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Manx Grand Prix
MGP News
Practice Roundup 24 August 2008

The fickle Manx weather did its best to interrupt and even cause the cancellation of the practices for the 2008 Manx Grand Prix.

When the weather was with the organising Manx Motor Cycle Club, competitors were out in force with well over 300 in each session circulating and learning, or re-learning the 37.73-mile Snaefell Mountain Course, thankfully without any serious incidents during the practicing.

In the Senior Manx Grand Prix, Adam Barclay on his Hallett Aviation Racing Suzuki GSXR 750cc was on the top of the list after Thursday evening with a lap in 19m 12.43s a speed of 117.862mph. However, he was usurped on what was to be the final practice period, Friday evening by James McCullagh on the Martin Bullock GSXR 750cc Suzuki with a speed of 118.445mph, a time of 19m 06.76s. P.R.F. Racing team mates Scott Wilson and Ryan McCay, also on Suzuki GSXR 750cc machines are third and fourth fastest, the time having been set on Friday evening, despite a coming together at the Waterworks, fortunately without injury! Their laps speeds were 117.768mph and 116.854mph respectively.

The P.R.F. Racing boys also top the Junior Manx Grand Prix timings on the 600cc versions of the Suzuki marque. Ryan at 118.015mph, (19m10.94s) and Scott at 116.561mph (19m 25.30s), both on Thursday. Third is newcomer, Daniel Kneen on his 600cc Yamaha, with a time set on Friday of 19m 30.82s a speed of 116.011mph.

Manxman Dan Sayle heads the Lightweight Manx Grand Prix class, with Nigel Moore second and Neil Kent third quickest. Dan?s time of 20m 03.72s, equal to 112.840mph compared with Nigel's time of 20m 20.30s (111.307mph) and Neil's, 20m 36.30s, a speed of 109.866mph. The first six all completed laps of under 21 minutes.

The Ultra Lightweight Manx Grand Prix is led by Rab Davie, who set his quickest time of the 'week' on Friday with a time of 21m 09.33s a speed of 107.007mph on his Honda CBR400cc machine. Carolynn Sells was next on her Martin Bullock Honda RVF 398cc, in a time of 21m 19.09s a clock a speed of 106.191mph, as the Suzuki SV 650cc of John Leigh-Pemberton slotted into third place in a time of 21m 21.35s a speed of 106.004mph.

Ryan Kneen, Kevin Fitzpatrick and James Redpath were the quickest in the Newcomers A class, with times all set on Friday evening. Ryan Kneen on his 600cc GSXR Suzuki lapped in 19m 45.84s to record a speed of 114.542mph; Kevin Fitzpatrick on the 750cc version of the Suzuki was two-hundredth of a second slower at 114.540mph, which James Redpath, also on a 750cc Suzuki took 20m 17.33s a speed of 111.579mph.

Daniel Kneen topped the Newcomers C race leader board, with a lap of 21m 58.31s, a speed of 103.032mph on his Honda RVF 400cc. On a similar machine Michael Sweeney lapped in 22m 00.63s, a speed of 102.851mph to take second spot, with the Suzuki SV 650cc of Ian Whitlow, third quickest in 22m 24.41s a lap speed of 101.032mph.

The MMCC Classic Races celebrate their silver jubilee this year, with yet another Ryan, this time Farquhar not only heading the Senior class, but also the Junior class as well, with Jonathan Cutts on top of the leader board for the Classic Lightweight race. On the 498cc Italian Paton, Ryan lapped in 20m 42.50s to record a speed of 109.318mph, unofficially some 9.57 seconds inside the lap record he set last year. Alan Oversby on his 500cc Manx Norton lapped in 21m 11.32s to record a speed of 106.840mph, as another Paton rider, Steve Linsdell took 21m 31.71s (105.154mph) to claim third place in the fastest laps. Behind Farquhar and his 347cc Drixton Honda who recorded a lap of 101.641mph on Friday, a time of 22m 16.35s in the Junior Classic is Roy Richardson on the Martin Bullock Drixton Honda, in a time of 22m 41.83s a speed of 99.739mph. Nine times winner, Bill Swallow on the FCL Racing Aermacchi Ala D?Oro 349cc machine was third quickest at 99.264mph, a time of 22m 48.36s. Suzuki T20 motorcycles take the first three places in the Classic Lightweight category, with Jonathan Cutts setting the quickest lap on Friday in 24m 13.50s a speed of 93.449mph, with two Peter?s in second and third places. Peter Symes in 24m 13.60s, a tenth of a second down with a speed of 93.442mph and Peter Wakefield in 24m 23.57s a speed of 92.806mph.

The action now concentrates on the three race days, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with the 30th anniversary Newcomers Races getting the race programme underway at all being well 10.15am on Monday, followed at 1.15pm with the MMCC Classic Senior Race.

Wednesday sees the combined Junior and Lightweight MMCC Classic Races in the morning, with the Junior Manx Grand Prix in the afternoon and finally on Friday, the Lightweight and Ultra-Lightweight Manx Grand Prix takes place in the morning, with the 'blue-riband' race, the Senior Manx Grand Prix bring the curtain down on the 2008 ?Manx? in the afternoon.

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