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Manx Grand Prix
MGP News
Over 600 Riders 26 June 2003

The total number of riders entered for this year's MGP is 669, of which 613 have been accepted. There are 339 in the main classes, 199 in the Classic and 75 in the Newcomers. Last year's total was 693 entries, of which 619 were accepted.

This year's breakdown shows that the main Senior has 116 accepted, the Junior 115, the 125/400cc Ultra-Lightweight 75, and the 250cc Lightweight 33. The Senior Classic has 89, the Junior Classic 75 and the Lightweight Classic 35. The Newcomers' events have 44 in the 750cc section, 21 in the 125/400cc category and 10 in the 250cc class.

Marking 30 years since he won the Senior Manx Grand Prix, 60-year-old Peterborough electronics engineer Paddy Reid has entered a T20 Suzuki in the Lightweight Classic. Riding a 354cc Yamaha in the 1973 Golden Jubilee Manx, he headed home Joe Thornton (352 Aermacchi) and John Goodall (500 Seeley Matchless). He set a new race record of 96.89mph but the record lap went to David Williams of South Wales at 99.58mph, though in the earlier Junior PhilHaslam had become the first to lap at over 100mph on Mal Carter's Pharoah Yamaha. Riding the same Seeley G50, John went on to win the first ever 500cc Manx Classic at the Diamond Jubilee meeting a decade later.

The outright lap record for the Manx stands to Mick Skene, of Laurencekirk in Scotland, who became the first rider to dip under 19 minutes in last year's Senior. Although only riding a 600cc bike in the 750cc event, he lapped in 18 minutes 59.1 seconds, an average speed of 119.24mph before encountering steering damper failure on his Suzuki and settling for second place to Midhurst's Mark Parrett (750 Kawasaki). Parrett subsequently lapped at over 120mph in this year's Senior TT on a similar machine. Skene has retired from racing.

International trials star Steve Colley is to be the Guest of Honour at this year's Manx Grand Prix. The 30-year-old is coming towards the end of a brilliant feet-up career which has seen him achieve world-wide acclaim for performances in the outdoor and indoor world championship where he rose to bests of fifth and third respectively, including individual outdoor wins in America and Finland. He has also won the prestigious Paris Bercy Trial on three occasions, the Scottish Six Days Trial six times and been three times the British Champion. Steve is still in the Jordi Tarres-backed semi-works Gas Gas team.

Maria Costello has switched allegiance for her 600cc Junior and Senior rides. She will now compete under the banner of Noel Clegg Motorcycles of Rochdale, rather than her Production TT sponsor Martin Bullock. At the TT she was 41st in the two-lap 600cc Production at 103.85mph. She is the fastest female at the Manx Grand Prix, having lapped Martin's 600cc Honda CBR at 110.25mph in last year's meeting. Overall, she is second quickest to Sandra Barnett who did 114.63mph on a similar bike in the 1997 Junior TT.

Cookstown businessman Winston McAdoo will be supplying John Burrows with the ex-Ryan Farquhar ZXR 750cc Kawasaki for the Manx. Thirty-one-year-old Burrows will ride the bike in the Senior Newcomers' Race and the main Senior, along with his own R6 Yamaha under the banner of Kelso Car Sales in the Junior race.

It looks like there'll be no Lightweight Classic for Bud Jackson this year. After a tremendous TT, the popular Kendal publican crashed heavily at Scarborough last weekend and suffered a severe neck injury. He will have to wear a cumbersome brace for a while.

And local veteran rider Alan Phillips looks like missing the Manx too. He had a hefty crash at Jurby and was taken to Noble's Hospital with head injuries after his 350cc Yamaha apparently seized during a warming-up lap at the flat-left Snuffy's Bend.

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TT SuperBikes (PS2)
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