LOCAL hero Nathan Harrison made it a Manxman’s double this afternoon as he beat Stephen Parsons to victory in the blue riband Senior Manx Grand Prix.
Following up his underdog Junior MGP win yesterday, the Onchan rider powered to his second win of the week by a commanding 17sec on the Chris Preston/DTHC.co.uk Honda as The People’s Bike man Parsons made a repeat of last year’s performance to come home in second.
One of the pre-race favourites, James Hind grabbed the early lead on the run top Glen Helen, but Parsons was only 0.464sec behind with Harrison just 1.4sec further back in third.
But it was heartbreak moments later for Hind as he dropped 43sec on the way to Ballaugh before retiring at Ballaugh Bridge with a suspected bike issue, falling way down the order as Parsons inherited the lead with Harrison and Brad Vicars moving into the top three.
Parsons rounded Ramsey Hairpin with 2.4sec to spare over Harrison and by the time they hit the Bungalow, last year’s runner-up had pulled out another second on the Manxman.
As the Cumbrian crossed the line with more than three seconds over Harrison and a 121.120mph lap to boot, Junior runner-up Stephen Smith was forced to pull into the pits for an early retirement.
Back out at Glen Helen, Parsons continued stretching his gap over Harrison as Vicars held third ahead of 750-mounted Ingham, but Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed shook up the podium fight on lap two as he slotted into third, just 0.261sec ahead of VRS Racing’s Vicars.
But at the front it was still Parsons in control by almost seven seconds at Ballaugh and almost eight at Ramsey as they began the mountain climb. Harrison pulled back 0.7sec en route to the Bungalow and by the time he hit the Cronk, he’d reclaimed another two seconds.
Harrison trailed by 5.8sec as the leaders hit gasoline alley, but the Manxman’s pit stop was 5.8sec quicker than Parsons’ and after they raced to Glen Helen on lap three, Parsons led by a mere 0.059sec. Meanwhile in the battle behind, Vicars’ quicker pit stop put him comfortably into third some eight seconds clear of Tweed.
But in the battle for first place, it was all change as Harrison pulled back a second on the run to Ramsey to snatch the race lead by 0.425sec after trailing by over half a second at Ballaugh before finding another 2.7sec on the climb up to the Bungalow.
Harrison put the hammer down to pull out another three seconds and as he began his final lap, the local ace had more than six seconds to hand over Parsons.
As the front-runners began to hit lapped traffic, Harrison kept extending his lead and made it almost 11sec as he and Parsons rounded Ramsey Hairpin and with a strong run over the mountain, the Honda rider led by 17sec.
With over 17sec to hand and a 122.094mph final lap,, Harrison dominated to take his second win of the week as Parsons had to settle for second. And back in third, Yorkshireman Vicars stormed clear of Tweed to bag his second career MGP podium.
Retirements included Hind, Stephen Smith, Nigel Rea, Richard Stubbs, Adrian Hartog, Michael Rees, Andrew McAllister, Colin Croft, Lloyd Collins, Nick Southerwood.
*Images: Ellan Vannin Images