LOUDON, N.H. – The 95th annual Loudon Classic, the longest-running motorcycle race in America, capped off a successful Laconia Motorcycle Week on Saturday by crowning its king – none other than Shane Narbonne, who won his seventh Loudon Classic title – his fourth consecutive.
"It was good to come out here to my local track; it was fun," said Shane Narbonne, who still holds the record for being the youngest winner in Loudon Classic history. "I won my first one 10 years ago when I was 18, and now I'm 28, so it feels cool to win today."
Narbonne quickly took first place on his Yamaha R6 on the third lap of the 20-lap race, and that's where he stayed. The victory lane presentation ended with fulfillment of a year-old promise from NHMS executive vice president and general manager, David McGrath.
"Last year, I said ‘If you keep winning this thing, I'm going to have to crown you the king of the Classic,'" said McGrath. "Well, I'm a man of my word. I want to present to you The King of the Loudon Classic."
Narbonne was then presented with a king's robe and gold crown.
"You would think in 95 years, you have seen it all in a race as long as the Loudon Classic has been going on, but today, we saw something for the first time," said McGrath. "We saw Shane Narbonne win his fourth consecutive Loudon Classic. That has never been done before in the history of the race."
Rounding out the top five in the Expert Middleweight Grand Prix were Scott Greenwood of Dunbarton, N.H. in second place, Christian Cronin of Loudon, N.H. in third place, Rick Doucette of Sandown, N.H. in fourth place and Alexander Guilbeault of Litchfield, N.H. in fifth place.
The Amateur race was taken by Ian Beam of Quincy, Mass., who held onto the first place spot for a majority of the race. Vicente Frontinan made a short appearance in the leading position, but Beam quickly took it back to win the race.
"We had a couple restarts, and we were all extremely exhausted," said Beam. "When we came back in the garage, Vinny tells me ‘You know you're not winning this. I'm going to get you.' Sure enough he passed me with two laps left, and I chased him down for a bit. He looked back at me driving out of 12, and that was it for him. I passed him in the one and never saw him again. He made me work for it though. That's the first time I beat him."
Vicente Frontinan of Medford, Mass. and Jesse Burnett of Windham, N.H. rounded out the top three in the Amateur Middleweight Grand Prix.
The 95th annual Loudon Classic feature event is run by the Loudon Road Race Series in the form of the Middleweight Grand Prix. The Loudon Classic has been held on-site since long before the speedway was built when it was simply a road course known as Bryar Motorsports Park.