Photography courtesy Isle of Man TT
Michael Dunlop re-established himself as the favorite for Superbike TT by setting his personal best lap of the Isle of Man TT course today, the BMW rider lapping at 131.501 mph – just 1.3 seconds off the outright lap record.
Gary Johnson set the pace on the opening lap on his Superstock bike and he was the only rider to break the 130 mph barrier the first time around with a lap of 130.207 mph – although Guy Martin wasn’t far behind on his Superbike with 129.992 mph.
On the second lap Bruce Anstey went quickest at 130.642 mph on his Superbike with John McGuinness lapping at 129.790, which saw him end up fourth overall.
But Dunlop waited until the closing stages to really set the track alight as he ripped round the course at 131.501 mph to end the week at the top of the Superbike leaderboard and heads into tomorrow’s Dainese Superbike race as favorite for victory. Anstey remained in second overall with Guy Martin the third Superbike rider over 130 mph with a lap of 130.102 mph.
Cameron Donald had his best night of the week on the Norton with a speed of 123.095 mph with strong performances also coming from Jimmy Storrar (124.286), James Cowton (123.247) and Michael Sweeney (121.039).
Johnson’s superb 130 mph lap saw him top the Superstock class although Harrison was also flying on his Superstock Kawasaki with a speed of 128.662 mph, which was his best ever lap of the course. Michael Dunlop went slightly quicker at 129.333 to place third with Hillier in fourth and Rutter putting in a late quick lap to go fifth.
With most riders opting to get out on their 1000cc machines, there were few quick laps in the Supersport class, but Johnson had a busy evening with two laps on the Triumph, the quickest of which, 125.934, was the fastest of the week. William Dunlop (124.475) and Keith Amor (124.356) placed second and third respectively on the night although Michael Dunlop’s lap from Thursday, 124.530, means he ended the week second overall. There was a notable performance from Daley Mathison who moved up to 22nd fastest qualifier from an original start number of 81.
In qualifying for the SES TT Zero class fans were treated to their first look at this year’s Electric bike class. The eagerly anticipated showdown between Mugen teammates Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness was put on ice when Anstey pulled in at Quarterbridge leaving McGuinness to post a stunning first lap of 20:13.202 (111.904 mph).
Today wasn’t without incidents as Neal Champion (Greeba Castle) and Calum Laidlaw (Governors Bridge) were both reported off in the Superbike session, but while Laidlaw was reported okay and later went out again, Champion was airlifted to Nobles Hospital. Sean Anderson was also airlifted to Nobles in the Supersport following an accident at Guthries while Frank Lelias and Paul Knapton were both taken by for further assessment.