Owen in with a chance of a Classic TT podium

By James Lloyd

Llangollen based racer, Paul Owen, says “he can’t keep away” as he continues his Classic TT charge on board his Team98 250cc Honda.

“I did 18 years at the Isle of Man TT, I can’t keep away, I’ve had to come back to do the Classic”, said Owen.

“It started to get too serious [the TT] and then you are pushing your boundaries and you can’t make mistakes around here”.

Owen stopped competing at the Isle of Man TT in 2014. “I lapped at 125mph in practice and 123mph in the race and couldn’t get a top 20 finish, so that’s my limit basically. I’ve come back to this and there’s no pressure on me, if I come first, I come first, if I come last that’s it, I’m here to enjoy it”.

The North Welshman has made a solid start to this years’ races, creeping up the leaderboard in the Lightweight class. By Wednesday evening, Owen had posted an average lap speed of 110 mph, leaving him second on the night behind close friend, Bruce Anstey.

“I think I can compete in the 250 class here, I’m up there, I just need to find the extra speed as Ian Lougher has pulled the pin on us all really. I’d like a podium on the 250, so that’s what I’m aiming for, we’ll just see what happens”.

At the age of 44, Owen is still competing on the roads, impressing at both the Ulster GP and the Scarborough races this year.

As well as the Lightweight race, Owen will line up in Monday’s Superbike race on a 750cc Yamaha, though, believes the race will be a bit of a struggle. “I’m just making up the numbers in that. Michael Dunlop’s on a 1300cc Suzuki and Anstey is on a 500 GP bike, but you never know it’s four laps around here, it’s a long race”.

Ultimately, Owen is relishing the opportunity to race around the prestigious Isle of Man course again and added: “It’s the addiction coming here, you can’t get it out of the system. I have to be here, it’s got that attraction, it’s a love-hate place”.

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