Belfast Telegraph

Racing a non-starter at Isle of Man TT

By Paul Lindsay

The weather may have put paid to the day’s racing on the island but there were still plenty of talking points at the Isle of Man TT.

Perhaps it was the influence of Prodigy frontman Keith Flint— famous for his dance rock anthem, Firestarter — at the circuit, but the riders were in rebellious form when organisers proposed starting the Supersport TT Race Two, despite horrendous conditions across the island.

Wind, driving rain and fog on the Mountain was instrumental in delaying yesterday’s 10.45am slot, with the four-lap race now scheduled for a 6.30pm start later today, weather permitting.

TT Clerk of Course Eddie Nelson made yesterday’s announcement of an overnight reschedule at around 2pm; the same time he had initially announced racing would commence, after holding off the initial 10.45am start, with roads closed all around the circuit ready for the off.

Unbeknown to Nelson, the top ten riders had collectively decided they wouldn’t be racing, with water running down the road from the Nook to Governor’s Dip and thick sea fog right across the Mountain, with reports of treacherous conditions on a high percentage of tarmac all over the 37.73-mile Circuit.

Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider Cameron Donald summed up his feelings when the 2pm start time was announced.

“In these conditions that’s worrying. I don’t mind riding in the wet, but I don’t fancy riding in those conditions,” he admitted.

Thankfully commonsense prevailed, but the Melbourne lad wasn’t on his own with his concerns.

Wilson Craig Honda’s Guy Martin was more forthright with his opinion, stating: “It’s not safe; that’s not racing. What’s going on with their heads?”

Last year, Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop was a very popular Supersport Race 2 winner in perilous conditions, but following yesterday’s show of strength by many of the main contenders, that included Honda men Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness, it’s now obvious, only dry roads will suffice for the middleweight encounter.

One man who wasn’t letting the weather get to him was Flint, a guest at TT2010 with Monster Energy and Suzuki, and having sampled the delights of the TT Circuit in a Porsche, and on two wheels, with former BSB superstar John Reynolds, the Prodigy star is already planning a return.

“These men are real gladiators round here,” he said. “I know what it’s like to give it your all on stage in front of 60,000 people, but I can’t imagine the adrenalin rush, racing around here.”

Roads will now close today at 11.30am with the three-lap Sidecar Race Two scheduled to commence at 12.15pm, followed by Senior TT practice and the Zero emissions event.

The Supersport race will be last off at the aforementioned early evening time of 6.30pm, running the full four-lap distance.

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