With vastly improved weather compared to previous evenings, decent track conditions despite the odd damp patch, the stage was set for an enterprising Manx GP/Classic TT practice session.
Unfortunately though a road traffic collision at Guthries taking place just under two hours, before practice got underway, proved the defining factor in providing another curtailed session for competitors.
All Junior, Senior, Lightweight, Superbike Classic TT racers gained tonight no track time, as did Junior, Senior, Lightweight, Ultra Lightweight Manx GP class racers.
The only riders to gain track time this evening were the Manx GP newcomers. Despite only banking one timed practice lap of the fabled Mountain Course alongside experienced riders such as Dave Madsen Mygdal, Andy Dudgeon and Dean Osborne, lap speeds recorded were more than a touch respectable.
Photo by Mark Corlett
Setting the Newcomers A pace was Irish Road Race Senior Support Championship front runner, Michael Browne.
ZX6R Kawasaki mounted Browne lapped from a standing start at an impressive 105.808 mph, a quite brilliant lap speed given the obvious lack of track time thus far this week.
Second, third, fourth, fifth quickest respectively Thomas Maxwell (104.033), Steven Haddow (102.579), Lloyd Collins (102.539) and Chris Preston/Toyo Tires backed Nathan Harrison (100.805), all impressed in topping the 100 mph mark.
You could heap nothing but praise as well on fellow newcomers John Pilloud (99.765), Herve Somson (98.385), James Field (98.069), Paul Fallon (97.232) and Arnie Shelton (97.019).
Topping the Newcomers B time sheets was Market Rasen’s James Hind (96.671), who finished just over five seconds quicker than VRS Racing’s Daniel Fernandez (96.299).
Closely matched in finishing third, fourth, fifth fastest were Junior Support Cookstown 100 victor Barry Sheehan (96.281), Manxman James Smith (95.863) and Michael Rees (94.994).
Photo by Nick Wheeler
Japan’s Yoshihiro Kishimoto lapped at a very creditable 92.278 mph, whilst Sam Grief (93.405), Jack Fowler (93.208) and Paul O’Rourke (93.000) all nudged over the 93 mph mark.
The newcomers showing strong, accomplished, professional form, albeit from only one practice lap, was the only real positive to come from another disappointing evening on the Isle of Man.
Looking towards tomorrow’s scheduled afternoon, evening practice sessions, I really hope for all competitors, Classic TT, Manx GP based that both sessions run smoothly.
Racers are in desperate need of track time ahead of race week, which already rumour has won’t begin as scheduled on Saturday the 25th of August.
Words by Stevie Rial