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Manx Grand Prix
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Practice Commences in Two Weeks 8 August 2005

Just a fortnight to the start of the Manx Grand Prix and practising due to commence on the evening of Saturday August 20th, with further evening sessions all the following week.

Carnforth's Alan Oversby will be hoping that his Isle of Man luck has changed. It certainly seemed that way at the Southern 100 when he took two good wins on his 500cc Craven Norton. Providing his better fortune lasts, he should be a good bet for honours in the Senior Classic, following two successive retirements while leading. He is set to have a busy time, taking part in the Junior Classic on a 350cc Honda twin run by Tony Hales, and an NC30 400cc Honda in the Ultra Lightweight.

TT star Mark Parrett hopes for better fortune too. He made his comeback in the Southern 100 after a severe shoulder injury but it was plain that he was still troubled by it. The Midhurst rider will be aboard a 350cc Honda twin in the Junior Classic, having won the main Senior MGP only three years ago on Wilson and Collins 750cc Kawasaki, averaging 116.88mph!

Let's hope Dartford's Virginia Power is not superstitious. She has had 12 finishes out of 12 races at the Manx, and tackles her 13th on Friday September 2nd aboard a 750cc GSX-R Suzuki. She is an Emergency Medical Technician with the London Ambulance Service, so no doubt has been pretty busy recently.

Could the fabulous Italian Paton win the Senior Classic? Bedfordshire's Steve Linsdell certainly thinks so, and he should know. He has ridden just about every make and type in his extensive Mountain Course career and rates the Italian eight-valve twin highly. He rode it last year and showed it had a good turn of speed, but the exhaust system fractured, causing him to retire. In the TT he has lapped at 117.50mph., though not, of course, on the Paton, a type of which was once run by Liverpool dealer Bill Hannah.

Former semi-factory Kawasaki runner Roger Hurst is down to ride a 250cc Jim Lee TD1C Yamaha in the Lightweight Classic. As far back as 1988 he almost won the Supersport TT, having established his credentials slugging it out with Graham Cannell, Ray Swann and Co. in the Yamaha Pro-Am series. Just don't ask Roger about his wheelie at the last Jurby Airport meeting! Jim Lee was Mick Grant's first sponsor, acknowledging it in his 'JL' helmet motif.

Marking 100 years of the Hall Green Velocette concern, Chris Howitt is preparing to ride a 350cc model in the Junior Classic. It is a genuine Ralph Seymour machine with special engine and gearbox internals. The frame is one from the Don and Derek Rickman Metisse company, no doubt nickel-plated to their usual high standard.

Ripon's Ricky I'Anson will make sure his leathers are well and truly zipped up this year. Last year he was black-flagged to attend to them, but looks forward to a non-stop run this time on a 600cc CBR-RR Honda in the hotly contested Junior race.

An engaged couple are competing in the Manx, and in one race against each other! Adrian Elwood, from Lisburn rides Drixton Hondas in the Junior and Senior Classic, as well as an R6 Yamaha in the main Senior race. Fiancee Elle Forrest from Glasgow does the Junior Classic on a K4 Honda and the Ultra Lightweight on a 125cc RS Honda entered by Peter Berwick. Having already done 98.20mph she is hoping to crack the ton this time, probably more reachable on the 125.

Finally, a correction from the previous bulletin - Holmfirth's Pete Swallow, who will ride Petty Manx Nortons in the Junior and Senior Classic races - is NOT a brother of former race-winners Richard and Bill and regular competitor Alec. Apologies.

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TT SuperBikes (PS2)
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