Belfast Telegraph

Dunlop is hoping to shrug off practice woe on Isle of Man


By Roy Harris

Following an inspection yesterday morning, racing was cancelled at the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling with extremely poor visibility on the Mountain and roads saturated after heavy rain.

Yesterday's scheduled races are to be held today, with a much brighter forecast hopefully allowing the Classic Junior TT and Classic Superbike TT to take place before the opening Manx Grand Prix race for newcomers.

Roads will close between 11.30am and 5pm and then from 6pm until no later than 9pm.

Reduced from four laps to three, the Sure Junior Classic TT is scheduled to start at 12pm, with the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT over the original four-lap distance set to commence at 2.40pm.

Roads will reopen between 5-6pm before closing again for the Manx GP Newcomers race (6.15pm) over a reduced three-lap distance, followed by one qualifying lap for Junior and Senior Manx machines.

Michael Dunlop has just one opportunity left to record a victory this year. He will ride the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 in the four-lap Superbike race, but his chances of a fourth win in the class have been hindered by practice issues, and it wasn't until Friday that he completed a full lap on the bike.

Dunlop said: "It is what it is. The boys have worked to try and fix the problems. We have even changed chassis to one I've never ridden before. We were just about able to qualify and it is a case of seeing what happens."

Bruce Anstey (Padgetts YZR 500cc Yamaha) will start favourite today. The Kiwi was fastest in practice and won Saturday's Classic Lightweight TT.

In the Classic Junior TT, Dunlop was posted as a non-starter yesterday. That has left brother William, Michael Rutter, Dean Harrison, Cameron Donald, Jamie Coward and Lee Johnston, broken fingers and all, to chase a podium.

In this evening's Manx GP Newcomers three-lap race, Ballymoney rider Darryl Tweed sets off at No.4 on the road. He is in with a real shout of a win on his 675cc Triumph having qualified fastest.

Also today, there will be an opportunity to see Steve Plater ride the 250cc Honda-6 of the 1960s, and the Classic TT Retro Parade lap between the Junior and Superbike TT races.

Michael Dunlop and passenger Dan Sayle are to take to the circuit on a 600cc LCR Honda sidecar with Glenn Irwin, Brian Reid, Phillip McCallen and Gary Dunlop among some 120 solo riders.

Belfast Telegraph

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