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Manx Grand Prix
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Lightweight/Ultra-Lightweight Race 31 August 2007

After a delay of three-and-a-half hours while mountain mist cleared away, the combined Lightweight and Ultra-Lightweight field at last got away. Sixteen 250s and 40 125/400s were in the mix, with close contests contemplated in both.

Practice leader Brian Spooner (Yamaha) from Stoke-on-Trent took the early lead in the Lightweight, lapping at 108.948mph first time round and leading Sam Dunlop (Honda) from Ballymoney by four seconds, with Neil Kent (Yamaha) from Boston a further 21 seconds back. Then it was Brian Mateer (Yamaha) from Lisburn, Daniel Williams (Honda) from Sutton Coldfield and Wally Kneale (Honda) from Ballaugh.

In the Lightweight the lap one leader was Newcomers 400 winner Ollie Linsdell (400 Yamaha) from Westoning lapping at 106.673mph and leading Tim Sayers (400 Kawasaki) from Rotherham by 24 seconds, with Keith Costello (400 Honda) from Balbriggan right in his wake. Then it was Andrew Kirkwood (400 Kawasaki) from Haynes, practice leader Joe Phillips (400 Kawasaki) from Belfast) and Kirk Farrow (400 Honda) from Coleorton.

At the two-lap half-way point, refuelling stops were taken, with Dunlop having overtaken Spooner in the Lightweight then pulled out a 15-second advantage, lapping at 109.880mph. Kent, Mateer and Williams remained third, fourth and fifth but Dean Martin had taken over sixth spot from Kneale.

The Ultra Lightweights also came in to fill up, still led by Linsdell, lapping at 107.643mph and 18 seconds clear of Sayers. Forcing along was Costello, keeping Davie back in fourth, but soon the latter retired with mechanical trouble. Also ousted by the flying Costello was Kirkwood, while Farrow dropped out of the top six at the hands of Phillips.

Lap three and Linsdell was proving the sensation of this year's MGP. Singing along on the 400cc four-cylinder Flitwick Yamaha, he seemed set to emulate Chris Dowling who did the Newcomers and main Ultra Lightweight double in 2000. The 125c single cylinder riders no longer get much of a look-in against the 400cc models, but leading their ranks at 101.434mph was Dan Sayle (Honda) from Ballaugh, former TT-winning sidecar passenger to Dave Molyneux holding 11th place overall.

With one lap to go, Dunlop led Spooner by 11.45 seconds, with the lap speed of 105.748mph down because of the pit stops which count within the next full lap. Spooner, Kent, Mateer, Williams and Martin all stayed steady.

Linsdell rocketed out on to his last lap with a comfortable lead of 73 seconds over Sayers, having lapped at 105.901mph. But Phillips moved up two places to third. Costello was fourth and Kirkwood fifth. Farrow had gone out with bike trouble, but the story of lap three was the progress of Sayle on the 125 up to sixth place!

Up and down the Mountain for the final time, Dunlop who won the 2005 Ultra Lightweight Newcomers Race at 100.74mph could afford to ease up when signalled that Spooner had had to retire at Sulby. It put him well clear of Kent, with Mateer shuffling into the top three. Linsdell was equally secure in his class, with no serious threat from Sayers or anyone else.

Dunlop and Linsdell duly rode their steeds home to win their respective classes, Dunlop by 72 seconds at 108.083mph and Linsdell by one minute 56 seconds at 107.197mph. Second and third in the Lightweight were Kent and Mateer and in the Ultra Lightweight Sayers and Costello. Sayle was sixth and first 125 home. Wally Kneale made a late burst through to fourth in the Lightweight.

But there was another more influential late scenario when poor weather closed in and caused late numbers in the Ultra Lightweight to be red flagged. As the full field was unable to complete the race, the Clerk of the Course declared the result after three laps, which made Joe Phillips third rather than Keith Costello, who had actually done the full four laps and taken third!

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