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

TT News

TT Swings Into Action 28 May 2004

The Isle of Man TT meeting swings into action this evening, with practising for the De Montfort-sponsored pre-TT Classic races on the Billown Circuit at Castletown. There will be a further practice and one race tomorrow afternoon, with the rest of racing on Bank Holiday Monday. It will be a busy day, with the second TT practice session in the evening.

The TT itself commences its practices tomorrow evening, with Ultra-Lightweight 125cc, Lightweight 400cc, Junior 600cc and Production 600cc machines leading the way at 6.15pm. The second part will cater for Formula One, Senior, Junior 600cc, Production 600cc and Production 1000cc, starting at 7.10pm. The sidecars will take to the course at 8.05pm. After that, TT practising will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, and Thursday afternoon. There will also be practice sessions after racing on Saturday June 5th, Monday June 7th and Wednesday June 9th.

The qualifying times are: Formula One and Senior 21 minutes (107.80mph), 125/400cc 23 minutes (98.43mph), Production 600cc 22 minutes (102.90mph), Production 1000cc and 600cc Junior 21 minutes 30 seconds (105.29mph) and Sidecars 24 minutes 30 seconds (92.40mph).

The only American rider to win a TT intends returning to the Mountain Course after 11 years' absence. Dave Roper is not riding the TT again but is down to compete in August's Classic Manx Grand Prix on an Arter Matchless. It was on a similar G50 that he won the 1984 500cc Historic TT, later lifting enthusiasts' hearts even more by riding a four-cylinder 350cc Benelli in the MGP. Unfortunately Dave crashed it at Kerrowmooar, but while it was going it looked and sounded magnificent.

Another machine with a TT pedigree will return at the Manx in the hands of Steve Linsdell, who is riding Yamahas in the TT. He'll the be back on the Island with a Paton twin for the 500cc Classic. In their hey-day the exotic Italian models were ridden in the TT by Fred Stevens, Billie Nelson and Angelo Bergamonti.

Late entry to the TT is Rob Frost (third in the North West 200 Production Race). He has been toying with the idea for a while, and has now taken the plunge. He will compete in the Production 1000cc, Junior 600cc and the Senior. Other late changes include the withdrawal of Roy Tansley and Jason Miller from the Sidecar TT, and the substitution of Steve Knowles by Jason Miller in the chair of Errol Craven. With an arm injury from the British Superbike round at Oulton Park, Steve Plater has had to pull out of the Classic Parade. Guy Martin and Rob Frost look good bets for newcomers' honours. The other newcomers are mainly foreigners, but possess quite a range of experience elsewhere.

In the sidecars, newcomers include Klaus Klaffenbock/Christian Parzer, Mark Autton/Wayne Appleby, Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall, Neil Kelly/Jason O'Connor, Chris Hibberd/Gary Masterman, Trevor Tullett/Lisel Marie Amos, Steven Coombes/Gary Partridge, Ruth Laidlow/Helen Sutherland, Jean-Claude Huet/Emmanuel Nicholas, Alan Molyneux/David Beattie, Ian Salter/Deborah Salter, Jean Hergott/Gerald Midrouet, Craig Bloore/Christopher Blooer and David Walker/Mike Killingsworth.

Great interest is being shown in the French and Italian squads preparing for the TT. Main excitement in the Italian ranks surrounds Umberto Rumiano riding an MV Agusta (thought to be the first Italian on an Italian machine since Giacomo Agostini and Alberto Pagani rode MVs in the 1972 Senior. The French offer the female entry of Fabienne Migout on Kawasakis in the Production 600 and Junior 600cc events, with Fabrice Miguet on Yamahas and the Voxan Café Racer sure to attract equal attention.

Finally, on the very eve of his beloved TT, it is sad to report that Ulsterman Davy Wood has passed away. He was a great friend to the Isle of Man TT and Manx Grand Prix and encouraged many newcomers to ride, as well as for years being a mentor for the great Joey Dunlop. Condolences are expressed to Davy's family and his many friends.

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