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After a short delay moving marshals around the course, the 2013 Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling finally got underway this evening. Conditions were reported as good with dry roads although riders were warned about low sunlight.

Appropriately it was the Manx Grand Prix newcomers who were first on the track as the MGP celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, getting their first speed controlled 'sighting' lap.

Six riders were given the honour of being first on the Mountain course - Chris Dixon from Egremont, South African Colin Lehmann, Phil Gibbon from St Helens, Romanian Petre Pop, Lincolnshire man Michael Hand and Xavier Dennis from France under the guidance of head travelling marshal Tony Duncan.

Shortly before 7pm the established riders took to the Mountain course for the first time this year for an untimed session with leading riders including Michael Sweeney, Adam Jones, Phil McGurk, Tim Poole, Andy Soar and last year's newcomer A race winner Kamil Holan all away early.

Sweeney, Andy Lawson and Carl Roberts were in the early group of finishers in the Junior Manx Grand Prix session with most of the riders able to get a couple of laps in ahead of the session closing at 7.20pm.

This year sees the introduction of the seeding system that is used at the TT, with the first ten places pre-allocated and the remaining grid positions determined by qualifying times.

The Lightweight machines and newcomers B and C will be first away tomorrow at 18.20 with the Senior, Junior, SuperTwin and Newcomers scheduled to start their session at 19.05

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