Saturday's opening practice session for the 2011 Manx Grand Prix Festival races was cancelled as rain threatened to fall on the Isle of Man. With a couple of hours to go until the session began, conditions were still dry but with rain in the way, clerk of the course Phil Taubman took the decision to call off the day's running for safety reasons.

“Based on the weather report received from the Met Office we decided to call the session off early to give people plenty of notice and minimise disruption”, he explained. “I want to pay tribute to the Marshals who had committed to man the session and I was keen to let everyone know in plenty of time.”

American rider Chris Sarbora was gearing up for his first flat-out experience of the mountain course before the session was abandoned. Along with Anthony Bakker and Travis McNerney, Sarbora was going to be one of the first from the United States to race modern bikes at the Festival in over ten years, but he will now have to wait until Monday.

“It was a real shame not to get a few laps on the bike but we did at least get out in the morning with Chris Palmer on a coach and he gave us a real insight into racing the course. I'm just raring to go on Monday now”, he added.

Saturday's practice session, albeit shortened, will now take place on Monday evening with the newcomers leading the session out from 6.20pm in a speed controlled lap followed by Senior, Junior, Supertwins and the final session, the Classic Superbikes, Junior Post Classic and Lightweights.