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Meetings 1971 - 1990

TT 1985

Joey Dunlop emulated Mike Hailwood's feat of winning three TT races in one week with a hattrick of victories in 1985.

A week before the races he was shipwrecked on his way to the Island in his friend's fishing boat. Typically, it made no difference to his performance.

Riding for the new Rothmans Honda Britain team, the Ulsterman was in brilliant form. He started the week with a comprehensive victory in the TT Formula One race, shattering the lap record in the process. His nearest challengers struck problems. Graeme McGregor had been signed up by Suzuki, but crashed at Greeba Bridge on the first lap. Roger Marshall and Mick Grant retired with mechanical problems, while Andy McGladdery crashed at Cruickshank's.

Tony Rutter took second place on his Suzuki, with Yamaha-mounted Steve Parrish crossing the line third. He was later excluded, however, because he had used an over-size petrol tank, and Sam McClements moved into third, with impressive West German newcomer Peter Rubatto fourth.

Dunlop ended the week in even greater style with an easy win in the six-lap Senior from teammate Roger Marshall. Mick Grant crashed out at the Black Dub, while West German Klaus Klein was a faller at Glentramman, leaving Mark Johns to claim affine third place on his Suzuki.

Dunlop's other victory must be considered a trifle lucky, with Brian Reid having looked a certain winner of the 250cc race when he ran out of petrol with the finish almost in sight. Dunlop led Reid's EMC by 18 seconds at the end of the first lap. They swapped the lead during their various fuel stops, but after a record lap of 112.08mph Reid had a 15-second advantage over his rival going into the last 37.73 miles.

He looked a certain winner until his EMC quietly died at Hillberry, allowed Dunlop to sail through to win by 15 seconds from the Honda-mounted Steve Cull and Eddie Roberts on his home-built Kimoco.

Reid did not have a happy week. He retired in the Formula Two race after shattering the lap record from a standing start on his Yamaha, leaving Tony Rutter's Ducati to fight off the Yamahas of John Weedon and Gary Padgett. Rutter went on to complete his fourth Formula Two success in five years, with Weedon second and Padgett third despite a long pit stop to replace a broken exhaust spring.

Geoff Johnson repeated his 1984 success in the 150cc class of the three-lap Production race, beating Bill Simpson by just 3.5 seconds. Mick Grant completed his seventh TT win in the 750cc class on a Suzuki after a good race with Kevin Wilson. MCN Journalist Mat Oxley reported the 250cc class from the saddle of the winning machine after his chief adversary Gary Padgett fell off at Governor's Bridge with the chequered flag prepared. Honda mounted Oxley set new race and lap records.

Mick Boddice and Chas Birks also experienced problems at Governor's Bridge on the last lap of the first sidecar race. Their chain slipped off less than a mile from the finish, and Dave Hallam and John Gibbard snatched victory on their Yamaha-powered outfit. Boddice freewheeled into second place, with Nigel Rollason and the experienced Donnie Williams third on their British-built Barton Phoenix.

Boddice made no mistakes in the second race, winning easily from Lowry Burton, with Dennis and Julia Bingham third.