Riders set for first qualifying session at 2017 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy
The 2017 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, is set to get underway this evening (Saturday) with qualifying sessions scheduled for the Solo and Sidecar Newcomers, Supersport and Lightweight classes.
Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson has confirmed that tonight’s first qualifying session will currently go ahead as scheduled.
There is low mist and cloud on the mountain but the session is currently expected to get away on time at 6.20pm with circuit debutantes Paul Jordan, Adam McLean and Joey Thompson scheduled to be the first three riders down Glencrutchery Road for their speed controlled lap.
Following on from the solo newcomers will be the Formula Two Sidecar newcomers who include the father and son pairing of Gary and Daryl Gibson and Norwegian Geir Johnsen.
Newcomer passengers will also be given a speed controlled lap with 2013 race winner Tim Reeves having first timer Mark Wilkes on board. Established drivers Dave Wallis, Brian Alflatt, Vince Biggs and Franck Barbier are joined by debutantes Scott Hardie, Jody James, Vicky Cooke and Goulven Crochemore respectively.
With the Superbike and Superstock classes not out on the Mountain Course until Monday evening, the first official qualifying session will see the majority of the leading riders out on their Supersport machines, to begin with at least, including expected front runners Ian Hutchinson, Michael Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston.
Returnee Guy Martin will be back out on the 37.73-mile course for the first time since 2015 with race fans getting to see Josh Brookes and Dan Kneen make their first appearance in the colours of Jackson Racing. Australian ace Brookes, like Martin, is a welcome returnee to the event, the 33-year back at the TT for the first time since 2014 and he’ll be on board the 600cc machine due to have been ridden by John McGuinness. The 23-times TT winner is a huge loss to the 2017 meeting, the Morecambe rider currently recovering from injuries sustained at the recent North West 200.
Meanwhile, also eager to re-acquaint themselves with the circuit will be the likes of Peter Hickman, James Hillier, Gary Johnson, William Dunlop Steve Mercer and Ivan Lintin whilst local hero Conor Cummins will be keen to get some laps under his belt after missing the North West 200.
Double race winner Lintin will be one of a number of riders expected to feature prominently in the Lightweight class where he can expect firm challenges from, amongst others, Johnston, Johnson, Martin Jessopp and Dan Cooper. Michael Dunlop also has an entry in the class for McAdoo Racing.
You can follow all of the action and live timing through iomtt.com throughout qualifying and race week