After a variety of difficulties had beset the Manx Motor Cycle Club in their previous quest to get evening practising starting on schedule, this time they were lucky and this time the session ran through without major problems, though it was cut slightly short by heavy showers late on. A total of 397 bikes passed through scrutineering.
The South African pair entered in the Newcomers’ race have been hit by big problems. Jason Holland from Galiberg and Adan du Plesis from Brakpan intended to ride 1000cc Hondas. They air-freighted the bikes from South Africa to Manchester, intending to then bring them to the Island by ferry. But Customs officers at Manchester have so far refused to release the bikes, claiming that the documentation is not in order. Fellow newcomer Stu Bainborough from Castletown offered a couple of spare R6 Yamahas, but after the sighting lap Holland decided to withdraw, leaving du Plesis to try to qualify while hopefully prising his bike out of Manchester in time to qualify for Monday’s race.
Local rider John Barton is a glutton for punishment. Not content with lapping at over 122mph in the Senior TT three months ago, he is riding in two classes of the Classic Manx Grand Prix and is entered for the Golden Jubilee of the Manx Two Day Trial this weekend. He even talked of squeezing in a game for local football team Marown AFC to fill in, but reckoned he wouldn’t have quite enough time between finishing the first day of the trial and turning out for MGP evening practice on Saturday!
Manxman Tony Cawte had some excitement on Monday evening. He was taking through Kirk Michael on John Turner’s 435cc Honda when people began agitatedly pointing to the bike. When he looked round there were sparks flying from the back wheel. Clattering to a halt at Rhencullen, sector marshal Gordie Moore was quick with a fire extinguisher to put out the frying back brake.
Fellow Manxman Roger Hurst – riding on the TT Course for the first time for 15 years – had little luck when touring back on Ian Rycroft’s TD1C Yamaha in an earlier outing. It had gone on to one cylinder at the Bungalow and he was heading for adjustments when a cylinder fin snapped off and got sucked in to a carburettor. Luckily it only destroyed the piston and the Nikisel barrel was untouched. Ian also backs Bob Taylor on another air-cooled Yamaha and has two rides himself. He has switched his Greeves from 500 to 350cc and says it’s much better although overgeared first time out. He has also invested £14,000 on Vin Duckett’s G50 Seeley Matchless which he says is lovely to ride.
Stuart Noon from Feltwell was unlucky at Quarter Bridge. He happened to be next behind Ray King’s Aermacchi which was blowing oil and lost the front end peeling into the corner. Although shaken, he was able to walk away without injury. King did wonders in holding a lock-to-lock slide on the exit not knowing his own oil was the culprit.
Just about the entire entry was out in the two parts of the session, but Chris Palmer got no further than Glen Vine before halting Fred Walmsley’s Manx Norton, which was a pity as FIM Classic World Champion Glen English had come over to watch him.
Ian Pattinson did 117mph from a standing start but said he wanted to make further adjustments to the mighty 750 Suzuki and took it for a further lap in the second portion. He was happier with the 600 which, he said, was “ready to be parked up” for next week.
TT star Richard Britton was finding his way in the Classic ranks, while 1984 Historic TT winner Dave Roper from New York was going well on the Domiracer-sponsored G50 Matchless.