Manx Grand Prix: Victor Lopez smashes lap record taking Junior race win

Racer Victor Lopez stormed to victory in the Junior Manx Grand Prix race, which saw the lap record broken twice.

The Spanish rider finished 14.8 seconds ahead of Andrea Majola, with fellow Italian Maurizio Bottalico in third.

Lopez completed the final circuit of the 37.75-mile (60km) Mountain Course in 19 minutes and 14.559 seconds, shaving six seconds off the record.

That was set by Joe Yeardsley, who set a lap time of 19 minutes and 21.855 seconds on his debut on the course.

Newcomer ctook an early lead in the race, setting a new Junior Manx Grand Prix lap record by lapping at an average speed of 116.906mph.

That left him 6.8 seconds ahead of Lopez, with Bottalico a further 7.6 seconds back.

But there was disappointment for the 26-year-old racer from Laxey after he was forced to stop at Kirk Michael on lap two due to a mechanical problem with the Paton.

As a result of that retirement, by the time the bikes reached Ramsey, just ahead of the mountain run, Lopez was sitting a comfortable 9.4 seconds ahead of Bottalico, with Andrea Majola having slotted into third.

The Spanish rider held the lead for the remainder of the lap, with a battle for second place developing between the two Italians as the gap between them narrowed to just 1.8 seconds, with the top three all racing on Paton machinery.

But Bottalico had begun to reel in Lopez by Ramsey, closing the gap to just 0.45 seconds with his fellow countryman falling to six seconds back.

By Glen Helen on lap three, Majola had overhauled Bottalico and was 2.7 seconds behind leader Lopez.

But the lead had opened up to more than nine seconds by Ballaugh on lap four, and Lopez smashed the lap record on the final charge to the chequered flag, completing the course at a speed of 117.645mph.

Speaking to Manx Radio, he said he was "really happy" to have broken the record and taken the victory.

Lopez said there had been a "big, big effort" from everyone to make it happen.

He said the bike was "wonderful", and he had been "led by a great team".

The race also saw a close battle for fourth place between Manxmen Marc Colvin and newcomer Marcus Simpson, who were both on Kawasaki machinery.

It was Colvin who pipped Simpson by just 0.176 seconds, coming in 41.6 seconds behind third placed Bottalico.

Although Leicestershire's Daniel Ingham had been in contention for fourth during the first half of the race, a long pitstop ended those hopes.

The Melton Mowbray racer rode his Aprilia to seventh place, behind Aberdare's Michael Rees on a Paton.

Plymouth's Samuel Mousley came in eighth on a Yamaha, with Jamie Williams and David Rigby making up the top 10 on Kawasaki machinery.