Evening practice planned as Saturday afternoon qualifying cancelled
- Further announcement due at 16:00.
In what is becoming a depressingly familiar pattern for TT 2019, Saturday afternoon's hoped for qualifying session was first delayed, and then cancelled as poor weather affected the Course.
It is hoped there might be a chance to run an evening qualifying session after 17:30 if conditions improve sufficiently.
The opening RST Superbike TT Race and Locate.im Sidecar TT Race 1 had already been postponed from their Saturday slots to allow for qualifying sessions to take place.
With five consecutive qualifying periods cancelled during Practice Week, all teams and riders are struggling for track time. The unique nature of the Isle of Man TT Race's 37.73 mile Mountain Course means time on track is critical. It's needed not only to re-familiarise riders with the hundreds of corners and any changes to the surface since they last raced but also as settings are specific to the course and can't be imported from short circuits or other road events.
Adding to their complications, some teams have switched to different machinery, or to newer versions of established favourites such as the BMW S1000 and Kawasaki ZX-10R. Austrian rider Horst Saiger reported his new Yamaha R1 bikes needed more time on track to iron out handling issues, the Superstock being too stable and the Superbike being too ready to turn.
There are similar stories throughout the paddock for solos and sidecars, adding another layer of complexity to Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson's job as he looks ahead to another week of uncertain weather, knowing he has to juggle races and qualifying time to achieve the best possible results and reduce to a minimum disruption for the people of the Isle of Man.
Admiration and support for the Clerk of the Course and the very difficult job he has to do is nearly universal:
The weather forecast does look to be improving, with Sunday afternoon looking particularly promising and a glimmer of hope for a clear, dry period on Saturday evening. The latest forecast is available here IoM Govt Met Office
With the afternoon's schedule abandoned a further announcement is due at 16:00.
If a qualifying session goes ahead this evening, roads will close at the following times:
16:45 Barrule Park, Ramsey to Douglas close
17:00 Bungalow to Creg Ny Baa close.
17:30 Rest of the TT Course Closes