After a frustrating three days kicking their heels while ‘Manannan’s Cloak’ enveloped the island, competitors were finally able to get some much-needed track time at the 2018 Manx Grand Prix.The session got underway at 6.20pm after the earlier afternoon session had been rained off and although the grandstand was bathed in sunshine at the start of the session, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson advised riders that there were a number of damp patches around the course, particularly under the trees, which would be highlighted with stationery flags.
The Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight competitors were first out on the track as well as the Newcomers B competitors.
Dave Butler on the Fingal Motor Club Kawasaki was on the pace and recorded a lap of 106.51while Gareth Evans was just over three seconds behind Butler with a lap of 106.218. Victor Lopez Santos was third fastest on the opening lap with 105.764 with Dave Lumsden three seconds behind the Spaniard and Andrew Farrell a further 8 seconds behind completing the top five.
However, Dave Lumsden, on the Martin Bullock Manxsport Kawasaki went out for a second lap and topped the evening’s Lightweight board with 107.56.In the concurrent Ultra Lightweight class Darryl Tweed’s opening lap of 102.29 was comfortably the fastest which he improved to 103.24 on the second lap. Steve Moody and Daniel Ingham completed the top three.
Japan’s Yoshihiro Kishimoto (98.94) narrowly pipped James Hind (98.91) by less than half a second with Barry Sheehan the third fastest Newcomer B on the night with 98.47mph.However, with the Senior and Junior MGP machines assembled in Parc Ferme itching to get on the track, at 7.15pm the weather gods again betrayed the riders and with reports of rain at Kirk Michael and wet roads on the West of the Island and the Mountain section, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson had no option but to cancel the second session.
Tomorrow sees the addition of a second, afternoon, qualifying session to the schedule to compensate for the lost sessions earlier in the week. The timetable, subject to weather, is:13.30 - Roads close around the course14.00 - 14.55. CTT Superbikes/ CTT Lightweight/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior15.00 – 15.50 CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight/ MGP Ultra16.30 - Roads open around the Course18.00 – Roads closed around the Course18.20 – 19.10 CTT Superbike/ CTT Lightweight/ MGP Senior/ MGP Junior19.15 – 20.00 CTT Senior/ CTT Junior/ MGP Lightweight/ MGP Ultra Lightweight21.00 – Roads open no later than 9pm• Ends