Wet weather sees practice session postponed

Bruce Anstey won the Formula 1 Classic TT in 2014''PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Bruce Anstey won the Formula 1 Classic TT in 2014''PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Saturday’s scheduled opening practice session for the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix at the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

The decision was made early in the day as rain fell around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, pushing the first practice sessions back until this evening.

Roads are scheduled to close at 6pm (5pm on the Mountain) with the first machines due to leave the Glencrutchery Road at 6.20pm approximately, reopening no later than 9pm.

The Manx GP Senior, Junior, Supertwins and Classic TT F1 and F2 riders will be first away, with the Classic TT 350/500, Lightweight and Newcomers session taking place from 7.25pm.

A plethora of TT stars are in action, including 23-times winner John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton, who is joined in the Bennetts 500 race on Saturday by Ulsterman Ryan Farquhar.

Michael and William Dunlop are also among the top name entries, with the pair set to ride a Team Classic Suzuki ZR69 and a 588cc Norton respectively in next Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Formula 1 race.

The Dunlop brothers will also compete in Saturday’s opening 500cc race, with Michael on a Molnar Manx Norton and William again riding a Honda for Davies Motorsport.

New Zealand’s Bruce Anstey is expected to take all the beating as he bids to retain his Formula 1 title on the Padgetts Motorcycles YZR500 Yamaha Grand Prix machine.

Anstey dominated the race in 2014 and the 46-year-old believes the two-stroke Yamaha is capable of matching the speeds of the modern-day TT Supersport machines, predicting a lap of 127 or 128mph in within his reach.

Other star names include Senior TT runner-up James Hillier, Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston, Conor Cummins, Ivan Lintin, Jamie Coward, Martin Jessopp, Dan Kneen and Gary Johnson.

A packed weekend of entertainment at the Classic TT meeting is planned, including a special parade lap featuring 13 iconic Norton machines on Saturday plus a free paddock carnival on Friday, celebrating the ’50s, which features the Blue Jays – one of the UK’s leading rock and roll tribute bands.

The full day’s entertainment will get underway at 12 o’clock with nine time TT winner Charlie Williams hosting a series of chat shows with many of the leading Classic TT lights, including the main protagonists in the Norton celebrations as well as all of the contenders for the big race honours.