Belfast Telegraph

Isle of Man TT hoping to avoid Superbike postponement after practice cancellation

Michael Dunlop in action during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
Michael Dunlop in action during practice for the Isle of Man TT.

By Roy Harris

Saturday's RST Superbike race may be put back for 24 hours following the cancellation of last night’s practice session on the Isle of Man.

With time running out for teams and riders to get machines qualified, practice could be rearranged for Saturday, however clerk of the course Gary Thompson is hopeful that proceedings can be accommodated today.

“Dependent on weather conditions, we will have a qualifying session in the afternoon, as per the schedule in this situation,” he explained.

Today’s revised itinerary will see Superbike, Superstock and Supersport, including newcomers on track from 1pm until 2.50pm followed by sidecars from 3pm. Roads will reopen from 4.30pm and then close again by 6pm, with the same machines getting a second session between 6.20pm and 8.30pm.

John McGuinness, a 23-time TT winner, is set to make his comeback following his 2017 practice crash at the North West 200.

Like Ian Hutchinson, injury has left the Morecambe man with plenty to do to get on the pace of current lap record holder Peter Hickman, whose yardstick of 135.452mph is the target everyone has to match or beat to be in race-winning contention on Superstock or Superbike machines this year.

“It wasn’t ideal as the sun was blinding in places and the wind was bad all the way around,” said McGuinness after last night’s run out. “I wasn’t pushing the boat out with yellow flags waving and the conditions, so I was happy enough my fastest lap of 123.73mph — there’s definitely more to come.”

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