NATHAN Harrison overcame a pit lane speeding penalty to beat Stephen Smith in today’s Mylchreest Junior Manx Grand Prix thriller.
The Chris Preston/Quayside Tyres rider was hit with a 30sec penalty for speeding at his fuel stop, but clawed back all of his time to snatch victory after a race-long battle.
Practice week front-runner Hind was the fastest rider to Glen Helen as action got underway after weather delays for the shortened three-lap scrap, leading Harrison by 2.5sec with Andy Farrell less than three seconds further back in third.
But by the time Hind hit Ballaugh on the Bass Tyre Services machine, he’d already pulled out another five seconds over Manxman Harrison before stretching it to almost 10sec as they broke the beam at Ramsey, while Stephen Parsons nudged Farrell back a place before Stephen Smith got the better of the Irishman for fourth.
Farrell took fourth back on the run over the Mountain, but at the front it was a new record for Hind who shattered both the standing start and flying Junior MGP record with a 121.773, obliterating Michael Evans’ old mark of 120.691mph as he flew past the grandstand with more than 11sec to spare over Harrison.
But it was disaster just a few miles later for Hind as he retired at Greeba Bridge, leaving Harrison in the lead as Slipps Racing’s Smith and JFR Racing/Steadplan Primus man Farrell to inherit second and third.
Smith was catching Harrison as he chopped a second off his deficit on the run to Ballaugh and brought it down a further second to 6.6sec as the leading duo rounded Ramsey Hairpin.
But Harrison’s bid for a home victory looked to be over after he was hit with a 30sec speeding penalty after clocking the quickest pit stop of the top five, leaving Smith in the lead.
The Onchan rider rocketed to Glen Helen, however, and was just under five seconds adrift of the lead after the first sector with Farrell just 1.4sec back in third.
As Farrell dropped a further second back, Smith held his lead of 4.7sec on Harrison but by the time they arrived at Ramsey for the final time, Harrison had pulled back another two seconds and as he crossed the Bungalow, the local ace led by a mere 0.3sec.
The Isle of Man’s own powered down the mountain and stormed to victory by over three seconds as Smith snatched third, with Farrell nearly five seconds back in third.
Parsons brought the People’s Bike entry home fourth ahead of Andrew Fisher with Stagefreight Haulage man Ste Procter and VRS Racing’s Brad Vicars took sixth and seventh.
Bemar Racing’s Francesco Curinga, AGR Motorsport rider David McConnachy and Arnie Shelton rounded out the top 10.
Retirements included Nigel Rea, James Hind, Damian Horan.
Mylchreests Junior Manx Grand Prix results (provisional)
- Nathan Harrison – Honda/Chris Preston / Quayside Tyres
- Stephen Smith – Suzuki/Slipps Racing
- Andrew Farrell – Kawasaki/JFR Racing/Steadplan
*Images: Ellan Vannin Images