JAMES Chawke snatched victory in today’s Mylchreests Manx Grand Prix Junior race after early leader Matt Stevenson crashed out.
Stevenson had been on target to clock a record-breaking flying lap, but went down at the Creg just before the half-way point, leaving Chawke to hold off Dean Osborne and bag the win.
Tritan Yamaha man Stevenson shot straight to the front of the pack as the leaders hit Glen Helen for the first of four laps with a two second lead over M&D Racing’s Darryl Tweed, with Geordie Wayne Humble trailing by just over 1.5s.
By the time they passed Ballaugh, however, Humble had dropped to sixth as Manxman Osborne slotted into third, just under a second adrift of Tweed with Merlin Sidecars’ Brad Vicars hot on his tail. And Vicars wasn’t long out of the picture before he jumped ahead of Tweed to take over second as they began the mountain climb.
But last year’s Newcomer A champ dropped back down when the pack passed the Bungalow and while Stevenson continued to pull away at the front, with over nine seconds to spare, Irishman Chawke pipped Osborne for second while Vicars, Humble and Tweed were scrapping it out for fourth just a few tenths behind.
Stevenson clocked a 119.807mph first lap while continuing to stretch a lead over Chawke and Osborne, with an 18.6s advantage at Ramsey on lap two while Dave Butler, who was having transponder troubles, slotted into third just seven seconds down on Chawke.
But disaster struck for Tritan Yamaha’s Stevenson, who looked on track to break Michael Evans’ 2017 Junior lap record of 120.619mph, when he crashed at Creg-ny-Baa, throwing away any hopes of victory and handing Chawke the lead.
The Carl Roberts Racing Kawasaki rider pulled over 15s on Osborne at Ramsey, but Osborne had reeled it back to 12.5s at the Grandstand as Tweed sat five seconds further adrift at the start of the final lap. Tweed, however, ran out of fuel at Quarry Bends, leaving third to Stephen Parsons ahead of Vicars.
Despite Osborne’s 11th hour charge which brought his deficit down to less than five seconds, he couldn’t grab the lead and Chawke took the win 4.4s ahead of the Douglas man, with Parsons bagging the final rostrum spot.
Retirements included Erik Kjuus, Steven Procter, Nicolas Pautet, David McConnachy, Rodger Wibberley and Noel Carroll.
Mylchreests MGP Junior results (provisional)
- James Chawke
- Dean Osborne
- Stephen Parsons
- Brad Vicars
- Wayne Humble
*Images: Ellan Vannin Images