Monday, August 26


Olie Linsdell, winner of the inaugural 
Classic 500cc TT at the Isle of Man.
IN a match somewhat similar to using a catamaran against a mono-hull in a yacht race, English rider Olie Linsdell won the inaugural Classic 500cc TT at the Isle of Man on Saturday, August 24 riding the twin cylinder Paton owned by Giovanni Cabassi.

The bike is based on a design that first raced in 1968, somewhat later than the British singles that made up a large chunk of the field for the race.

And where the 500cc singles were able to get close to 130 mph on the fastest parts of the course, the Paton streaked through the speed trap at Sulby to clock 146.84 mph.

And where the best of the singles were averaging around 108 mph for a lap, the Paton was flying around at 111 mph!

So fast was Linsdell on the Paton that after establishing a huge lead on the opening lap he was able to come in for fuel, and return to the track still leading the single cylinder machines by more than 15 seconds.

The Paton roared into life to signal the start of the 2013 Classic TT Races races presented by Bennetts and was followed off the line by Australian Cameron Donald riding the Ripley Land Racing Matchless G50, John McGuinness on a Team Winfield Paton and New Zealander Bruce Anstey on the McIntosh Racing/Mobil 1 Manx Norton.

Linsdell's lead was almost eight seconds by Glen Helen and he completed his first lap in an average of 111.446 mph from a standing start, beating Ryan Farquhar's lap record of 110.984 mph set in the 2010 Manx Grand Prix meeting.

Linsdell held a healthy lead of almost 40 seconds over William Dunlop (108.016 mph) on the Davies Motorsport Honda 500/4 at the end of lap one with Bruce Anstey on the McIntosh Mobil 1 Manx Norton third a further six seconds back.  

Cameron Donald held fourth after an opening lap of 106.861 mph with Jamie Coward a further three seconds back on the Australian completing the top five at the end of the opening lap.

McGuinness was clearly still experiencing the problems on his Paton twin that had beset him during qualifying and eventually retired in the pits at the end of the first lap.

Both Linsdell and second placed rider William Dunlop came into the pits at the end of the first lap to refuel but despite the pit stop, Linsdell still led by 15 seconds from Bruce Anstey with Cameron Donald third at Glen Helen on the second lap.  Dunlop had a lengthy pit stop.

However, with Donald reported as retired at Cruickshanks, Chris Palmer on the Richard Shelton Racing Matchless moved into the top three by Ramsey.

The attrition rate continued with Anstey another to drop out, retiring at Brandywell on his second lap.  

Seasoned Manx GP, TT and classic campaigner Jamie Coward (1970 Craven Manx Norton)  leap-frogged Palmer by the end of the second lap to move into second with Roy Richardson (FCL Racing/Martin Bullock Manxsport Aermacchi) fourth and William Dunlop fifth after his lengthy opening lap pit stop.

Linsdell extended his lead on the third lap with a new lap record, 111.660 mph, to lead by almost 50 seconds from second-placed Coward.  With Palmer retiring at Governors on the third lap, Dunlop moved into the final podium place and closed the gap on Coward to less than a second with Richardson up to fourth and Ian Lougher on the Flitwick Motorcycles Enfield moving into the top five.

While Linsdell consolidated his lead and closed the race out to win with a final lap of 109.401 mph and a race time of 1 hour 22 minutes 7.732 seconds at an average of 110.256 mph, Dunlop passed Coward by Glen Helen on the fourth lap and took second place two minutes in arrears with Coward dropping to third on the first single cylinder bike home, another nine seconds in arrears. His race average speed was 107.091 mph, 3.165 mph slower than the winning Paton twin.