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Alan Oversby registered the first double win at the IOM races in 2012
IoM pre-TT Classic Billown 2012
A report by John Watterson, pics by Dave Kneen....
Alan Oversby was victorious on the Kay MV3 but Roy Richardson (Linton Aermacchi) kept him honest. Registering the first MV double in the Isle of Man for precisely 40 years, Alan Oversby made a perfect return to the Pre-TT Classic after missing the 2011 event with a broken wrist. Alan was on a new three-cylinder 500cc replica built specially by its owner, Dave and Mark Kay, for this year's Manx Grand Prix.
"The Pre-TT is a great meeting and a good opportunity to test the bike for the Manx," said the 54-year old fabricator/welder from Bolton-le-Sands. "The 500 race went to plan, managing to get pole position. As the bike is new, suspension and other settings had to be set in practice, but it seems very strong and reliable."
Four decades on from the last of Giacomo Agostini's runaway doubles on the Mountain Course, modern-day MV pilot Oversby was made to work considerably harder for his two wins on the short but demanding 4.25-mile Billown Course on the outskirts of Castletown.
Roy Richardson rode well on Dick Linton's pushrod Aermacchi and even managed to record the fastest lap of the 500cc Senior race, but ultimately Oversby took the win by 5.566 seconds after 34 miles of racing.
The MV was about the last to leave the holding area for the single lap warmup and was sluggish away from the official start, giving Richardson the chance to get on equal terms as he had only qualified on row 6 after problems in practice. At the end of the opening lap the two were separated by 0.5 sec in Richardson's favour, with local man Chris Palmer one second down in third on the Ripley Land G50.
Oversby powered ahead in the early stages of lap 2, but Richardson nipped through on the inside at Cross Four Ways. The power of the triple soon got Oversby back in front and he was 1/10second in front at the quarter distance. Richardson, in turn, was 4 sec ahead of Palmer, followed by Jamie Coward (Fenna Honda Twin), Allan Brew (Seeley), Dave Madsen-Mygdal (Drixton Honda) and Steve Elliott (Rutter Honda).
Ed Manley Jnr (G50) took a tumble at Cross Four Ways to join a rapidly growing list of retirements alongside Alan 'Bud' Jackson (Norton) at Iron Gate, Ulsterman Barry Davidson (Drixton Honda) at the pits and Bob Owen (Seeley)at Church Bends. Richardson had another stab at Oversby on the inside at Cross Four Ways and this time he managed to make it stick, leading by 0.3 sec and the end of lap 3.
Brew was having problems with his G50 and retired at Ballakeighan, while fellow top-10 man Steve Elliott went out on the same lap. It was Oversby's turn to lead at half-distance by an extended 0.7 sec, with 3-time winner Palmer slipping out of contention some 14 sec down in 3rd.
Richardson was riding the wheels off the Aermacchi and each time he took the right-hander round the cottage at Cross Four Ways, he attempted the tight line. It rarely worked and the effort seemed almost as futile as, nine times out of ten, Oversby's MV got him back on the exit. At three quarter distance, after the fastest lap of the race by bth of the leading men, the gap was still 0.4 sec in Oversby's favour. All of a sudden, it started to increase to 2.25 sec at the end of lap 7 then 5.6 sec at the chequered cloth. "The bike started misfiring," explained Richardson, dedicating his ride to good friend Mark Buckley who had died in the North West 200 nine days earlier. "I was all over Alan on the twisty bits and I outbraked him most laps into Cross Four Ways and once into Castletown Corner. The misfire might have been down to a fuel shortage in the final few miles," he suggested. Oversby admitted that his rival was faster on the technical bits of the course. "The Aermacchi is a lot lighter than the MV and better into tight corners," he added. It was Oversby's 4th Senior Classic win in the Pre-TT event, his 2nd on the MV. Chris Palmer reported a fault with his G50's rev counter. "It's only showing 6500 rpm. It caused me to hesitate briefly, but I couldn't have stuck with them."
Fourth place went to comparative youngster Jamie Coward of Hebden Bridge on the Fenna Honda, while a brace of Drixton Hondas filled out the top 6 in the hands of Dave Madsen-Mygdal and Steve Ferguson. British bikes rounded off the top 10: Meredydd Owen (Seeley), Bob Price (Nourish), Paul Coward (Gold Star) and John Jones (Matchless).
Oversby had a considerably easier time of it in the 850cc event. A late addition to the programme, it looked for a while like being a carbon copy of the earlier 500cc race with Richardson again providing the main opposition on the Aermacchi. The pair were side-by-side at the end of the opening circuit and, after 2 laps, it was Oversby by 0.49 sec.
At half-distance, the lead had extended to 2.9 sec but Richardson stopped at Great Meadow next time round. the focus of attention switched briefly to the battle for second place between Paul Coward (Fenna Honda) and Chris Palmer, however, the latter man was soon looking down at the G50 and he was out after 6 laps.
Oversby's lead grew to 40 seconds with 2 laps remaining and by the end that had pushed out to 53.513 sec with a class lap record of 93.797mph to boot. Runner-up, Paul Coward admitted it had been ding-dong with Chris Palmer. "I've worked non-stop to get the Honda twin ready, but it's not quite an MV, " he smiled. Kingsley's Steve Elliott had no idea he was 3rd. "My tackle almost fell off," he laughed. "We changed the engine in the dinner break. I'm tingling all over as I had no rev counter."
Alan Whitwell had another good ride on the 850 Bates Honda, while locals Allan Brew and Chris McGahan completed the top 6. McGahan had to stop on the first lap as the tank strap came undone on Norman Mile's Trident - affectionatley known as the 'Old Girl'
Alan Oversby wins twice at the Isle of Man Pre-TT Classic
As well as winning the first MV double in 40 years, Alan also won the award for the best sounding machine - described by the Isle of Man website as 'the fabulous 500cc MV Agusta!'
A spectator recorded the sound of the Kay MV as Alan took the last lap, clearly enjoying the lingering symphony.
Click here or on the image to see the 30 sec video
Alan Oversby wins the first MV double in years at the Isle of Man Pre-TT Classic
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