Tuesday 20th August 2019

Much Ado About Nothing

The paddock is a sight to behold, full of energy and noise. Every awning is open with mechanaics working on all types of wonderful machines. The activity in the paddock is, unfortunately, not mirrored on the track.

Monday's practice went ahead, now that there are enough marshals, eight minutes late. Where I marshal at Quarterbridge there were five more marshals than on Saturday evening and this extra influx was repeated around the course.

The session was split into three with the Classic Superbikes, Classic Lightweights, MGP Junior and Senior machines in the first session. The Classic Junior and Senior bikes with the MGP Lightweights and Ultra Lightweights in the second session. The third and final session was for the Newcomers supported by selected experienced riders.

Dean Harrison (750 Kawasaki / Silicone Engineering) and Michael Rutter (1200 Yamaha / Team Winfield) had the honour of leading the field away. Dean set the fastest time of the night with a lap of 123.420 mph followed by Horst Saiger (750 Kawasaki / Greenall Racing). Dean pitted at the end of his lap and changed to his Classic Lightweight 250 Yamaha (Laylaw Racing) and set the second fastest lap at 114.280 mph.

The quickest of the night in the Classic Lightweight was the amazing Bruce Anstey, having a two year absence due to illness, he completed his second lap at 116.277 mph, 20 seconds quicker than Harrison. A fantastic performance from a rider who was born to race.

The Peoples Bike rider Stephen Parsons (Kawasaki ZX-6R) headed the Junior / Senior MGP leader board at 118.936 mph followed by the Manxman Nathan Harrison (Honda / Chris Preston / Quayside Tyres) at 117.871 mph. Nathan has already put in very impressive performances this year at the Post TT Races and the S100 held on the Colas Billown Circuit.

The timings meant that each session would allow a maximum of two laps, as the first session was being flagged off the second session was being waved away. John McGuinness led the charge on his Team Winfield 500 Paton, unfortunately the red flag was displayed as he approached Union Mills and the session was over for the night. There had been an incident at the Blach Hut bringing the proceedings to an end.

Tuesday was a fine day on the Isle of Man, that is up until road closing time at 6pm. Spits and spots of rain were being reported on the lower part of the course and the start of the session was delayed. The spits and spots developed into full blown rain showers and the evening's practice was abandoned, replicating TT practice. John McGuinness commented that with the nights drawing in at this time of the year and the atmospheric conditions leading to a greater chance of mist, the organisers should look at using afternoon practice sessions. He acknowledged that he knew where he was going but the lack of track time was disconcerting for the newcomers who needed to be on the track. He added that some of these newcomers will have been saving for one, two or three years to come to the Island and were now not being able to practice. He also agreed that the organisers hands were tied with the weather.

The Isle of Man Constabulary posted that they had arrested someone for driving there vehicle on closed roads, this person allegedly did a U turn when hailed to stop by marshals and headed back for half a mile before being stopped. A 66 year old local man is due in court today Wednesday.

The forecast for Wednesday isn't good for late afternoon and evening. The Clerk of the Course, Gary Thompson, will make an announcement at 3 pm to say if practice will go ahead or not.

Photographs of the activity at the 11th Milestone on Tuesday evening, just a couple of travelling marshals!!

Mike Hammonds