Brookes secures maiden Mountain Course victory at Classic TT

by Joshua Close
Josh Brookes at the Classic TT

Josh Brookes has secured his first-ever victory around the famous Isle of Man TT Mountain Course after winning the Bennetts Senior Classic TT race.

The Australian, riding for Team Winfield Paton, led the race from start-to-finish, ending proceedings with a huge 34-second gap between himself and second place rider Jamie Coward.

William Dunlop joined the duo on the podium, on-board his Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta.

After the race, a delighted Brookes said: “My first board wasn’t updated and the second board had me at ‘P +0 so I gave it everything I’d got and risked blowing the engine.  It was nice to be able to fill in for John which is a great honour but also to win the race for the team.”

The race was delayed due to an oil spill on Bray Hill, but once everything was cleared up three time TT race winner John McGuinness was on-hand to get proceedings underway as the official race starter.

The 2014 Senior race winner Ian Lougher was first out of the gate on his John Chapman Racing MV Agusta, but the Welsh rider was reported as a retirement at Greeba Bridge on the opening lap.

Dean Harrison also retired on the first lap, meanwhile Michael Rutter escaped injury after sliding out at Ballacraine on his Ripley Land Racing Matchless machine.

Brookes was the first rider to reach Glen Helen and had already established a lead of over seven seconds over Dunlop. At this early stage, Maria Costello found herself in third spot ahead of Coward and Michael Dunlop.

By the time Coward had moved into second place at Ballaugh, Brookes was already 12 seconds behind. This was increased to 20 seconds by the time they reached Ramsey.

Brookes ended the opening lap with a 111.295 (20:20.432) – his fastest lap of the week. The 2015 British Superbike champion posted 110.839 on lap two, and elected to run straight through which gave him a lead of almost 40 seconds over second placed Coward.

The true race leader board only became clearer at the end of the third lap, with Brookes coming in for a 53-second pit stop after a lap of 110.823. Behind him, Coward ran straight through after a third lap of 110.057 – the fastest ever single cylinder lap of the Mountain Course.

Brookes’ lead was duly revealed to be down to 2.5 seconds ahead of Coward at Glen Helen on his fourth lap.

William Dunlop also came in at the end of his third lap (108.606) and with a 39-second pit stop, he remained in third place at Glen Helen on the last lap, 8 seconds ahead of Costello, but well over a minute behind the leading duo.

Brookes’ final lap was an impressive 108.068 and secured him his first-ever victory around the famous circuit. Costello would end the race in fourth place, ahead of Dominic Herbertson in fifth and Bill Swallow in sixth.

Michael Russell crossed the line in seventh spot as the leading privateer.

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