MV Agusta triple to race at Manx Grand Prix

Leading Manx Norton and Matchless G50 tuner Fred Walmsley pulls out over 8-valve twin

ALL BETS are off for who will win this year’s Manx Grand Prix Senior Classic on 25 August – probably the toughest and most prestigious classic race in the world - given that a replica of Giacomo Agostini’s rip-snorting 500cc MV Agusta triple has been entered for the first time.

Built by Midlands-based classic bike engineering specialist Dave Kay, this MV is based on machines that took Ago to five consecutive Senior TT victories from 1968 to 1972.

And the rider nominated to follow in Ago’s wake on the Island is no slouch either. The MV will be raced at the Manx by rising star Gary Johnson, who finished in the top six in both Superbike and both Supersport events at the 2008 TT.

Last year, the Manx Senior Classic was controversially dominated by another Italian rarity, an eight-valve DOHC Paton twin replica. In the highly capable hands of TT ace Ryan Farquhar, it smashed ten-year-old lap and race records with ease. As a result, leading Manx Norton and Matchless G50 tuner Fred Walmsley has pulled his bike out of this year’s event, on the basis that big two-valve singles have no chance of being competitive. But if history repeats itself, neither will the Patons, because MV Agustas could always out-perform them back in the olden days.

Sounds like a titanic throw-back battle is in the offing. Book your ferry tickets now!