Tuesday TT Qualifying
For the second-straight night, qualifying for the 104th edition of the Isle of Man TT was cut short due to squally showers and wind – or as the official press calls it, “deteriorating conditions.”
Many of the competitors in the Superbikes, Supersport and Lightweight classes did get some practice laps around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course, but all sessions were untimed. The conditions got worse towards the end of the evening, which prevented the F2 sidecars from any action.
Before the 1000cc superbikes set out, the TT Clerk of Course warned of “strong winds on the Mountain, bright sun at Appledene and damp patches at Tower Bends.”
Yamaha’s Michael Dunlop – an 11-time TT winner – and BMW S1000RR pilot Michael Rutter (BMW S1000RR) were the first to ride. These two were followed by Ian Hutchinson (Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja), James Hillier (Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja), Guy Martin (BMW S1000RR), Bruce Anstey (Honda CBR1000RR) Lee Johnston (BMW S1000RR) and Gary Johnson (Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja).
Unfortunately, Johnson broke down at Ballaugh. Honda CBR1000RR pilot Dan Stewart also broke down and was forced to return to the grandstand area.
The IOM TT says Hutchinson was first to complete a lap ahead of Dunlop, Rutter and Martin, the last three all pulling in to either make changes or switch to their Superstock machines.
The TT reports that Conor Cummins said Windy Corner was living up to its name, and Ryan Farquhar also stated there were a number of damp patches in places.
Before the sessions were shortened, six riders were able to complete three laps – Hutchinson, Hillier, 21-time TT winner John McGuinness (CBR1000RR), Anstey, Martin and Rutter. All six managed two laps on their Superbike and one on their Superstock.
At 7.10pm, it was the turn of the Supersports and Lightweights although rain was already reported on the west coast of the island. Martin Jessopp was first away on his Lightweight machine but the majority of the field were Supersport-mounted including Jamie Hamilton, Michal Dokoupil, David Johnson, William Dunlop and Ivan Lintin, the TT reports.
However, just as the riders were two thirds of the way round their first lap, the rain started to get heavier, on both the west coast and over the Mountain. Indeed, McGuinness reported conditions were very sketchy on his third lap and that it was also very cold over the Mountain.
With conditions worsening, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson decided to flag the session off at 7:35 p.m. GMT with riders out on course brought back to the start and finish under waved yellow flags.
The weather reports for the rest of the week are broadly positive so hopes are high for some good, clear practice sessions ahead of Saturday’s first scheduled race day.
There were three reported incidents in the solo’s session: American Brandon Cretu and Philip Crowe were reported off at Kerrowmoar and Laurel Bank but were both reported OK by the traveling marshals. Unfortunately, Mark Herbertson was airlifted to Nobles with a reported shoulder injury after coming off at Mountain Box.
Qualifying continues Wednesday with Superbikes, Superstocks, Supersports and Sidecars.
For more, visit 2015 Isle of Man TT schedule.
Photos by Wayne Freestone
2015 Isle of Man TT Tuesday Qualifying Photo Gallery