Saturday May 28
Practising for the 2005 TT meeting in the Isle of Man got underway in dry but blustery conditions on Saturday night with riders facing strong crosswinds on the mountain section of the course.
Saturday’s practice provided the first glimpse for TT fans of the new-look meeting which sees the end of two-strokes and the introduction of the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes. However, spectators will have to wait a little longer to hear what speeds the new machines can achieve. As a result of the windy conditions the Clerk of the Course took the decision, on the recommendation of the Travelling Marshals, that the first practice session should be untimed.
There was another consequence of the strong winds with several machines running out of fuel as a result of needing increased revs to cope with conditions on the mountain, Martin Finnegan being one of those to suffer.
The Supersport Class boasted the evening’s best turnout with 66 going through scrutineering. In addition there were 54 Superbikes, 26 Superstocks and three senior bikes. There was a good turnout from the sidecars with 63 outfits taking to the roads for the first practice session.
There were two minor incidents. Frank Spenner came off his Superbike at the Water Works while the French sidecar team of Patrick Geffray and Yann Mairot spilled at Sulby Bridge. There were no injuries reported in either instance.
An innovation this year, for the TT, was a newcomers’ lap for both solo and sidecar competitors where the debutants were escorted round the course by travelling marshals. Although this has been tried before at the Manx Grand Prix, it was the first time the idea had been introduced to the TT.
The start of practice week also saw the beginning of a research project undertaken by Dr.Adam Standring from Noble’s Hospital. With the use of a microchip device attached to the skin Dr.Standring is able to monitor the effects of dehydration and other stresses on the riders’ condition.
He had been in touch with members of the biking fraternity to see what kind of information would be helpful in determining physiological factors which may have an impact on safety. Dr. Standring had then adapted his research accordingly.
Next practice session is on Monday night.