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Classic TT
IOM Classic TT 2017

Michael Rutter beat Lee Johnston in a head to head of former race winners in the Sure Junior Classic TT Race, the third race in the 2017 Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts.

After the race Rutter revealed how pleased he was after a tough week.

“It’s been a hard week so I’m really happy to get the win. You’ve got to have good corner speed with these bikes. I knew things were going well because I was getting the thumbs up around the course. Once I got the lead I just had to treat the bike with respect and not over rev it. Jamie (Coward) helped on the last lap as I was getting a tow and the spectators should have seen some good wheel to wheel stuff.”

Michael Rutter gets off the line on the Ripley Land Racing 350 Honda twin. Stephen Davison
Michael Rutter gets off the line on the Ripley Land Racing 350 Honda twin. Stephen Davison

After a short delay to get marshals in position around the Mountain Course, the race got underway at 12.05pm.

With the race reduced to three laps following yesterday’s postponement, the pre-race debate centred around the impact that pit stops would have on the thirstier multi-cylinder bikes compared with the ability of the twin machines to go without refilling and so it proved with Rutter, having run straight through, narrowly holding off Johnston who pitted at the end of the second lap.

Gloucestershire based Dan Cooper, riding the CSC Racing Honda, was first away followed by fastest qualifier Jamie Coward, riding the 1980 Ted Woof Honda Craven K4 with a twenty second gap to fourth placed starter Michael Rutter on the Ripley Land Racing 1972 Honda K4 Drixton following Michael Dunlop’s withdrawl.

Jamie Coward was first to Glen Helen but Lee Johnson, from a starting place of thirteenth on the grid, jumped to the top of the leader board almost three seconds ahead of Coward with Rutter, the 2015 race winner three seconds behind the race leader in third. Hefyn Owen, riding an Owen Racing Honda and Dean Harrison, Johnston’s Black Eagle Racing teammate, completed the top five.

Lee Johnston (350 MV Agusta/Black Eagle Racing) at the Gooseneck during the Sure Junior Classic TT race. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN
Lee Johnston (350 MV Agusta/Black Eagle Racing) at the Gooseneck during the Sure Junior Classic TT race. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN

Coward was still first on the road to Ramsey but Johnston’s lead has grown to 8 seconds with Michael Rutter holding third a further second back. Dean Harrison moved up to fourth place with Dominic Herbertson, riding a Davies Motorsport Honda, now in fifth.

Michael Rutter moved up into second place ahead of Coward by the Bungalow and at the end of the opening lap Rutter trailed Lee Johnston, the 2014 Junior Classic TT Race winner, by almost fourteen seconds with Coward (101.125mph) who was first through the Grandstand holding third and Harrison (100.953) and Herbertson (100.180) completing the top five.

Michael Rutter at the Gooseneck on his way to winning the Sure Junior Classic TT Race. Photo Dave Kneen
Michael Rutter at the Gooseneck on his way to winning the Sure Junior Classic TT Race. Photo Dave Kneen

Dean Harrison splash and dash fuel stop at the end of the opening lap dropped him a place by Glen Helen with the gap to race leader Johnston, his Black Eagle Racing teammate, growing to fifty-five seconds.

Meanwhile Alan Oversby was enjoying a remarkable ride having stopped just after Quarterbridge to make adjustments. He moved from 20th place at Ballaugh to be sixth by the Grandstand with an opening lap of 98.381.

Coward moved ahead of Rutter by Ballaugh on the second lap but Rutter came back at him to move almost four seconds ahead of Coward on the run in to Ramsey. However Johnston was dominating proceedings and his second lap of 103.421, slowing into the pits gave him a twenty-five second lead over Rutter (102.525) with Coward holding the final podium position after his second lap of 101.966.

Cameron Donald on the McIntosh Racing New Zealand / Mr Pete Bloore Raceparts UK Ltd 350 Manx Norton. Stephen Davison
Cameron Donald on the McIntosh Racing New Zealand / Mr Pete Bloore Raceparts UK Ltd 350 Manx Norton. Stephen Davison

All eyes were on Lee Johnston at the Grandstand as he came into the pits for the critical second lap fuel stop and, with a pit stop of thirty-nine seconds, attention switched to Glen Helen where Rutter was revealed as the new race leader twelve seconds ahead of Johnston. Coward was a second and a half back in third with Herbertson and Harrison fourth and fifth respectively.

Winning 250cc machine in the Junior Classic TT race; Andy Wilson, Bob Jackson Racing. Dave Kneen
Winning 250cc machine in the Junior Classic TT race; Andy Wilson, Bob Jackson Racing. Dave Kneen

Although Johnston had cut Rutter’s lead to six seconds by the Bungalow, Rutter last lap of 104.002 gave him the race win in a time of 1:06.09.267/ 102.660mph by ten seconds from Johnston (1:06:19.519/ 102.395) with Coward third in 1:06:33.428/ 102.039).

Herbertson (1:07.07.356/ 101.170) and Oversby 107.24.368/ 100.753) – who moved infront of Harrison (1:07.28.658/ 100.647) on the last lap to complete the top five. Phil McGurk took the privateers award with an eighth placed finish in 1:08.32.911/ 99.074.

Philip McGurk (350 Honda/Chris Hughes), winning privateer, at Tower Bends during the Sure Junior Classic TT race. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN
Philip McGurk (350 Honda/Chris Hughes), winning privateer, at Tower Bends during the Sure Junior Classic TT race. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN
IOM Classic TT 2017 – Junior Classic TT Results
  1. Michael Rutter Honda / Ripley Land Racing 01:06:09.267 102.660 GP2 Silver
  2. Lee Johnston MV Agusta / Black Eagle Racing 01:06:19.519 102.395 GP2 Silver
  3. Jamie Coward Honda / Ted Woof / Craven Honda K4 01:06:33.428 102.039 GP2 Silver
  4. Dominic Herbertson Honda / Davies Motorsport 01:07:07.356 101.179 GP2 Silver
  5. Alan Oversby Honda / Davies Motorsport 01:07:24.368 100.753 GP2 Silver
  6. Dean Harrison MV Agusta / Black Eagle Racing 01:07:28.658 100.647 GP2 Silver
  7. Chris Swallow AJS / Ripley Land Racing 01:08:25.187 99.261 GP1 Silver
  8. Philip McGurk Honda / Chris Hughes 01:08:32.911 99.074 P2 Silver
  9. Hefyn Owen Honda / Owen Racing 01:08:49.130 98.685 P2 Silver
  10. Jason Markham Honda / British Army Motorsports Associati 01:09:28.925 97.743 P2 Silver
  11. Daniel Cooper Honda / CSC Racing 01:09:31.302 97.687 GP2 Bronze
  12. Cameron Donald Summerfield Manx Norton / McIntosh Racin 01:10:18.905 96.585 GP1 Silver
  13. Steve Ferguson Honda / Greenall Racing / Rock Oil 01:10:44.172 96.010 GP2 Bronze
  14. Bob Owen Aermacchi / Mike Faucett 01:11:06.834 95.500 P2 Silver
  15. Dave Matravers Honda / Round Oak Services Ltd 01:11:12.732 95.368 P2 Silver