Another great day’s racing this year that somehow managed to see a full race schedule run following a huge red flag incident in Race 4. Most importantly all riders involved in incidents are on the mend and I would like to wish every one a fast and full recovery.
The traditional end to the TT Festival takes us back down to the south of the Isle of Man to the Billown Course for some multi-start road racing.
Thankfully the weather held out long enough to get through the Practice Sessions and line up another great evening of racing.
It is no secret I am a big fan of the Pre and Post TT Races, honestly – factor them into your trip to the TT – it is a great course, with great racing. It’s a great way to relax and wind down after the hectic pace of the TT – although the bikes still keep the pace up!
After an epic 5 races yesterday the Clerk of the Course made another well informed decision to start things off early. With a ‘Yellow Warning’ for rain over the Isle of Man in force for the afternoon of 7th June 2019 a call was made to start things off early. The plan was put in place for a 10:00am start with the intention of running a full six lap Senior TT.
With the mandatory delay – only a wee one though – things got underway at 10:15am.
For the duration of the race I was live tweeting – if you fancy reading through things as they unfolded just look for the Hashtag #2019SeniorTTLIVE
With – you guessed it – the weather continuing to play havoc with every plan the Clerk of the Course could lay out it really did come down to one last roll of the dice and that was Thursday 6th June 2019. The forecast was looking positive and as long as the roads would dry out over night then there was the potential for a full day of racing and a couple of necessary qualifying sessions.
The plan had to be ambitious, but I think it would be fair to say that everyone was shocked when Gary Thompson came up with this idea :
Yes, you have read that correctly – 5 Races, 1 Day. Now that is a day of racing!
A few days late but 3rd June 2019 finally brought racing to the 2019 TT Races. A jammed schedule was planned as a result of the weather that has hampered this years event, but it really did line up well. A racing fan’s dream of a full day’s double session of racing.
After a couple of delays – one off track medical emergency then an uncooperative ‘fan’ things got underway.
Due to time constraints the originally planned 6 lap race was shorted to 4 laps.
Conor Cummins started things of followed by Dean Harrison. Harrison was in the lead by Glen Helen and had caught up with Cummins by the Mountain Road. Deano lapped at 132.47mph – the fastest lap of 2019.
Peter Hickman was on form too and was quickly second on adjusted time, and things were looking like it was going to be another epic duel between Hicky and Harrison. Deano was flying and by Ballagh Bridge on lap 2 Harrison was 4.841s ahead of Hicky. This all changed on the Mountain Road and the route down to pits and by the time of the planned pit stop Hicky was 1.782 seconds ahead. A lead which he held onto.
On the same stretch of the road Conor Cummins took the lead on the road again from Harrison which he later explained was some sort of power / throttle issue with his bike.
Unfortunately on lap 2 of this superbike race the red flag was brought out with the tragic death of rider Daley Mathison.
The race to this point was declared a result with Peter Hickman taking the win, Dean Harrison was second and Conor Cummins third.
John McGuiness on his Norton retired at the end of lap 1 citing low oil pressure as the problem. Irish rider Derek McGee also retired at the end of lap one.
The bike riden by Hicky was a hybrid – mostly Superstock, with a few superbike add-ons. The system clearly worked!
Believe it or not the last time bikes or sidecars were on the TT circuit and racing was last Tuesday (it is now Sunday).
Today was meant to a rest day in race week, however due to continued and persistent inclement weather it was a practice day and only the third of the event. Practice seasons had been cancelled on Wednesday, along with double sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Clerk of Course has had to deal with nightmare weather issues, but to be fair has been open and honest, even posting regular videos on Twitter to show us the conditions that he was basing his decisions on, and I think it is fair to say every decision has been the right one.
From Gary Thompson’s (Clerk of TT Course) Twitter Account
Today even though the weather started off in the same vain the Met Office had apparently given their word a break in the weather was due that would give a window big enough to get some practice and qualifying sessions in. The decision was made to go ahead with the road closure and it turned out to be the right decision. That weather window did come and we got some bikes on the track!