Michael Dunlop had no luck in the RST Classic Superbike race at the Manx Grand Prix, which was won for the first time by Wigan’s Rob Hodson yesterday.
unlop, fastest in practice on Team Classic Suzuki, was third at the end of the opening lap, just 1.7s behind race leader Craig Neve (Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki) and 0.6s behind Hodson.
However, the Ballymoney driver began to slip down the order on lap two and retired to the stands.
Lincolnshire’s Neve was overhauled on the second lap by Hodson and denied the chance of victory due to engine trouble.
Neve was just 4.5s behind Hodson at the end of the penultimate lap but his race ended prematurely at Greeba Bridge on the final lap.
Australian David Johnson – the 2019 winner – moved up to second, 18 seconds behind the leader at Glen Helen on the fourth and final lap.
However, Manxman Nathan Harrison was on a charge on the Greenall Racing Kawasaki. The Onchan man set the fastest lap of the race at 126.326mph to reel in Johnson, clinching second place for a dream one-two for the Greenall team.
Hodson closed out the win by 15.341s from Harrison, who pipped Johnson for second by just 0.6s.
Delighted race winner Hodson said: “It was mint. I had grown in confidence as the week went on and I thought I could do it.
“I pushed as hard as I could and when I saw ‘plus 20’ on my board I knew I should slow down a bit, but I wasn’t sure how much.
“The out pit stop was great so thanks to my dad and uncle for the great job they did and also to the Greenall team for their support this week.
“It’s brilliant to have a one-two for the team and we’ll have a few beers tonight.”
Runner-up Harrison dug deep on the final lap to take the second position. The young prospect explained that he took some time to get into his rhythm at the start of the race.
“It took me too long to get going,” he reflected.
“Craig Neve got past me and I don’t like to follow anyone, but once I was on my own I was able to get into a rhythm and on the last lap I was just going for second place, so I can’t really complain.
“I did 128mph on my Superbike at the TT so 126mph on the ZXR750 isn’t bad.”
Ryan Kneen (Herheim Racing Kawasaki), Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing Suzuki) and Michael Sweeney (Mistral Kawasaki) completed the top six.
Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston finished seventh on the Ashcourt Racing Honda RC45, lapping at over 122mph.
Paul Jordan (Mistral Kawasaki), Brian McCormack (Greenall Kawasaki) and Dominic Herbertson were among the retirees.
Earlier, Liverpool’s Stephen Smith lived up to his practice week form to win the Senior Manx Grand Prix by 38 seconds on the Alasdair Cowan Kawasaki 600cc.
Leicestershire’s Daniel Ingham finished second on his Yamaha R6 after holding on by just 0.068s from Manx rider Jamie Williams (NCE Racing Honda). Ballymena’s Dennis Booth finished 15th.
Meanwhile, Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) finished ninth and eighth in yesterday’s British Superbike races at Cadwell Park.
Danny Buchan took a double for the SYNETIQ BWW team, beating OMG Yamaha’s Bradley Ray twice. Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW) finished sixth and seventh.
Jack Kennedy won the British Supersport race on Mar-Train Racing Yamaha for his 11th win of the season, while Sam Laffins secured second in the National Junior Superstock race.