Blackpool’s Roy Richardson steamed away at the start of the 350cc Classic, taking out an amazing second-a-mile on the rest of the field on the first lap. But his Martin Bullock Honda gave up the struggle half way round the second lap, handing the lead to last year’s winner Chris McGahan on the Hales version of the Tokyo twin.
Alan Oversby, on the Hales’ sister bike, lay third, but didn’t move to second when Richardson went out. Tony Cawte overhauled him on John Turner’s Honda.
First lap leader of the Lightweight was Ewan Hamilton, nine seconds clear of practice leader Jonathon Cutts, with local ace Norman Kneen third a further 15 seconds back – all three aboard 250 T20 Suzukis. Former winner Bud Jackson retired at Ramsey Hairpin on lap one, with the 250s also having to contend with the back end of the 350 field as they forced on.
McGahan at No. 1 and Cawte at 34 made for quite a spread on the road, but in between was a gaggle of talent including Bob Price, John Goodall and Dave Madsen-Mygdal. With no refuelling required it was a lead of 30 seconds as they rocketed into the second half of the race. Up to third came Tim Johnson on an Aermacchi, 18 seconds down. Oversby, Madsen-Mygdal and John Goodall were the second three But notable retirements included Wattie Brown, Richard Britton, Mark Parrett and John Barton.
Ewan Hamilton continued to lead the Lightweight, with around a minute’s advantage over Kneen as they pulled in to refuel at the half-way point. Cutts had retired, moving Peter Wakefield up to a rostrum spot, a further minute in arrears but 18 seconds clear of David Smith.
McGahan had it under control as the third lap progressed. He led by 53 seconds from Cawte at the Grandstand, with a lap to go. Johnson stayed third, with the rest of the top placings still in the same order as before.
McGahan duly reeled off the last lap to repeat his 2004 win. But second was in dispute as Johnson pressurised Cawte. It was down to seven seconds, but in the very closing stages Johnson and Oversby retired, making it third for Madsen-Mygdal and a local one-two-three on the rostrum,
There was drama in the 250s as Kneen’s clutch gave out and he pushed into the Grandstand. That let Wakefield into second and Smith to third and that’s the way it stayed.