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Tue, 23 Aug 2011

Bikes head out to get MGP 2011 underway
Bikes head out to get MGP 2011 underway

The 2011 Manx Grand Prix Festival finally got underway tonight following the cancellation of Saturday’s first practice due to rain. The session got underway at around 18.35 following a short delay while marshals were moved into position.

The 53 newcomers were first away from Glencrutchery Road on a speed controlled, untimed lap in groups of six under the guidance of experienced TT and MGP competitors including John Barton, Mark Parrett, Dean Harrison, Dave Madsen-Mygdal, Chris Palmer and 2010 Senior MGP winner Si Fulton.

Conditions were described as good with dry roads all round the Mountain Course but competitors were warned about bright sunlight and strobe effects through the trees.

The growing international interest in racing on the Isle of Man was reflected by newcomers from Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, The USA, France and Finland as well as a number from Northern Ireland, Eire, the UK and the Isle of Man.

The newcomers completed a short lap, pulling into Parc Ferme and the session began in earnest for the Senior, Junior and Supertwin riders at around 7pm. Dave Moffit and Andrew Brady were first away from pit lane with Andy Fenton clocking the fastest time of the night in the Junior Class – 19:52.86 (113.868) - on his opening lap with Paul Smyth (112.470) and Alan Jackson (111.407) posting the second and third fastest respectively. Peter Symes (111.197mph) was fastest in the Senior Class ahead of Dave Milling (110.875) and Trevor Ferguson (109.677).

The Classic, Post Classic and Lightweight Class started set off in pairs from the start of pit lane at 19.40 with TT riders Ryan Farquhar on a 1983 Suzuki F1 and Mark Buckley on the ‘81 Suzuki XR69 topping the Classic Superbike board with 113.516 and 112.486 respectively, with Farquhar’s time the second fastest of the evening. Brian Mateer (’91 Yamaha TZ) was fastest in the Junior Post Classic, posting 105.676 from Stuart Garton, also on a ’91 TZ Yamaha second with 104.029.

TT riders Chris Palmer on a ’72 Honda Drixon and Roy Richardson on the ’68 Aermacchi with 100.274 and 96.794 respectively were the fastest two in the 350/250 session while Steve Linsdell on a 1970 Royal Enfield Seeley and Mark Herbertson on a ’69 Matchless G50 the top two in the Classic 500cc.

Joe Phillips posted the fastest time in the Supertwins class (109.313) while Alistair Haworth (104.994) was the quickest Lightweight class rider.

The newcomers went out at the back of the final group with four newcomers – William Davison, Karl Foster, Stuart Hall and David Kennington – all posting 100mph laps and Portugal’s Nuno Caetano just outside at 99.628mph.

A total of 303 bikes went through scruitineering; Senior (17), Junior (64), Newcomers (54), Junior Post Classic (14), Classic Superbike (16), 250/350 Classic (45), Lightweight (62) and Classic 500cc (31).

Stuart Osborne (Oak Tree), Dave Milling (Sulby Bridge), Gary Fowler (Sarah’s Cottage) and Brian Gordon (Braddan Church) were all reported OK following incidents while Tony Bakker was taken by ambulance to Nobles with a neck injury following an incident at Ballacraine.

Tomorrow’s session sees the Classic, Classic Superbike, Junior Post Classic Lightweight and Newcomers B due to start the session at 18.20 with the Senior, Junior, SuperTwin and Newcomers A scheduled to go out at 19.05.

Newcomers Rab Davie and Ryan McCay get the 2011 Manx Grand Prix Races underway
Andy Fenton, a newcomer in 2010, posts the fastest time of the evening.
Ryan Farquhar on the '83 Suzuki in tonight's qualifying session for Classic Superbikes.
Photographer - Dave Collister at Photocycles.

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