2 June 2015
TT 2015: Superbikes in action but weather hits again
The Superbike machines completed their first laps of practice at the Isle of Man TT on Tuesday although rain later in the evening forced the cancellation of the Sidecar session.
The Superbike machines had their first taste of action at the 2015 Isle of Man TT on Tuesday evening after the disappointment of Monday's cancellation on the Mountain Course.
However, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson announced that the session would be untimed, with high winds on the Mountain and the risk of showers making conditions tricky.
The Superbike and Superstock riders managed to complete at least two laps, although rain later in the evening saw the F2 Sidecar session cancelled yet again after the competitors also missed on Saturday evening, when the session was cut short due to rain.
At 6.25pm, the 1000cc riders were finally unleashed for the first time after being warned of the blustery conditions, bright sunlight at Appledene and damp patches at Tower Bends.
First away were Milwaukee Yamaha's Michael Dunlop and Michael Rutter on the Penz13.com BMW, swiftly followed by PBM Kawasaki's Ian Hutchinson and James Hillier (Quattro Plant Kawasaki), Guy Martin on the Tyco BMW and Padgetts Honda star Bruce Anstey.
Lee Johnston on the ECC/Burdens BMW, Tyco BMW's William Dunlop and Gary Johnson on his GBmoto Kawasaki were also among the early starters, although Johnson stopped at Ballaugh with problems.
Hutchinson was first to complete a lap ahead of 11-times winner Dunlop, Rutter and Martin.
Honda's Conor Cummins pulled in after one lap to make changes and reported that Windy Corner was certainly living up to its name, while Ryan Farquhar indicated that caution was needed due to the number of damp patches around the course.
The session lasted until 7.05pm, which meant just six riders managed to get out for a third lap, including Hutchinson, Hillier, John McGuinness, Anstey, Martin and Rutter, with all six managing two laps on their Superbike and one on their Superstock machines.
At 7.10pm, it was the turn of the Supersport and Lightweight riders although rain was already reported on the west coast of the island.
Martin Jessopp was first away on his Lightweight machine but the majority of the field were Supersport-mounted including Jamie Hamilton, Michal Dokoupil, David Johnson, William Dunlop and Ivan Lintin.
However, just as the riders were two thirds of the way round their first lap, the rain started to get heavier, on both the west coast and over the Mountain. Indeed, McGuinness reported conditions were very sketchy on his third lap and that it was also very cold over the Mountain.
With conditions worsening, the Clerk of the Course decided to flag the session off at 7.35pm with riders out on course brought back to the Grandstand under waved yellow flags.
It was hoped to get the F2 Sidecars underway at 8.10pm but with no sign of the weather easing over the Mountain, the unfortunate decision was made to bring the evening's activities to an end.
The weather reports for the rest of the week are broadly positive so hopes are high for some good, clear practice sessions ahead of Saturday's first scheduled race day, which includes the six-lap RST Superbike event and the opening Sidecar race.
There were three reported incidents in the solo's session, with American Brandon Cretu and Philip Crowe reported off at Kerrowmoar and Laurel Bank, although both were reported to have escaped serious injury by the travelling marshals.
Mark Herbertson was airlifted to Nobles with a reported shoulder injury after coming off at the Mountain Box.
Wednesday's qualifying session is due to see the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport machines out first at 6.20pm with the Sidecars in action from 8pm.
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