Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Troubled Isle of Man TT is hit by oil spill as race looms

Ryan Farquhar

Last night's solo practice for the Isle of Man TT was terminated just prior to the off following a severe oil spill between Kirkmichael and Alpine Cottage that required specialist kit to clean up the road.

The oil spill occurred in the closing stages of the sidecar practice session that preceded the scheduled solo session.

With just one solo session left this evening prior to Saturday's opening TT Superbike race this has left a lot of competitors totally frustrated as they were expecting to get at least three laps in last night.

Michael Dunlop said: "It's been a terrible week for me so far trying to get the superbike to go right and it's all up in the air to get it sorted.

"They say bad a practice week makes for good race week and I hope that's right.

"I need miles and I'm not getting them, I've only done a couple of laps on the 600 bike so far, this is just another hiccup along the way."

Dunlop, despite the problems with his Street Sweep Kawasaki superbike prepared by Paul Bird Motorsport, still managed the fifth fastest speed of the week at 128.269mph set on Wednesday evening and tops the supersport class on his Yamaha at 125.464mph set on Tuesday, while he is credited with the second fastest time in the superstock class to date.

Ryan Farquhar is another with precious little track time this week after a number of machine problems, the Dungannon man saying: "It has been a frustrating week to say the least.

"Monday was slightly damp and we just did a couple of steady laps and then on Tuesday when I wanted to get stuck in properly the superbike engine made a slight noise on the second lap and I pulled in at Kerrowmoar and was stuck their for the rest of the session and lost a lot of time.

"I managed a good time on the superstock on Wednesday evening, but ran into overheating problems and I have a fair way to go to be where I want to be.

"Losing track time has put me on the back foot and losing this session is a real blow.

"The first race is only round the corner and it could well be a hit and miss job setting the bike up for that with just one session left to get three bikes properly sorted."

The abandonment was a blessing in disguise for TT Legends Honda rider Keith Amor, who was advised to have a rest day following a Wednesday evening spill at Quarter Bridge in which he suffered a damaged right shoulder ligament.

Amor, sixth fastest rider of the week up to his spill said: "I have a minor separation of the AC joint in my right shoulder, my specialist says I can ride on Friday."

The Austrian-Manx partnership of Klaus Klaffenbock and Dan Sayle, fastest sidecar outfit of the week, topped last night's only practice session with a lap of 113.572mph.

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