Aug 21, 2011
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Rain on the Isle of Man has resulted in the cancellation of the first practice session for the 2011 Manx Grand Prix Races which was scheduled for 5pm (GMT) today (Saturday 20th August) from 5pm. Clerk of the course Phil Taubman took the early decision at 3pm following reports expected rain around the course. He said:
"Based on the weather report received from the Met Office we decided to call the session off early to give people plenty of notice and minimise disruption. I want to pay tribute to the Marshals who had committed to man the session and I was keen to let everyone know in plenty of time."
Mountain Course Newcomer, American Racer Chris Sarbora, was one of the disappointed riders who had hoped to get their first closed road experience of the Mountain Course. He and fellow Americans Anthony Bakker and Travis McNerney are the first Americans to race modern bikes at the Manx Grand Prix for over ten years, following in the footsteps of recent high profile Americans Mark Miller and Jeremy Toye at the TT Races.
"It was a real shame not to get a few laps on the bike but we did at least get out in the morning with Chris Palmer on a coach and he gave us a real insight into racing the course. I'm just raring to go on Monday now," he said.
Over 500 machines across all classes are scheduled to participate in the meeting, with riders from the USA, Portugal, France, Germany, Eire, South Africa, Switzerland, Australia joining competitors from the UK, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man on the grid. A number of leading Northern Ireland based competitors including Adrian Archibald, Ryan Farquhar and Michael Dunlop are due to compete in the Classic Superbike race, although Dunlop is yet to arrive on the Island as he is competing in a National Road Race in West Cork this weekend.
Saturday's practice session, albeit reduced in time, will now take place on Monday evening with the newcomers leading the session out from 6.20pm in a speed controlled lap followed by Senior, Junior, Supertwins and the final session, the Classic Superbikes, Junior Post Classic and Lightweights.