ISLE OF MAN – The Isle of Man’s Billy Redmayne followed illustrious names including Ian Hutchinson, Robert Dunlop, Michael Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, Phillip McCallen and Ryan Farquhar by winning the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers title Tuesday afternoon.
The Manxman clinched a thrilling IMGold Newcomers Race victory by 1.8 seconds after a last lap duel with Malachi Mitchell-Thomas with Ireland’s Shane Egan taking the final podium place. It was a double celebration for the Isle of Man with Douglas based Dean Osborne taking the B title while Felpham’s James Caswell-Cox clinched the Newcomers C Race.
Competitors were greeted with the best conditions of the week for the rescheduled race as the Mountain Course was bathed in sunshine, although Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman warned the assembled grid about sunlight glare from Union Mills to Ballacraine and on the Mountain section from the Gooseneck.
Competition was expected to be fierce between the three fastest qualifiers – Manx rider Billy Redmayne, who is home from a tour of Afghanistan, Horwich’s Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, who won the Newcomers B race at the Southern 100 and Ireland’s Shane Egan, the 2012 Superbike Cup Champion and so it proved.
The Newcomers Race is broken into three different classifications with Newcomers A for machines up to 750cc, 650’s twins and 250 two strokes eligible for the Newcomers B Race and Newcomers C for 400’s and 125cc bikes.
The race, the first of the Manx Grand Prix meeting, got away exactly on time at 6.30 p.m. local time and Wales’s Matthew Rees, the fourth fastest qualifier, riding the GT Superbikes Kawasaki had the honour of being first away from the start line.
And Rees turned the pre-race form book on its head by establishing a 3 second lead at Glen Helen from Redmayne with Mitchell-Thomas a further 1.5 seconds back in third. Egan was six seconds behind Rees in fourth.
Redmayne began to close on Rees and moved narrowly ahead at the Bungalow, but by only half a second although at the end of the first lap Redmayne (115.950 mph) had extended his lead over Rees (115.690) to 2.6 seconds with Egan (115.593) and Mitchell-Thomas (115.395) completing the top four.