TT 2017 ISN’T QUITE GO!
Bad weather stops play, but Guy and Anstey still put in laps at Jurby
Bad weather has frustrated organisers and competitors so far at TT 2017 with both the opening practice session on Saturday night and Monday evening’s outing being cancelled.
Scrutineering had been completed and the riders were ready to take to the Glencrutchery Road on Saturday when a sea mist suddenly blew in and stopped play. The lack of visibility meant the Airmed helicopter service couldn’t function and Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson called off proceedings. After a fine day of weather on Sunday, heavy rain hit the island on Monday. Thompson again announced there would be no action because of dense hill fog on the mountain section and standing water on the road following a course inspection.
Silicone Engineering Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison told MCN he wasn’t concerned about the delay.
“Nobody can do anything about the weather and we are all in the same boat,” the Bradford racer said.
“It is tough for the newcomers who want to get as many practice laps in as possible, but there is no point in getting worked up about something we can’t do anything about. We don’t have so tight a plan that we can’t make changes.”
The loss of two practice sessions reduces the amount of track time available to get bikes set up and that could lead to a change to the race schedule. In 2013 the Superbike race was postponed from Saturday until Sunday to allow an extra day of practice for the big bikes.
Hopefully that will not be the case, with the forecast predicting better weather for the rest of practice week.
There might not have been any action on the 37.73-mile TT circuit, but that didn’t stop some of this year’s top men getting in some laps at the Jurby circuit on Sunday.
The highest profile of which was Guy Martin who had a last-minute unofficial practice session at the Isle of Man circuit as he prepares to make his TT comeback.
The 37-year-old took to the former airfield track in the north of the island to ride the Mugen Shinden he last rode in Japan in April. Martin crashed the electric bike at Tsubuka, forcing the Japanese squad to build a new bike from scratch for him.
The Jurby test followed a final outing on his Honda Fireblade superbike at Castle Combe the previous week. The extra session had been scheduled following John Mcguinness’ North West 200 crash and Honda’s withdrawal from the Northern Ireland meeting amidst concerns about the Honda race kit electronics on the new superbike.
Martin confirmed the Fireblade has now been fitted with Motec ignition in line with the British Superbikespec Honda Racing machines of Jason O’halloran and Dan Linfoot.
Although Guy suffered another crash during the Castle Combe test - his third so far this year after offs at Monteblanco and Tandragee - he said he was now much happier with the new superbike than he had been in previous outings.
“It feels like my bike now,” he said at Jurby.
“It does what I want it to do, goes when I want it to go and stops when I want it to stop.
“We learned a lot more at Castle Combe but now we have to try it out here on the TT course.”
Guy also paid a last minute visit to his injured team-mate at his Morecambe home before crossing the Irish sea.
“John won’t have the fixator fitted to his leg until the skin graft has healed but he is in good form and getting around the house on crutches,” Guy said.