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Fog thwarts Manx Grand Prix practice

First full practice session at Manx Grand Prix abandoned due to fog on the Mountain
Last night's first full practice session for the 2012 Manx Grand Prix was thwarted by fog.

Competitors only managed a single lap of the 37.73-mile Mountain course before the session was red-flagged on safety grounds.

Riders in the Junior 600cc class were first away, including last year's Junior race runner-up – Paul Smyth – plus rising talent Jamie Coward, who is tipped to make a big impact at the festival this year, which is seen as a stepping stone to the Isle of Man TT races.

Coward was fastest through the speed trap at Sulby at 169mph, although it was Supertwin rider Mike Minns who clocked the fastest time with a lap of 112.44mph, with Yorkshireman Coward lapping at 111.46mph.

Ulsterman Trevor Ferguson, riding a Kawasaki ER6 for top road racer Ryan Farquhar, was third fastest with a lap at 111mph.

After the opening lap, Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman kept the roads closed and opted to allow the Classic competitors to leave on a lap of the circuit, stipulating that from Parliament Square they would be escorted over the fog-hit Mountain on a speed-controlled lap by a travelling marshal.

The lap counted as a qualifying lap.

Competitors who set off included Russ Mountford and Manx star Dan Kneen on '85 Suzuki XR69s in the Classic Superbike session while Ulsterman Farquhar, Olie Linsdell, Alan Oversby and Chris Palmer all went out in the Classic 500cc session.

The Classic, Classic Superbike, Junior Post Classic and Newcomers are due on the track first this evening, with the session scheduled for a 6.20pm start.

The opening race of the festival, the Newcomers event, takes place on Saturday evening, when current British Supersport Cup champion John Simpson from Antrim will ride for the Splitlath Redmond team on a Triumph 675.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Farquhar at the Manx Grand Prix
Lee Johnston in action at the Ulster Grand Prix
Malachi Mitchell-Thomas in action in the Senior Manx Grand Prix
Billy Redmayne, Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, Rob Hodson on the podium after the Junior Manx Grand Prix
Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey and Ryan Farquhar were the top three in the Formula 1 race at the Classic TT
Dan Cooper and Michael Rutter in the 350cc Classic TT
Dennis Hoffer at the Manx Grand Prix
Newcomers prepare to leave the line at the Manx Grand Prix
Lee Johnston, Peter Hickman and Michael Dunlop on the Superstock podium at the Ulster Grand Prix
Lee Johnston at the Ulster Grand Prix
Bruce Anstey won the Dundrod 150 Superbike race at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix
Glenn Irwin will ride the Cookstown/BE Racing Supertwin Kawasaki at the Ulster Grand Prix
Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW at the Ulster Grand Prix
John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar will again compete at the Classic TT on Paton machinery for Roger Winfield
Glenn Irwin and Christian Elkin with Ulster GP Clerk of the Course, Noel Johnston, and Supertwins race sponsors Maxwell Freight
Guy Martin celebrates winning the Solo Championship race with Dan Kneen andIvan Lintin
Gary Johnson and Ryan Farquhar during practice for the Lightweight TT
Jamie Hamilton at the North West 200

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