James Cowton broke the 20-minute barrier to set a new record on his final lap at the Classic TT on the Isle of Man on Monday.
Despite his efforts, he could only take second spot in the Motorsport Formula 2 race, as his rival Ryan Kneen was 12 seconds quicker.
Kneen broke the old lap record on the opening lap with a time of 20:04.539, which Cowton went inside on his second lap, recording 19:59.560, to make him the first man to complete a sub 20 minute-lap for the Classic TT F2 Class.
Kneen’s second lap of 120:03.192 kept the pressure on, and he ended up producing his fastest time on final lap, which meant that even though Cowton clocked an even better time on his fourth circuit, 19:57.162, he had to settle for the runner-up spot.
The new record was a consolation for the Kilham rider, who was forced to retire from 14th place in the 500cc Classic event on Saturday with exhaust problems.
The Classic TT was the 21st of 25 events in this year’s Duke Road Race Rankings. Cowton is the reigning champion but currently sits in third spot, with William Dunlop well out in front and last year’s runner-up Ivan Lintin in second.
Those three are among the leading lights now preparing for the prestigious Oliver’s Mount Gold Cup in Scarborough later this month.
John McGuinness headlines the event after a very successful year, taking his 23rd Isle of Man TT win in the summer
Ryan Farquhar, Ian Lougher. Oliver’s Mount crowd favourites Lee Johnston and Dean Harrison will also be involved while Guy Martin has entered, and depending on how his recovery goes with injuries he recently picked up in Ulster, will be looking to get his hands on the Gold Cup.
Michael Dunlop also wants to race and is working to prepare a bike in time.