At the end of the week, Rob and Joey went head to head again in the Classic Race, with Grant also in the mix this time. Dunlop was the early pace setter, but Grant led at the end of the second lap with McElnea third behind Dunlop. McElnea fought back and led Dunlop by ten seconds going into the last lap, maintaining his advantage to win a superb race.
That proved to be Rob’s final race on the Mountain Course as he went on to have a successful Grand Prix career riding for the Heron Suzuki, Marlboro Yamaha, Pepsi Suzuki and Cabin Honda teams before returning to the UK where he became British Superbike Champion. Injury forced him to retire at the end of the 1993 season but by then he was also managing the BSB Yamaha team, which he did until the end of the 2011 season.
Like Graeme Crosby, McElnea had a brief TT history but it had great impact both on his career and others and he remains one of the finest riders ever to have graced the Mountain Course.
“I am really excited about being involved in this year’s Classic TT and the Joey Dunlop celebrations in particular,” said McElnea. “Joey was one of the fiercest competitors I ever raced against and I am looking forward to reliving some of those memories on the Island along with a lot of the other riders who were around at that time.”