Persistent rain and fog meant it was a low key start to the 2010 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy and the poor weather conditions meant that track activity on the Mountain Course was confined just to the Newcomer’s controlled sighting lap on Saturday evening. The scheduled 6.20pm start time soon came and went with poor visibility on the Mountain the given cause for the delay and competitors had to wait until 8.01pm before they could take their first lap.
The rain that had been falling on and off all day finally stopped but riders were met with the notice board saying ‘damp patches all round, standing water in places, improving visibility’ and so the 14 solo newcomers that took to the circuit had an inauspicious start to their TT careers. Former TT winner Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle was the first guide to leave the line with Hudson Kennaugh, Brandon Cretu, David Johnson and Herve Ganther having the honour of being the first to leave the line. Rider Liaison Officer John Barton, who is a current Supersport competitor, was next to follow as he escorted Brian McCormack, Takahiro Itami and Gary May around the 37 and ¾ mile course.
Former Manx Grand Prix winner Paul Duckett left the line soon after with Tony Czyzewski, Dan Cooper, Martin Loicht and Stephen Thompson in tow with Nigel Beattie last to go with James Hurrell, David Jones and Clinton Pienaar close behind.
A few of the riders had mechanical problems on the lap with Kennaugh and Pienaar stopping at Douglas Road Corner and Ramsey Bus Station respectively but at 8.32pm, Quayle was the first to return with his remaining three riders finally getting their first lap under their belt. Australian rider Johnson commented, “That was so good, I love it and can’t wait for a dry lap. It was reasonably dry through Bishopscourt but on the Mountain it was really cold with terrible visibility and I could literally only see a few feet in front of me – I was just being guided by Milky’s rear brake light. I was told you’ll either love it or hate it and I absolutely love it – it’s awesome!”
Meanwhile, the sidecar newcomers, including first time passengers with experienced drivers, had left Glencrutchery Road at 8.20pm with Roy Hanks, Tony Baker and John Holden taking them round. Eleven crews went out in total with Hanks followed by Roger Stockton/Annette Daykin, Carl Fenwick/Keir Pedley and Gary and Dan Knight. Other crews to go were Mike Roscher/Gregory Cluze, Michael Grambuller/Stefan Trautner, Michael Lines/Kevin Perry, Nigel Mayers/Joe Shardlow, Matthew Dix/Julie Hanks-Elliott, Karl Bennett/Lee Cain, Greg Lambert/Jason Slous and Nick Dukes.
The first timed session is due to take place on Monday evening at 6.20pm and everyone will be keeping their fingers crossed that the weather improves so the real action can begin!