MATT Stevenson overcame a pit lane penalty to beat Stephen Parsons in a race-long battle this afternoon and become the 2018 Manx Grand Prix Senior winner.
The Langver Yamaha rider overcame a 10s penalty for fuelling infringements and powered past Parsons in the closing minutes of the four-lap scrap to take victory in just his second year at the event.
Early Junior race leader Stevenson stormed into the lead at Glen Helen, pipping Parsons, Dean Osborne and Junior winner James Chawke as the top four were covered by less than 1.4s with the first 750 of Brendan Fargher just over a second further back in fifth.
But Chawke grabbed the top spot on the way to Ballaugh before Parsons took over at Ramsey as Stevenson moved back up to second, nudging Carl Roberts Racing’s Chawke back to third.
And while Stevenson cut Parsons’ lead to just 0.163s at the Bungalow, he had taken over the lead by Cronk-ny-Mona by 0.7s, passing the Grandstand with a 119.881mph lap to lead Parsons by just over half a second.
The lead changed hands again, however, as Parsons pipped Stevenson at Glen Helen by just 0.24s while they stretched a gap of over eight seconds ahead of their nearest challenger, Slick Performance Kawasaki man Osborne.
While Chawke clawed back time to take over third ahead of Osborne, Stevenson took back the lead – albeit only by half a second – as the pack began the second of four trips over Snaefell.
Parsons dropped two seconds by the time he hit the Bungalow and another second at the Cronk, and although Stevenson joined the Tommy Club at 120.264mph, it was all drama in the pits.
Both Stevenson and Dave Quine were slapped with 10s pit infringement penalties for running their engines whilst being refuelled, which allowed Parsons to slip into the lead on lap three and by the time the top two began their final lap, Stevenson was down by 7.743s.
But the Yorkshireman cut Parsons’ advantage to five seconds at Glen Helen, and made it just 2.9s at Ballaugh, on course to catch the Cumbrian over the mountain with just 1.187s to make up at Ramsey.
Stevenson grabbed a three second lead at the Bungalow and nearly hit the 121mph mark as he took the chequered flag with a 120.974 to bag the blue riband Senior win five seconds clear of Peoples Bike rider Parsons, with Steven Procter snatching third ahead of impressive newcomer Mike Browne in fourth.
Retirements included Brendan Fargher, Damian Horan, Brad Vicars, Adrian Hartog, Callum Ward, Steve Moody, Jordan McFerran, Stuart Hall, David Buster, Christian Slater, David McConnachy, Daniel Ingham.
Senior Manx Grand Prix results (provisional)
- Matt Stevenson
- Stephen Parsons
- Steven Procter
- Mike Browne
- Andy Farrell
*Main image: Ellan Vannin Images