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Lightweight Victory For Browne in MGP

Sat, 27 Aug 2022

In the first race of the day, Mike Browne took a dramatic victory in the Dunlop Lightweight Manx Grand Prix Race on Saturday afternoon with the Laylaw Racing Yamaha claiming his win ahead of teammate Ian Lougher and Stuart Hall (Stu Hall Racing Yamaha).
Browne had been locked in battle for much of the race with James Hind (Dennis Trollope Racing Yamaha), the latter setting a new Lightweight lap record of 117.592mph on the opening lap. But, just when it looked like Hind would sweep to the victory, he retired on the final lap with just two miles to go.
It was Browne who led through Glen Helen on the opening lap, his advantage over Hind 2.4 seconds with Dominic Herbertson (Chapman Racing Honda) a further 3.8 seconds further back. Lougher slotted into fourth ahead of Michael Dunlop (Crossan Motorcycles Honda) and Daniel Sayle (Honda) as just 10.2 seconds covered the leading six riders.
Over Ballaugh Bridge and Hind had cut the lead to two seconds with Herbertson now 9.1 seconds adrift of the race leader. Lougher was still in fourth but Sayle was now only 0.3 seconds behind the Welshman having overhauled Dunlop for fifth.
As the riders rounded Ramsey Hairpin, Hind was in front having turned his deficit to Browne into an advantage of 0.7 seconds so it was still very close as they made the climb up Snaefell for the first time. Herbertson was sitting in a comfortable third with Lougher having edged away from Sayle by 1.8 seconds but Dunlop was in trouble and had slipped back to sixth.
Through the Bungalow, Hind had eked out another three tenths of a second to a lead and an opening lap of 117.592mph – a new MGP lap record – gave him a lead of 1.856 seconds over Browne, the Irishman also bettering the old lap record at 117.403mph.
Herbertson (115.690mph) maintained third ahead of Lougher (113.794mph), who was shaking his head as he passed his pit crew, Sayle (113.787mph) and new sixth placed man Hall (112.391mph).  The gap between Lougher and Sayle was just 0.069s but Dunlop toured across the line at 106.775mph and pulled into the pits to retire with his motor running too rich.
By Glen Helen on the second and final lap, Browne had cut the gap to 1.113 seconds but he began to lose time on the run to Ballaugh and the gap was up to 4.256 seconds with Hind making the most of the clear road ahead of him. Sayle’s strong ride ended though with a retirement at the Black Dub.
Hind’s lead was even more comfortable as he came through Ramsey, his advantage over Browne a healthy 7.3s as Herbertson and Lougher held station in third and fourth. Hall was now up to fifth with Rhys Hardisty (Willson and Wilding/Kaymac Yamaha), tenth at Glen Helen on lap one, working his way up to sixth.
Browne continued to lose ground up the Mountain and Hind looked to have the race in the bag as he led by almost twenty seconds over the tram lines at the Bungalow. However, as Browne completed the race, there was no sign of the Lincolnshire rider and he was reported as having stopped between Brandish and Hillberry.
Herbertson was also out of luck as he retired at the 33rd Milestone and it all meant Browne took the victory by 43.8s from teammate Lougher with a jubilant Hall coming through for third, nine seconds ahead of Hardisty.
Class regulars Chris Moore (Outhwaite Plant/Silverstar Yamaha) and Phil Harvey (CSC Racing Honda) took fifth and sixth respectively ahead of Michael Sweeney (Chapman Honda) – who didn’t do a lap until the morning – Richard Wilson (MC Racing KTM), Gareth Arnold (Jenarracing Yamaha) and Tom Snow (Falcon Electrical Honda), Wilson taking the award for the best placed 250cc four-stroke.

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