2014 Classic TT Thursday Qualifying
Rain is nothing unusual at the Isle of Man. And the wet stuff affected Thursday night’s qualifying for the Classic TT.
Due to heavy rains in the afternoon, Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman decided to make all sessions untimed. The roads were drying, but there were many damp patches under trees on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
The F1, F2 and 350cc machines were given the night off as they have an extended practice scheduled as part of Saturday’s Race day, so the session gave riders the chance to focus on their 500cc machines.
Manx Radio’s Chris Palmer, who won last year’s 350 and F2 Classic TT races, said that many of the riders would opt to miss the session unless they needed to qualify or wanted to carry out suspension or gearing checks, bed tires in or stretch chains.
That was reflected in the fact that only around 250 bikes went through scrutineering across both the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix, as opposed to the 387 through on Monday night’s session.
Riders who took the opportunity to go out included Bruce Anstey on his McIntosh Norton, Michael Rutter on the G50 Matchless, Specialized Glazing Solutions Molnar Manx Riders Michael Dunlop and Lee Johnston and Willliam Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda. Mick Godfrey, a replacement for the injured John Barton on the Dunnell Racing Norton, also took the opportunity to get some laps under his belt.
Although the session was untimed, the Sulby speed trap times were recorded with William Dunlop posting the fastest of the session at 135.30mph from Michael Rutter (134.76) – times that were noticeably down on the ones recorded earlier in the week.
With no times recorded from this evening’s session, the Patons of Ryan Farquhar (111.102), John McGuinness (109.846) and Ian Lougher (109.282) set earlier in the week top the board with only tomorrow’s final qualifying session ahead of Saturday’s Bennetts 500cc Race.
Photos by Wayne Freestone