After a frustrating delay of over an hour while parked cars were removed from the course, the first qualifying session for the 2017 Manx Grand Prix finally got underway on the Isle of Man at 6.20pm.
Thirty-eight newcomers enjoyed their compulsory speed controlled ‘sighting’ lap, under the guidance of experienced current TT racers including James Coward, Dominic Herbertson and Alex Sinclair as well as Jim Hunter, the 1986 Senior MGP Newcomers race winner and experienced TT and MGP competitor Roger Wibberley.
With the newcomers first mountain course laps untimed throughout the evening, the action really got underway shortly after 6.30pm and it was Barry Lee Evans from Wales who was first away in the MGP Senior/ Junior session on his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Santon based Michael Evans topped the qualifying board on his Senior Martin Bullock Motorsport Suzuki with 114.518 while Brendan Fargher (114.236), Tom Robinson 113.988 and Glenn Harrison 113.828 all posted competitive times on their 600 machines.
In the Lightweight class Douglas rider Jamie Williams posted the fastest on the night with a credible 110.683 closely followed by Cheshire’s Jonathan Perry (110.671) with Victor Lopez Santos, from Spain, following up his Senior lap of 109.439 with the third fastest lightweight lap – 110.593.
Six newcomers slid off on their opening laps Ramon Basomba, Steve Tobin and Derek Wilson all at Governors Bridge, Lief Williams (Westwood), David McConnachy (Union Mills) and Fabrice Faivre (Mayhill). All were reported as OK although Williams and McConnachy were both taken by ambulance to Nobles for check ups.
Monday evening sees the MGP Senior and Junior machines away at 6.20pm with the Lightweight bikes scheduled to be on track from 7.10pm before the newcomers’ session shortly before 7.50pm.