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Meetings 1991 - 2009

TT 2002

It was back to 'business as usual' for the TT in 2002, having been forced into a 'sabbatical' in 2001.

This year, thanks to a 'one-off cash injection of around £200,000' plus a bonus of £5000 to each TT winner, it was the richest of all time.

After all the misery of practice week, the opening race day brought the best of the weather of the week for the Duke Formula One TT. David Jefferies relished the conditions, leading from start to finish at a race record of 123.38mph, 3.38 mph up on Steve Hislop's mark of 11 years before.

On the opening lap the first three riders smashed the lap record from a standing start, but the Yorkshireman was never pressed. Whilst all seemed fine in the TAS Suzuki camp, it was not until the post-race interviews that DJ revealed that the big Suzuki was stuck in third gear from Ramsey Hairpin on the sixth lap, cutting his lead from 69 to 35 seconds.

The win was only Suzuki's second in the Honda-dominated F1 race, Graeme Crosby having won controversially in 1981. Second, despite lapping no less than 27 seconds faster than he had ever had been before, was John McGuinness on the Honda FireBlade. With Archibald retiring on lap four, after earlier lying third, the final rostrum place went to Jim Moodie's V&M Yamaha. Ian Lougher, Richard 'Milky' Quayle and Jason Griffiths filled the final leader board positions.

Milky Quayle became the first Manxman to win a solo TT since Neil Kelly in 1967 when he won the Lightweight 400cc TT riding a Honda CBR400. He had a start to finish win with a 22 seconds advantage over Jim Hodson's Yamaha and Ulster's Richard Britton third on a Kawasaki. Milky was overjoyed after the win, saying: 'This is my dream, I've never wanted to do anything else in my life but win a TT, this is all I've ever dreamed of.'

The Ultra Lightweight TT went to Welshman Ian Lougher after a tough struggle for the lead, which didn't come his way until Glen Helen on lap three. Jams Crumpton was the early leader, going all out to celebrate his 33rd birthday, but hung on to a best ever second place ahead of four times 125cc winner Robert Dunlop.

The Lightweight 250cc TT brought a comfortable win for Kiwi Bruce Anstey, his maiden victory. He proved utterly untroubled as he increased his lead from almost a minute at the end of the opening lap to over three minutes at the chequered flag. Second was Ronnie Smith with Roy Richardson third.

Jim Moodie's eighth TT win came in the Junior 600 TT, in what is usually the toughest of classes, but which turned out to be one of the easiest. Pre-race favourite David Jefferies retired at Sulby on lap one when his TAS Suzuki dropped a valve, while John McGuinness's CBR600 broke a piston at the Eleventh Milestone when lying second on lap two. The veteran Scot was already well ahead by the time DJ had retired. Lougher took full advantage to take another second place with fellow Welshman Jason Griffiths claiming the remaining podium spot.

New for 2002 was not one, but two Production races. In addition to the 1000cc established race, the organisers included a race for 600cc machines.

After a seventy-five minute delay due to low cloud, Lougher's lead was initially contested by Anstey, but a visor change in the pits cost the Kiwi precious time. Lougher set a new lap record at 120.25mph taking the chequered flag by some 28-seconds in hand over the New Zealand rider, with Jim Moodie's V&M Yamaha a further 18 seconds down in third.

In Monday's 1000cc Production Race, DJ demolished the rest of the field. With not a single flying lap on the TAS GSX-R1000 Suzuki he set the fastest lap of no less than 124.31mph. His average 122.64mph was faster than any TT race ever run prior to his own F1 victory two days earlier. Second place, 15 seconds in arrears, was his TAS team mate Ian Lougher, also faster than any pre-2002 TT race, with New Zealand's Bruce Anstey a further 27 seconds behind on yet another GSX-R.

Rob Fisher took his ninth TT victory in Sidecar Race A and joined the illustrious sidecar company in the record books, equalling the tallies of Mick Boddice, Dave Saville and Siegfried Schauzu. After leading all the way for what looked a comfortable victory, the Cumbrian admitted that this was his toughest-ever TT win.

'I nearly ran straight on at Sulby Bridge, watching Moly and not noticing dust on the road,' he said. 'Then I had to stop real quick when a Frenchman crossed in front of me on the Mountain Mile.'

Ian Bell, 21 seconds behind in second place, had problems, clipping the kerb violently at Laurel Bank on lap one, before taking things a little more steadily. Third were Gary Horspole and Kevin Leigh, who narrowly missed their first 110mph-lap when they overshot into the gravel trap on the Mountain. Local hero Dave Molyneux had his dramas before the race when passenger Colin Hardman crashed a road bike, badly damaging a hand. Fourth place was the best the duo could manage.

Fisher, winner of Saturday's Sidecar Race A, started the race ten seconds behind Molyneux, but when he caught the Manxman on the road the two drivers treated the spectators to a great tussle, as Fisher took victory by 14 seconds on corrected time, to put himself alone at the top of the all-time sidecar standings with ten wins - the last five on the trot. Moly's second place was some consolation for his poor showing in race A, as Ian Bell and Neil Carpenter came home in third position.

The first eight finishers in the Senior TT all averaged over 120mph. Way out in front of them all was that man Jefferies, recording his ninth TT win and uniquely, his third consecutive treble.

At 124.74mph his race average speed was the fastest ever, and to cap it all no less a legend than Giacomo Agostini presented him with the Senior trophy.

As the aggregate winner of both the F1 and Senior, DJ also collected the Joey Dunlop Trophy, plus an extra £10,000.

Although Jefferies led throughout, they were not hanging around behind. After six laps and 226 miles Lougher lay only 22 seconds adrift, despite a five second penalty for overshooting the 'stop box'. Third was John McGuinness.

For the TAS Suzuki team it had been an astounding week.