Belfast Telegraph

Isle of Man schedule finally under way after week of delays

 

Race face: Michael Dunlop will target the Classic Superbike TT
Race face: Michael Dunlop will target the Classic Superbike TT

By Roy Harris

The weather relented slightly on the Isle of Man for Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix practice last night, but again it was delay after delay due to a road traffic collision on the Mountain Mile and a camper van parked opposite the start and finish in a dangerous position.

It meant that brief practice was untimed with only treaded tyres permitted in far from ideal conditions.

It was a nightmare for clerk of the course Gary Thompson and his team, but the same happened at the TT back in June and a full race programme was completed.

Looking forward, the 2019 Classic TT racing programme is scheduled to get underway tomorrow with the Classic TT Senior over four-laps of the Mountain Circuit.

The seventh running of the Classic Senior (500cc) TT will see 23-time TT winner John McGuinness - off at No.1 on the Winfield Paton - start as hot favourite having won the race in 2016 and 2018.

Ten seconds behind McGuinness is 2018 Senior TT winner Dean Harrison riding the LSS Waste Management 500cc Norton, followed by Ian Lougher (MV Agusta).

Michael Rutter starts from fourth on the grid on a Ripley Land Matchless ahead of James Hillier on a 500cc Honda.

Michael Dunlop is in the programme to be sixth away on a 'to be confirmed' mount, but is a doubtful starter with the Classic Superbike TT his main target on Monday.

Lee Johnston is starting at his customary No. 13 on a Davies Motorsport Honda, while new Irish Road Race Superbike champion Derek Sheils rides a Greenall Racing 500cc Honda at 18.

The Lightweight Classic TT is scheduled for 3pm tomorrow and they have had a session of practice on Monday with Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey, back from a 2-year absence through illness, turning the clock back to set the fastest time on the 250cc GP Padgetts Honda. Anstey won this class in 2014 and 2015 and currently holds the lap record.

Harrison and Lougher team up on the Irish based LayLaw 250cc Yamaha's run by Gerry Lawlor and former double TT winner Eddie Laycock.

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