Three of the favourites for the 500cc Classic went out on the first lap – red-hot banker Chris Palmer (Norton) at Ramsey, New Yorker Dave Roper at Ballaugh and Roy Richardson at the Pits –all with mechanical trouble.
Palmer had been leading narrowly, but had to watch glumly as Steve Linsdell (Paton) roared by into the top spot. Alan Oversby had been running third and was promoted to second at Palmer’s expense, only to retire himself half way round the second lap.
TT regular Linsdell lapped the fabulous Italian twin cylinder machine at 104.523mph, with an advantage of 31 seconds on Oversby, who averaged 102.072mph before retiring for the third year in succession. Velocette exponent Grahame Rhodes (Seeley Matchless) moved from third to second and into the top three came John Goodall (Matchless) the winner of the first ever Senior Classic back in 1983. Locals Allan Brew (Seeley Matchless) and Dave Madsen-Mygdal (Honda) were next, with veteran Wattie Brown (Norton) inheriting sixth spot.
Most of the Classic machines were able to do the full four laps without refuelling, but Linsdell didn’t make it in any case, retiring at the 33rd Milestone. That gave the lead to Rhodes, averaging 101.767mph, followed at 11 seconds on corrected time by Madsen-Mygdal and Goodall, separated by three seconds and both obviously responding to signals that the leader was out of the race. Fourth was Brown (Norton), fifth Andy Russell (Seeley Matchless) and sixth Brew.
With one lap to go, Rhodes was riding in company with Madsen-Mygdal, and enjoying precisely the lead of ten seconds which separated them as they set off. Third was Goodall, but the fourth placeman Russell retired at the Pits with a split fuel tank. Brown therefore reinherited fourth place, with Graham Taubman (Norton) moving up to fifth and Dave Hughes (Norton) sixth, 33 years after he won the Senior MGP!
Over the Mountain they raced, with Rhodes content that sitting just behind Madsen-Mygdal would give him the win by eight or nine seconds. Goodall was satisfied with third, but Taubman fought up to fourth at Brown’s expense. Hughes held on to sxth, but Pat Sefton on the Gilera was going great guns despite an unscheduled pit stop to check a slight oil leak.
Rhodes won by 9.7 seconds, with Madsen-Mygdal just “winning” the sprint on the road and second in the race. Goodall finished first on the road and third overall, with Taubman, Brown and Hughes the second three.