Poor weather has once again halted practice on the Isle of Man.
Today we were all set to go with Royce contesting the Lightweight class (Ducati) first and then the Junior/Senior (Triumph) after.
The opening session was to start at 6.20pm. We were warmed up, fuelled up and helmet on when at 6.17pm it started to rain, forcing the session to be delayed for 10 minutes, then again and again until it really poured down and the decision was made to cancel practice all together.
PIC: Before today’s session was due to start, Royce was interviewed by MGP TV who are planning to live stream most of the practices and all races this year. You can watch their Tuesday night pre-practice footage here.
The weather doesn’t look like it’ll get any better tomorrow, so thankfully Clerk of Course, Gary Thompson has made the call to utilise the additional practice session on Thursday afternoon.
“The schedule will now see roads close around the TT Course at 12.30pm and reopen between 4.30pm and 6pm and then close again at 6pm for the evening qualifying session. The full schedule for Thursday’s qualifying programme will be released on Wednesday evening.”
PIC: On Royce’s session yesterday he clipped a branch of a bush just before the Gooseneck, leaving quite a bruise. We went up there this morning and he did a bit of pruning.
We’ve learnt from past years that patience is one of the most important qualities needed so we’ll just continue to wait.
We have to be down at Technical Inspection before 3.30pm every day but sessions don’t start until 6.20 (when they do start) so we’ve had to equip one of the vans with a bed for Royce to get his required amount of sleep.
PIC: Royce in the makeshift snooze-mobile.
After a much anticipated return to road racing, Royce had this to say, “Getting out on the bike Monday was great. The track was just how I remembered with a few spots being resurfaced and felt quite nice.
“I’m just easing into it with early braking and rolling through corners. I’ve now got my base lap and will work on getting back to my previous lap times.
“I snoozed in the van ‘til go time then hung around parc ferme waiting for the clerk of course to let us know they were ready. The sudden downpour that sent people scattering was the give away that tonight wasn’t gonna go ahead.
“Will rest up and prepare for the next day.”
PIC: Royce making some smooth lines in Monday’s first practice (Credit: Nick Wheeler)
Fingers crossed the heavens somehow hold off for Wednesday night’s practice, but if not we now at least know there’s an extra couple of sessions waiting for us on Thursday. Onward and upward!
One thought on “Another practice abandoned but contingencies now confirmed”
Thanks for the update. I was one of the Marshals at Alpine on the day, I’m so pleased to hear that Royce is on the road to recovery, I sincerely hope that road isn’t too long. Olly, the doctor on Air Blue did a fantastic job. I met Royce’s dad ( Les?) the day after, if you read this Les, I’m sorry we couldn’t find the chain or the Go pro. After you’d left Tony, one of the guys who removed Royce’s boots and socks on Olly’s instructions, returned to Iceman’s (where he hit the curb) and we asked him if he’d noticed anything but regrettably he hadn’t. There was so much debris on the road though, you saw the hole in the bank on the opposite side of the road to the curb, there was a huge amount of earth, vegetation, bits of tree and bike along with an oil spill — it all had to be cleared quickly to keep the riders going while Olly and some of the team were attending to Royce one we’d got him off the road. So much was swept up in a hurry that any small items simply might not have been noticed and may have been covered with concrete dust. While the riders were pretty good at observing the flags, when they’re slowing down from 160 mph if they’re passing us (while we are in the road clearing stuff) at half that speed, which feels slow to them, (!!) they’re still doing 80! The focus of attention is just to get everything out of the road making sure we don’t become part of the incident. All the bits of bike etc that was found at the time went into the recovery truck, I hope that maybe the lucky charm turned up in that? I have to say, I believe it worked that day, a pal of mine wasn’t so lucky at Alpine in 2010. Very best wishes to you all, tell Royce to drop by and see us at Alpine next time he’s over, we’d love to see him.