans set a new lap record of 122.866mph as he notched the coveted brace – a feat last achieved by Ireland’s Andrew Brady in 2011.

Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed impressed once more as he finished as the leading newcomer on his Triumph in eighth place. Tweed claimed the runner-up spot in the Newcomers A race earlier in the week.

Evans, riding the Martin Bullock Motorsport Suzuki 750, shattered the lap record from a standing start with a speed of 122.657mph before raising the bar on his second lap, setting a new Senior Manx GP record at almost 123mph as he took control of the four-lap headline race.

The 24-year-old, who also set a new race record in 1h 15m 06s (120.557mph), said he was largely oblivious to his searing opening speed.

“I wasn’t feeling great on the first lap and the bike was moving around but obviously it’s the quickest I’ve been. Barry [Lee Evans] was pushing me on the opening lap and I kept seeing the time coming down on the boards so I just wanted to get my head down and get through the first lap.

“I saw a board with 78 seconds and thought it was 7.8 so I kept pushing. The fuel light was flashing so I was really nervous,” he added.

“Thanks to everyone around the course – I wanted to wave but I didn’t get the chance.”

Evans won the race – delayed by two hours until 12:15pm due to mist and low cloud on the Mountain – by more than a minute from Welshman Barry Lee Evans on the PRF Suzuki 750, who lost time in the pits during an unscheduled stop at the end of lap three with a loose chain.

Manx rider Dean Osborne filled the rostrum places, 11 seconds behind Lee Evans. Osborne was the first 600 rider home, with Skerries man David Lumsden in an excellent fourth on his 600cc Honda after lapping in excess of 120mph.

Jamie Williams from the Isle of Man and Scarborough’s Nick Anderson completed the top six.