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
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
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
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
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!!