Manx GP: Rain cancels evening practice

Race programme shunted back due to torrential weather

By Roger Willis on Tue, 19 Aug 2008 - 04:08

FOLLOWING THE complete wash-out of the Ulster GP road races at Dundrod in Northern Ireland last week, the Manx Grand Prix is also now struggling against desperately unseasonal weather.

The first MGP evening practice on Saturday 16 August was cancelled completely in the face of torrential rain and poor visibility - which grounded the Airmed rescue helicopters.

Roads did close for Monday evening’s practice session but, with intermittent rain on much of the course and the cloud base once again becoming problematic over the Mountain, the plug was pulled after just a single controlled-speed sighting lap by competitors riding on the Island for the first time, chaperoned in groups by travelling marshals.

Given that the weather is unlikely to improve meaningfully until the end of this week, qualifying practice sessions will probably now extend into Monday and Tuesday of race week, pushing the entire six-race programme back by a couple of days.

Up-and-coming TT star Michael Dunlop, who was supposed to be riding a 350 Aermacchi once campaigned by his late uncle Joey in the MGP Junior Classic event next Wednesday, is now appealing for the loan of a replacement machine after comprehensively blowing his original mount up while dyno testing it.

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