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Meetings 1971 - 1990

TT 1987

Joey Dunlop and the weather were the main talking points in 1987, as the TT celebrated its 80th birthday.

The weather tried its hardest to ruin the week, but Dunlop paid scant regard to the conditions as he notched up another two wins.

His first came on a dry track in the TT Formula One race after he had been given a mighty shock in practice by the performance of Phil Mellor. Riding a works Suzuki, Mellor had unofficially lapped at 118.03mph, which was over 15 seconds quicker than the lap record.

Joey's worries were well founded, with Mellor leading at Ballacraine, but thereafter Dunlop and his VFR Honda reigned supreme. Despite an irritatingly tight chinstrap, he raised the lap and race records on his way to victory. Mellor confirmed those practice times by finishing second on the Skoal Bandit Heron Suzuki, with Geoff Johnson third, riding a Loctite Yamaha.

Dunlop's second victory of the week, his tenth overall, could not have come in more different circumstances. The Rizla Senior was postponed by a day, and then reduced to four laps in appalling conditions. Dunlop elected to ride his three-cylinder 500cc Honda.

Once more he trailed at Ballacraine, this time behind Nation, but he again got down to the job in hand and pulled away from his pursuers in the worst conditions he had experienced on the Mountain Course. Mellor led briefly when Dunlop stopped for fuel, but crashed at the Nook. He remounted in second place, only to retire at the pits with a broken clutch lever. Geoff Johnson was second on his Loctite Yamaha, with Roger Marshall third and tough North-Easterner Andy McGladdery fourth, both on Suzuki's.

Johnson's moment of glory came in the three-lap Production Class B (401-500cc two stroke and 601-750cc four-stroke) race, but only after his Loctite teammate Trevor Nation had run out of fuel once again. He was leading by an impressive 24-seconds just three miles from the finish when, for the second year in succession, he was forced out by a dry tank.

Barry Woodland made it a clean sweep for the Loctite Yamaha team by winning Production Class D. The FZR four-stroke Yamaha proved more than a match for the 250cc two-strokes, with Malcolm Wheeler second on a similar machine despite a brave ride by Mat Oxley into third place on the two-stroke.

The weather made history by causing the cancellation of the Production Class A and C races - the first time in the history of the TT that a scheduled programme had not been completed.

Steve Hislop's name found its way into the record books when the 25-year-old Scotsman won the six-lap Formula Two event. World Champion Brian Reid had opened up a ten-second advantage, but retired on the second lap at Ramsey with plug trouble. Yamaha-mounted Hislop took over and was never headed, although second-placed Eddie Laycock set a new lap record at 112.36mph.

Hislop had looked likely to open his TT account earlier in the week after he had built up a massive lead in the Junior. However, on the fifth lap, he retired at Glen Helen when his 350cc Yamaha seized, leaving the EMC duo of Reid and Laycock to slog it out. During a magnificent last lap Laycock was spurred on when he caught sight of Reid ahead of him on the road and he won his first TT with 5.6 seconds to spare.

Mick Boddice scored a comfortable victory - his fourth - in the first leg of the Sidecar TT.

It certainly wasn't comfortable for his passenger Donnie Williams, the tough Liverpudlian still walking with a pronounced limp after breaking both legs in a crash at Oulton Park the previous August. Boddice lost the use of his clutch on the first lap, but, despite great problems at corner such as Ramsey Hairpin, had nearly half a minute to spare over Dennis and Julia Bingham, with favourites Dave Saville and Dave Hall winning the Formula Two class on their 350cc Yamaha.

Ulsterman Lowry Burton became the oldest-ever TT winner in a dramatic second sidecar race. The 49-year-old and passenger Pat Cushnahan had been dead-heating with Boddice on the last lap at Ballaugh. A couple of miles up the road Boddice retired with mechanical problems and Burton was home and dry, with Kenny Howles and Steve Pointer claiming overall victory after finishing second. Saville again won the Formula Two class.