Soar Takes Manx Senior GP After Stoppage
ISLE OF MAN – A red flag incident on the final lap halted the Full Factory Winners Wear Senior Manx Grand Prix following incidents at the 11th Milestone and Bishopscourt, resulting in Andy Soar being declared the winner.
With the race having passed half distance Soar, the race leader at the end of the second lap, which was the last completed lap by the whole field, was declared the race winner.
In a change to the scheduled program Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman elected to start the Full Factory Winners Wear Senior MGP ahead of the MGP reunion parade to ensure that racers were able to experience the best conditions of the day. The reunion parade was later cancelled following the race incidents.
Although the roads were mainly dry, riders were warned about possible damp patches at Laurel Bank, Ramsey Hairpin, Hillberry and the Nook as well as strong winds, particularly on the Mountain section of the course.
Manchester’s Anthony Redmond, riding a 600cc Yamaha, was first away from the line followed by Scotland’s Andy Lawson and fastest qualifier, New Zealand born Michael Moulai. Redmond was first on the road to Glen Helen but Soar, the 2012 Senior MGP runner up, was fastest to Glen Helen, three seconds ahead of Rob Hodson who was hoping to put his misfortune earlier in the week behind him.
Newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas was having a sensational run, moving into third at Glen Helen on corrected time from a starting position of number 39 less than a second behind Hodson with Czech Republic racer Kamil Holan, the 2012 Newcomer A MGP Race winner, a further 1.2 seconds back in fourth. Junior Race winner Andy Lawson moved ahead of Holan at the Bungalow but he pulled in at the end of the first lap.
Andrew Soar held the lead coming into the pits with a second lap of 117.152 but behind him the closing pair Moulai (117.910) and Hodson (118.142), who had been swapping places on the second lap, were only 5.8 and seven seconds respectively behind the race leader with Mitchell-Thomas (116.652) holding fourth almost thirteen seconds ahead of Holan.
Moulai rapid pit stop of 53.335 pit stop clawed back six seconds on both Soar (59.695) and Hodson (59.700) but Soar still held the lead at Glen Helen, albeit by a reduced 1.3 seconds from Moulai with Hodson a further 6.5 seconds back in third.
The race was clearly reaching a climax and less than five seconds separated the top three at Ramsey on the third lap with Soar 2.3 seconds ahead of Moulai with Hodson 4.9 seconds behind the race leader.
Moulai hit the front at Cronk Ny Mona and his third lap (112.479) gave him a narrow lead of only 0.5 seconds from Soar with Hodson still in contention in third only three seconds behind the leading pair.
The gap was even closer at Glen Helen and with only 28 miles left, Soar cut Moulai’s lead to .13 of a second with Hodson firmly in touch 1.3 seconds behind the race leader. Indeed Hodson had moved into the lead at Ballaugh, .7 of a second ahead of Moulai with Soar dropping to third 3.3 seconds behind Moulai but then the news came through at the Grandstand that the race had been red flagged following the two incidents and the race was abandoned with Soar declared the race winner.