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TT RACING DATES
Practice Week: May 26th - June 1st 2012
Race Week: June 2nd - June 8th 2012

TT News

Final Practice News (Evening Friday 30 May 2003) 30 May 2003

Any thoughts that the TAS Suzuki team might withdraw in the shadow of the David Jefferies fatality were dispelled first thing this evening as Adrian Archibald wheeled out the team's 1000cc Production bike and pronounced himself ready to go.

It was the best indicator that Hector and Philip Neill firmly intended to stay with the meeting and dedicate any success they might enjoy to their team leader's memory.

Archibald duly reeled off two rapid laps and declared that although they had been a struggle for obvious reasons, he had felt on the pace and raring to go in tomorrow's Formula One race.

"I've done about 20 laps but the last two were hot and hard," said the 33-year-old Ballymoney flier. "I also really needed more than two tear-offs for the huge amount of flies about."

Other stars out early in the near-perfect conditions of the final session included John McGuinness and Martin Finnegan. The former was again putting the finishing touches to the big MonsterMob Ducati on the eve of the Formula One race, before switching to a gallop on the 1000 Production model. Its fuel load having expanded, the tank was topped up with the aid of a plastic straw nicked from girlfriend Becky's drinks bottle.

Local hero "Big H" Paul Hunt was thrilled with his first 120mph lap but less than enchanted by the chunk later found missing from his rear tyre. The Formula One bike had obviously overcome its reluctance to rev out eventually traced to an over-sensitive rev limiter switch.

But another local ace, Gary Carswell, was in despair. The back shock had overheated and the Maughold man said he had lost all confidence when opening the throttle. "It's like a pogo stick," he added, with Neil Tuxworth recruited by your scribe to try to proffer advice.

Constant Ultra-Lightweight 125cc class leader Michael Wilcox was again quietly getting on with the knitting, but paused to praise the help given him by Dennis McCullough. "He's lent me a tank and quite a few other bits," the Lincoln rider remarked.

Shaun Harris knocked off a couple of laps on his Formula One machine but still appeared not to have secured a lower starting number than the 80 he was given when he entered on the last minutes. Clearly he will have quite a lot of overtaking to do come tomorrow's race.

The top paddock was heaving as the classes changed, with the usual to-ing and fro-ing as time began to run out. Richard Britton was among those looking slightly bemused by it all. Asked whether he could remember which bike he was on at any given time, the Enniskillen man claimed he could tell the difference straightaway even if he had not noted which he'd taken out.

Richard "Milky Bar Kid" Quayle was another perplexed by trying to sort out a fair number of different bikes. But he readily acknowledged that it was better to have too many than too few.

Irishman Kevin "Ago" Murphy , who now lives in the Island, was waxing lyrical about his 600 Yamaha Fazer in standard trim. "It's the biz and I can get all three laps of the 600 Production out of it on one tank". He was somewhat less than enthusiastic about his 400 which blew up at Ramsey and now awaits a new engine.

The sidecars for once didn't get a rough deal with the weather, and considering their first race is tomorrow, a large number basked in the Manx sunshine prior to their final practice laps.

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