The TT was blessed with wall to wall sunshine; the first day of the 2023 Southern 100 was greeted with a torrential downpour in the afternoon and black; heavy cloud overhead. The start of the practice session was delayed, to allow the worst of the downpour to drain away. The early evening provided; poor light and intermittent showers; far from ideal conditions.
The multitude of newcomers were given their escorted laps; then it was down to the 1000cc machines. The session was never going to produce laps that would count in the final qualifying reckoning. First on track was local rider Marcus Simpson and he topped charts at 95.39mph; Michael Dunlop and Jamie Coward also lapped at over 95mph. The lightweights were next out; but their session was brief due the red flag coming out when David McConnachie crashed out at Ballawhetstone. He was conscious and talking to medics prior to being moved to Noble’s Hospital for treatment. No times were recorded for the class.
The white plated 600cc machines; mainly the newcomers; were next out. Joshua Potts headed the times; but then crashed on the exit to Church Bends. He has broken both of his legs; we wish him and David McConnachie; a full recovery. Jacque Foley was second on the speed charts with Michael Gahan third. After a long delay; the yellow plated 600cc machines were allowed out in near darkness. Jamie Coward was the only man to lap at over 100mph; Michael Dunlop was next best at 97.308mph; with Mike Browne third. The Sidecars missed out; but will have two sessions on Tuesday to compensate. Hopefully the weather will be kind and the roads dry.