Shane Narbonne wins the 99th annual Loudon Classic at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, NH – The 99th annual Loudon Classic, the longest-running motorcycle race in America, capped off a successful Laconia Motorcycle Week with some of the most intense competition that the event has seen in years.
Shane Narbonne, of Tyngsboro, MA, lived up to his title of “King of the Classic” as he became the first 10-time winner of the prestigious event. The main challengers for Narbonne were four-time Classic winner Scott Greenwood, of Dunbarton, NH, and Tyler Sweeney, of Derry, NH. The crowd had anticipated the Greenwood-Narbonne battle, but Sweeney showed impressive speed as he challenged for the front after a multi-year hiatus from road racing. All three of the front runners were riding Yamaha YZF-R6’s.
After a beautiful holeshot by Triumph-mounted Ian Beam, Narbonne took over the lead on lap two. A small mistake allowed Greenwood to take the lead on lap six of the 20-lap feature, and the race was on!
Narbonne recovered quickly and clawed his way back to Greenwood by lap eight, probing several times as he searched for a way back to the front. With six laps remaining, Narbonne made his move on the brakes into Turn One and then put his head down and set the fastest laps of the race. Greenwood never gave up, but in the end Narbonne was able to extend his lead to just over one second to claim a hard-earned victory.
On the podium, Narbonne revealed challenges that he had on his path to victory, saying, “This was a tough one because we blew our motor on Friday. We had a bunch of people help us tear the engine down and really help to get us out for this race. We have such a great racing family here at the track, and I look forward to chasing title #11 next year.“
Narbonne also recognized the efforts of his father, Al Narbonne, on this Father’s Day weekend for his many years of racing support.
In the Amateur ranks of the Classic, Michael Lee was the top performer as he won the Amateur division and worked his way all the way up to 15th overall. Micheal Guarino and David Mink rounded out the Amateur podium with all three of the top Amateurs finishing in the top 20 overall.
The other purse-paying events for the 99th annual Loudon Classic were the Unlimited GP and Lightweight GP classes. In the Unlimited GP class, veteran racer Eric Wood took the victory over David Dayon and Scott Briody in an all-Kawasaki ZX-10 podium. Wood grabbed the holeshot on his Penguin Racing/Woodcraft-sponsored machine and cut the fastest laps of the weekend, dipping down in to the 1:11 range, on route to the win.
In the Seacoast Sport Cycle Lightweight GP class, NEMRR #1 plate holder Rick Doucette scored the win over two young up-and-coming riders. The Plaistow Powersports-sponsored Doucette took his the lead from the Ducati of Adam Guyer and extended his lead to a comfortable eight-second gap by the end. 17-year-old Jacob Crossman was making his debut in the Lightweight GP class on his new Penguin Racing/ Seacoast Sport Cycle Aprilia RS 660 and made an impressive charge from the middle of the pack to claim the final podium (and purse-paying) spot for this event.
The Loudon Classic is hosted by Northeast Motorcycle Road Racing Inc and was made possible in part by the support of series title sponsor Mayhew Tools, a New England manufacturer of top-quality tools for professional technicians. 2023 will be a the 100th running of both the Loudon Classic and the renowned Laconia Motorcycle Week. This landmark event will run from June 10th-18th next summer will be filled with special features to give motorcyclists of all ages the opportunity to be part of making motorcycle history!