It rained Friday morning. But that did not matter as evening traipsed by the Isle of Man. The sky had cleared up and it was time to get the show on the road, especially since it looked like Saturday would be a no-go after all.
The Supersport and Lightweight machines came out in the evening with Lee Johnston, Ian Hutchinson, Keith Amor, Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, Gary Johnon, William Dunlop and John McGuinness becoming the first to leave the line. All were 600cc mounted with the exception of Rutter who was again out on the Paton.
The IOMTT press release stated:
“Hutchinson was first back at 123.13 followed by Johnston on 119.85 and Johnson 117.49. McGuinness went quickest briefly with a speed of 123.99 but that fellow Honda rider Anstey bettered that with 124.36. Speeds fluctuated though with William and Michael Dunlop and Dan Kneen all in the 115-117mph bracket.
James Hillier was the quickest Lightweight at 113.74 as Rutter pulled in with a broken steering damper but Jamie Hamilton’s second lap of 115.74 sent him top.
Second time around for the 600s and speeds were up too as Hutchinson improved to 124.92. It was close at the top of the leaderboard though with McGuinness, the two Dunlops and Dean Harrison all breaking the 124mph mark.
The 1000cc machines were let out on the Mountain Course shortly after 8pm with Martin Jessopp away first on the Riders BMW soon followed by Guy Martin (Tyco BMW), Hutchinson (PBM Kawasaki) and William Dunlop (Tyco BMW).
Martin was first back at 127.861 with Michael Dunlop’s opening lap on the BMW Superbike only slightly slower at 127.755. However, Bruce Anstey again showed his race winning credentials with a speed of 129.394 to jump to the top of the leaderboard.
No one managed to get close to Anstey’s lap second time around although Dan Kneen did improve to almost 126mph. One man who did get over the 126mph mark was Dean Harrison who’s lap of 126.59 made him the quickest Superstock on the night. Gary Johnson was out of luck though pulling in on the exit of Ballaugh village.
At the end of the evening a few of the Zero machines also had their first outing ahead of Wednesday’s SES TT Zero with lap record holder John McGuinness showing the form that saw him triumph in last year’s race with a lap of 113mph although his Mugen Shinden teammate Bruce Anstey broke down. The Victory Racing pair of William Dunlop and Lee Johnston both posted hugely impressive debut laps of 105.185 and 104.185 respectively.”
Courtesy IOMTT Press Release; Images courtesy IOMTT.com