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Manx Grand Prix
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Wins for Kuene and Taylor. 3 September 2004

Steve Kuenne from Crewe (Honda) today won the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix by 13.8 seconds, with Keith Taylor from Crook (Yamaha) winning the concurrent Ultra-Lightweight race by 32.1 seconds.

Early leader in the 250cc Lightweight was the fastest rider in practice Kuenne, three seconds clear of the field nine miles out at Glen Helen. Joe Phillips from Belfast (Kawasaki) took the initiative in the Ultra Lightweight as the 125/400cc class got into its stride.

At Ramsey, Kuenne led Barry Davidson from Ballymena (Honda) by two seconds, with Brian Spooner from Stoke-on-Trent (Yamaha) third. Gavin Bell from Selby and Tony Cawte from Crosby, Isle of Man, were next.

In the 125/400cc section, the leader at Ramsey was Graham Taubman from Union Mills (400 Yamaha) from Keith Taylor from Crook (400 Yamaha).

At the end of lap one of the proposed four, Kuenne had increased his advantage to six seconds, having lapped at 110.36mph from a standing start. Davidson retained second place, with Bell four seconds further back in third.

Taylor got cracking and at a first lap average speed of 105.69mph pushed Taubman back to second by a fifth of a second, with Mark Castle from Rode Heath (Honda) another two seconds down.

Kuenne continued to pile on the coals and extended his lead to 10 seconds at Glen Helen the second time. Spooner overhauled Davidson for second, but there was very little in it. Castle and Taylor were riding in close company, having started together, and worked back their rival Taubman by ten seconds.

Kuenne was 20 seconds clear at Ramsey, but lost ten of those with an eventful refuelling stop. He left his braking too late and almost went over the handlebars in his endeavours to pull up in the Stop Box. Then the cap of his petrol tanks refused to screw on so he left for his second half in something of a lather. Bell and Davidson were still battling it out for second, with Spooner, Cawte and Stuart Garton from Scunthorpe (Yamaha) joining in. Kuenne averaged 1112.76mph on his second lap, with a race average of 111.55mph.

Castle and Taylor ended lap two together and 1.1 seconds apart on corrected time. Taubman was 11 seconds back and coming under pressure from fellow local Paul Corrin from Onchan, who had twice been denied Ultra Lightweight victory by less than one second. Castle averaged 107.51 on his second lap, with a race average speed of 106.51mph. But fourth placeman and practice leader Mark Wateridge from Redhill (400 Kawasaki) crashed at Appledene and was helicoptered to hospital with fractures. Earlier, Alan Marshall from Worksop crashed at Glen Helen and was also taken to hospital.

With one lap to go Kuenne had recovered his rhythm and led by 15 seconds. Spooner, Davidson and Bell were second, third and fourth as the race averages reflected the time spent on fuel replenishment.

Taylor had fought clear of Castle in the 400cc class, giving him nine seconds' benefit at Ramsey.

The Ultra-Lightweights were dropping back on the road as the two-strokes lapped about five miles-an-hour faster. Their leader remained Taylor, extending his lead over Castle to 23 seconds, with Taubman and Corrin separated by nine seconds for third.

Kuenne knocked off the last lap without undue drama to win his first MGP, crossing the line a comfortable 13.8 seconds, averaging 112.69mph on the last lap and a four-lap average of 110.45mph. Spooner got the better of Davidson by 2.4 seconds thanks to the fastest lap of the race at 112.82mph.

Fourth was Bell, fifth Cawte and Garton sixth. Taylor won the 125/400 by 32.1 seconds, with Taubman putting in the fastest lap of the race at 107.65mph to snatch second from Castle by five seconds.

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