Sweeney Sets Qualifying Pace At Manx Grand Prix


Michael Sweeney established himself as the man to beat at the Manx Grand Prix after topping the times in qualifying on Wednesday. The Irishman, looking to add to his solitary victory at the event this year, was comfortably quickest in the Junior class ahead of Stephen Harper and Stephen McKnight.

Sweeney’s second lap of the evening averaged 117.338mph with Harper, returning for a second consecutive year after eight away, taking his Triumph around the mountain course at 115.999mph. The battle for second in the Junior class was incredibly close with just 0.013s splitting the two on their best laps today although Andy Lawson outpaced the two on the Suzuki he’ll take out in the Senior race, clocking 116.875mph.

After winning the Newcomer C race twelve months ago, James Cowton picked up where he left off by setting a 112.600mph lap to top the Supertwins session. Colin Stephenson was 27 seconds back in second with Rob Davie a close third while Northern Ireland’s Neil Lyons ended the night as the top newcomer at 108.155mph.

Low sunlight had made life difficult for the riders on Tuesday but despite decent conditions on Wednesday, the session didn’t pass off without incident. Colin Purslow fell at Quarterbridge while Scott Smythe went down at Railway with both escaping unhurt but Mick Neeson suffered a hand injury after a crash at Keppel Gate. Adrian Bowman was another to have a problem but and was taken by Airmed to Nobles he also escaped serious injury.