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May 29, 2013

Rain Affects Wednesday Evening Practice At The Isle Of Man TT

Isle of Man TT: Cameron Donald (2) on his Honda during untimed practice Wednesday.
Clerk of Course opts for another untimed session as weather affects Isle of Man TT Races Qualifying

For the third night in a row, conditions on the Isle of Man worsened as the day wore on and just when practice was due to commence, rain in the North of the Island led to a delay in proceedings. The earlier sunshine was a distant memory and with wet roads between Milntown and the Mountain Mile it meant that Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson, MBE, had little option other than to declare the session untimed.

Whilst Cheung Wain On was finally able to complete his newcomers controlled lap on time, the main start was delayed until 7.15pm and when it did, all the expected front runners were nowhere to be seen as they had to switch from the Superbike machines they were so desperate to get out on to more suitable Supersport or Superstock machinery.

So it was Ivan Lintin, on the 600cc Taylor Lindsey Kawasaki, and Josh Brookes on the Tyco Suzuki who were the first to leave the line, the latter becoming the first newcomer for a long time to lead a session away. Other riders well to the fore included Robert Wilson, Paul Owen, Grant Wagstaff, Jamie Coward, Rob Barber, Ryan Kneen and Derek Sheils. However, with stationery yellow flags being displayed for almost a third of the lap, it was clear the riders would be doing nothing more than sighting laps.

Five minutes after Brookes and Lintin, a few of the seeded riders did take to the track with Michael Rutter (Superstock), John McGuinness (Supersport), Bruce Anstey (Supersport), Conor Cummins (Superstock) and Guy Martin (Superstock) amongst them.
Before long though, reports around the course were that the rain showers were increasing in frequency with Ballacraine onwards now seeing wet roads and yellow flags prominent. Indeed, most riders pulled in after one lap citing conditions although some did continue for two, primarily notable newcomers Brookes, Raphael Paschaolin, Horst Saiger and Sam Wilson. Cummins and Rutter also put in two laps whilst McGuinness had intended to do likewise until pulling in at Quarter Bridge.

At 8pm, it was the turn of the F2 Sidecars who were getting their first track action since Saturday and all of the crews took full advantage of the time allotted, despite the still inclement conditions. The only exception was Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance who decided not to participate and whilst a few of the teams did put in two laps, many, like the solos, just opted for a solitary lap.

Qualifying schedule for Thursday 30th May 2013 (Times GMT)
18.20-19.10 - Sidecar
19.15-19.55 - Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
20.00-20.50 - Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomers (all solo classes)