Bad News for Wattie Brown 26 August 2004
Conditions for this afternoon practice were fair, and first away after a ten
minute delay for the removal of an illegally parked car at Ramsey were the Newcomers and Ultra Lightweights, though
as usual a few strays from other classes were allowed to lead the field to allow
them more time to also ride in the Junior, Senior or Lightweight practice later
in the afternoon.
Prior to this afternoon, the fastest lap of the week stood to Ian Pattinson (750 Kawasaki)
at 116.34mph on Wednesday evening. This time was set using genuine Senior Race
number plates, which applies only to those using the larger capacity bikes. The
rest of the Senior field use their Junior numbers, as that race is earlier in
the programme. That puts Seamus Greene (Suzuki)
quickest in the Junior at 115.99mph last evening. Leader of the Lightweight
class is Gavin Bell
(Honda) at 109.63mph; the Ultra-Lightweight is headed by Mark Wateridge (400
Kawasaki) at 106.01mph; Newcomers 750cc Ken Doherty (750 Kawasaki)
112.01mph; Newcomers 125/400 David Higgs (400 Kawasaki)
98.66mph; Senior Classic Alan
Oversby (Norton) 102.82mph; Junior Classic Chris McGahan (Honda)
98.37mph; Lightweight Classic Norman Kneen (Suzuki)
Bad news for Stirling's Wattie Brown. His Junior
Classic 350cc Drixton Honda blew up 50 yards into a proposed test session at
Jurby Airfield. It puts paid to any hope of winning, even though he should
still be able to have a ride using a substituted road bike engine. But
Wattie's bad luck didn't desert him when he slid off his 500 Petty Manx when an
unexpected shower at the Creg caught him and Alan Harling out within
Fellow Scot Denis
Gallagher tried a plug chop and thought his mechanics would rescue the bike
from the bottom of Noble's Park. But permission was turned down, so Denis had
to puff and pant down again then push the Bob Pearson Honda back up the lane.
Newcomer Ken Doherty was
satisfied with progress, but was just staying steady as unpredictable showers
made rapid riding a little risky. He pulled in after two laps. But he then
went out in the second portion of the session on his regular 600cc Suzuki as
against the 750 he will ride in the Newcomers!
TT regular Adrian
McFarland had another dabble on Mark McCausland's Drixton Honda, with a
thumbs up and no need (yet) to resort to a similar bike also brought over to the
Mark Waddell again had
his 250 and 600 bikes out, preferring the bigger model in the wind, with the 250
wrenching his shoulders as it jumped about, while the heavier 600 stayed still.
John Loder had no time to
spare as he handed over his Nourish Seeley after two laps and ran for the
faithful Greeves Oulton he will ride in the 350 Classic.
There are only two 125s in the Newcomers, and Mark Edwards said he was
going OK but certainly didn't allow himself to think he knew the whole of the
circuit. The other 125 is being ridden by Steve Bedford.
Winner of the first-ever 500 Classic, John Goodall, decided two
laps was enough, the way the weather was heading. But his 7R had run all right
and would have been OK for a third lap if he would have wanted.
Doug Snow has contrasting
machines, with the 350 Ducati chosen first then the 500 Manx Norton. The
difference in numbers (six and 29) is explained by the fact that the Seeley has
not previously given Doug a finish so the organisers had nothing to base their
There were problems, though, for Steve Linsdell on the
marvellous looking (and sounding) Paton. Thrills at how it was going were
short-lived when the newly fitted front brake master cylinder blew a seal and
emptied fluid over the screen and tank as the bump at the top of the Highlander
Peter Wakefield was also
in trouble - his Classic Suzuki smashing its crankcases when the chain broke.
The replacement motor was running far too rich on its first lap of the day.
John Killeen, from
Huntsdown in Eire, is back with a Courier Bike - but this time it's a VTR rather
than the Varadero he rode last year. Apparently the organisers weren't keen he
ride the latter, despite him having done fairly well on it last year. One thing
is similar, though, John still has sit-up-and-beg handlebars fitted. Perhaps
they saved him in his subsequent spill.
First away in the second part of the session were newcomers Derek Brien and Ken Doherty, with the
practice leader Ian
Pattinson opting to wait a minute or two while Richard Rose ensured the big
Kawasaki was up to temperature.
Davy Morgan was out
pretty early and got going well but was slowed (as were many others) by yellow
flags displayed after a crash on the entrance to Westwood near Kirk Michael. Ian Pattinson also came
across the incident and praised the marshalling, which gave plenty of warning.
Dean Silvester had a bomb
round on Steve Cathyn's big Ducati, but wasn't expected to do much as he was
suffering from a fever.
Paul Hunt and Paul Duckett were on hand to
"advise" Alan Jackson on
how to ride the Des Collins-sponsored Kawasaki, with a barrage of so-called
Elle Forrest looked at
home on a 250 (rather than her more usual 125) Honda, but said she had had a
number of problems. She declined to elaborate, preferring to concentrate on
Terry Gilmour's refuelling operation.
Fitzgerald has come all the way from New Zealand to compete, accompanied by
his father Terry, who rode in the Manx a few years ago. Quite a brave move to
tackle a course he'd heard about but never previously seen let alone ridden or
There will be NO morning practice on Friday, but the race organisers are
retaining the right to utilise an early morning session on Saturday.
Provisional fastest lap (and fastest of the week so far) was Preston's
Alan Jackson at 117.98mph
on his 600cc W. A. Corless Honda. Other fast laps this afternoon include: Ian Pattinson 114.08mph, Tom Clucas 115.63;
Dean Silvester 113.13;
Davy Morgan 115.09.
Incidents: There were nine reported incidents, the most serious of which was
the crash of Declan Lynch
and Shaun Maddern at
Westwood near Kirk Michael.
Both were taken to hospital by helicopter but are not thought to be causing
serious concern. Alan
Harling, who spilled at Creg ny Baa was also flown to hospital
but again not thought to be seriously hurt.
Others in less dramatic circumstances were Wattie Brown at the Creg,
Steve Grainger at
Cruickshanks, Gavin Bell
at Windy Corner and John
Kileen at Keppel Gate. Lucky though were Pat Sefton and Paul Morrissey who escaped
injury in an incident at Sunny Orchard, the very fast stretch between the Creg
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