The fourth practice session for the 2010 Manx Grand Prix, sponsored by visitisleofman.com, started as scheduled at 6.20pm with the Senior, Junior, Lightweight and Newcomers A classes getting first use of the mountain circuit.
Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman issued a sunlight warning to the paddock with excessive glare reported from Ballagarey to Ballacraine. First away were Andy Brady and Wayne Kirwan in the Junior class, leading the field out from the pit lane in front of the Grandstand.
Simon Fulton continued his good form from the previous night with a quick opening burst and he was fastest to the first checkpoint at Glen Helen with Michael Sweeney in hot pursuit in the Junior Class and Ivan Lintin on his Senior machine.
Wayne Kirwan was first back to the Grandstand on the first lap with a lap of 116.1, a time that was quickly exceeded by Sweeney, Fulton and Lintin. Fulton clocked the quickest time of the week on his second lap at 117.793 with Michael Sweeney also inside the previous night’s fastest lap at 117.319.
In the Newcomers A group Manx riders Tim Venables and Andy Fenton both opened with 110mph plus laps, with Venables recording his fastest of the week at 112.141 while Dan Sayle comfortably clocked the fastest first lap in the Lightweight’s with 114.603, just outside Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle’s MGP Lightweight lap record of 114.8 set in 1999. Fenton later recorded the fastest newcomer A time on his second lap with 113.192.
The Classic, Post Classic, Ultra Lightweight and Newcomers B session began on time at 7.10 with Bob Owen on the ’69 Seeley in the Senior Classic and Maria Costello on one of the Suzuki XR 69’s in the Post Classic first away in the session.
Olie Linsdell was again the man to watch in the Post Classic’s on the Yamaha FZ 746 with Michael Dunlop and Mark Buckley, both riding Suzuki XR 69’s, following closely behind. Linsdell was quickest at each of the five timing checkpoints around the course and clocked the fastest first lap, timed at 113.87 ahead of Michael Dunlop (112.022) and Mark Buckley (109.125). MGP Rider Liaison officer Johnny Barton, on an 85 Suzuki GSXR, was the fourth fastest in the first lap of the practice clocking 105.409.
Linsdell (114.931) and Dunlop (114.584) both improved their times on the second lap while Johnny Barton also went quicker with 107.808. However Michael Dunlop stole their thunder by getting a third lap in on the Suzuki and posting a time of 115.097. Mark Buckley also improved his lap time with a third lap of 110.920.
Chris Palmer, riding a 1962 AJS 7R 350cc, posted the fastest time in the Junior Classic with 97.776mph. Mark Parrett on a 1970 Honda K4 350, Alan Oversby (348cc MV) and Chris McGahan (Honda 346cc) were second, third and fourth respectively on the night.
Ulsterman Brian Mateer on a Yamaha TZB 249 led the field in the Junior Post Classic Class with an opening time of 105.688 with Barry Davidson (Yamaha TZB 3YL) and Wattie Brown (Yamaha TZ 349) also clocking laps in excess of 100mph. Mateer (107.681) and Davidson both posted quicker times on their second laps while Chris Palmer swapped from his AJS to a 91 Yamaha TZV Twin 250cc and clocked 106.845, the second fastest on the night in the Junior Post Classic Class.
In the Senior Classic (500cc) Alan Oversby riding a 72 MV posted 105.222 with Roy Richardson on a 1969 Aermacchi Ala D’Oro 476 and Mark Herbertson on a ’68 Matchless also posting 100mph laps.
In the Ultra Lightweight Practice the first five riders back – Rab Davie, David Bell, Dave Moffitt, Mike Minns and Andy Lawson - all posted 108mph laps which augurs well for a close race a week on Friday while in the Newcomers B Lee Darbyshire and Scott Campbell both posted 100mph laps.
Peter Simpson came off his machine at the 11th Milestone but was reported as unhurt after being seen by a travelling marshal.
Thursday’s practice is scheduled to start with the Senior, Junior, Lightweight and Newcomers A away first at 6.20pm and the Classic, Post Classic, Ultra Lightweight and Newcomers B at 7.05pm.