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Manx Grand Prix
MGP News
Tuesday Evening Practices 19 August 2003

There was another capacity turnout for this evening's fine weather session, with Classics and Ultra Lightweights out first. As they got away promptly at 6.15, the fastest times to that point were by Keith Taylor at 105.76mph (Ultra Lightweight), Allan Oversby 103.15mph (Senior Classic), Jason Griffiths 99.25mph (Junior Classic) and Ewan Hamilton 94.40mph (Lightweight Classic).

Andy Miley (400 Kawasaki) and Meredydd Owen (500 Classic Seeley) headed the field enjoying dry roads right around. But in no rush to go was Lightweight Classic practice leader Hamilton. He casually waited his turn in the large queue, later revealing he wanted a clear run to test new exhaust pipes on the little Suzuki. But they were not the answer and after a stop at Guthrie's to investigate why the engine seemed not to be pulling the way he wanted, he planned to ditch the new stacks. "I'm tryng to get 13,000 out of it," but it's maybe asking too much!"

Last year's Senior Classic runner-up Bob Price from Stroud was satisfied after two laps running-in his 350 Honda twin. "No moments at all," he reported. 2000 Junior Classic winner Jason Griffiths also did two laps on his similar machine and said he was OK, if a bit tired after the Ulster and having to work at his day job in between. To say nothing of rearing four young daughters!

When the second part of the session commenced at seven o'clock, TT star Ryan Farquhar was spotted pushing off newcomer John Burrows from Dungannon, aboard a 750 Kawasaki from the Winston McAdoo stable. But he pulled in after one lap to clean his steamed up visor, saying he hadn't really been able to settle because of it. But he was soon away again.

The other McAdoo bike is actually Ryan's current 600 and ridden by Robbie Silvester from Pontefract. Running under the guise of VRS Performance, he too was being kept an eye on by Ryan.

Another TT ace helping out was Richard Quayle, looking after Andrew Kneale, and vainly trying to keep in check his emotions as he and wife Lydia's first baby is nearly due. The child is sure to quickly become known as the Milky Bottle Kid.

Adding air to the front tyre of Dean Sylvester's Ducati soon brought it to the preferred 31lb per square inch to go with the 30lb rear and ensure its precise handling could be maintained.

Paul Duckett made a very rapid switch from his 600 to his 750, occupying the paddock for less than 10 seconds. The big Kawasaki is the bike Mark Parrett won on last year and is being run in a joint venture by Team Wilson and Collins and Kevin Wood of Investasure Financial Services.

Ian Hickey from Tonbridge spent a little longer as he lowered his gearing after finding the otherwise willing C. and H. Autos Yamaha slightly down on revs at the top end. All was calm as the slightly larger rear sprocket was bolted on.

Craig Atkinson from Bingley and Raymond Porter from Lifford enjoyed a good scrap on the roads, with David Bell from Chester-le-Street and Mike Minns from Durham proudly showing off their Merlin Sidecars paint strips as they rode away together.

The newcomers are certainly beginning to find their way round to good effect and Alex Donaldson in particular looks neat and tidy on the 750 Suzuki on which he will lead away the first race of the week come Monday morning.

Andy Russell from Tonbridge crashed his 400cc Yamaha at the Black Dub near Glen Helen but was not seriously injured, was up and walking and later picked up by his pit crew. Newcomer Shaun Lawcock from Barnsley slipped off at Governor's Bridge but was OK and pushed his bike in. An amazing total of 368 bikes were passed through scrutineering, one fewer than last night.

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