Motorcycling: TT win after the agony

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

PHIL McCALLEN powered his 750cc Castrol Honda to victory in the Blue Riband event of the Isle of Man TT - the six-lap, 226-mile Senior Race.

The 29-year-old Ulsterman secured his third TT victory by seizing control in the opening two laps and charging on relentlessly despite several treacherous damp patches on the 37-mile Mountain Course.

McCallen, who put in a 120.65mph opening lap, won by 45 seconds from his team-mate Nick Jefferies, the winner of last Saturday's opening TT Formula One race. Victory represented a change in fortune for McCallen. Twice during the week, he had seen winning positions slip because of pit-stop errors.

'I am well satisfied to end the week on a winning note,' he said. 'My tactics were to ride the first two laps as hard as possible and get well clear.'

Jefferies, despite a severe bout of flu, maintained his consistency on the island with a solid second while Steve Ward took a fine third on his Honda.

Joey Dunlop, who clinched an all-time record 15th TT victory earlier in the week, looked to be moving into contention when he was second at halfway, but in the later stages both he and his Honda were smothered by oil leaking from a breather pipe and he eventually finished 11th.

Meanwhile, his younger brother, Robert, retired his Ducati on the opening lap.

ISLE OF MAN TT Senior race (six laps, 226.38 miles): 1 P McCallen (Honda) 1hr 54min 47.8sec; 2 N Jefferies (Honda) 1:55:32.8; 3 S Ward (Honda) 1:56:46.4; 4 J Griffiths (Honda) 1:57:26.4; 5 I Simpson (Kawasaki) 1:58:15.2; 6 J Rea (Yamaha) 1:58:32.2.