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Dunlop saves his best lap for last

By Roy Harris

Michael Dunlop set the fastest Supersport lap of the week during last night’s TT practice. On his final lap, he went around the 37-mile Mountain Circuit in 18:10.724, a speed of 124. 537mph in far from perfect conditions.

Dunlop, who reportedly has switched from Metzler to Dunlop tyres, took advantage of a drying Mountain section to record his time after officials were blighted earlier in the evening with dry roads from the start to Ramsey and then wet roads over the Mountain to Creg-ny-Baa, which resulted in Superbike and Superstock machines having their session cancelled.

Also on his final circuit, Mar-Train Yamaha’s Dean Harrison set the second quickest lap at 123.886mph.

William Dunlop was third fastest at 122.978mph on his Tyco Suzuki with Bruce Anstey slightly slower at 122.290mph.

Josh Brookes, on his Milwaukee Yamaha, was fifth fastest at 122.01mph as local ace Conor Cummins from Ramsey completed the top six at 120.669mph.

In the Lightweight Supertwin ran concurrently with Supersport, it was an SGS KMR Kawasaki 1-2 with Scot Keith Amor at 116.206mph ahead of his team boss Ryan Farquhar, who lapped at 115.593mph.

Ballyclare rider Jamie Hamilton was third fastest last night on Stewart Smith’s Kawasaki at 114.212mph. The top six was completed by Dean Harrison with his 113.062mph, Gary Johnson at 107.59mph and Ivan Lintin at 107.07mph.

Earlier, TT organisers must have been pulling their hair out as practice was red flagged yet again just as the sidecars completed their opening lap due to a civilian medical emergency at Quarter Bridge.

Although dry at the start/finish it was raining over the mountain and organisers announced that there would be no ‘big bike practice’ with the opening sidecar session to be followed by the Lightweight Supertwin and Supersport machines.

In gloomy conditions, Dave Molyneux and passenger Patrick Farrance, the fastest pair so far this week, led the outfits away.

The 16-times winner was still first on the road at Ballugh Bridge when he pulled out with a flat rear tyre, leaving four-time sidecar world champion Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze first to complete the opening lap at 106.527mph.

This was over 16 seconds faster than Conrad Harrison and Mike

Aylott when the red flags halted proceedings.

Riders stated that the track was very wet from Guthrie Memorial to Creg-ny-Baa and following a delay to tend to the emergency, the session restarted with the Mountain section controlled by yellow flags.

On the re-start John Holden and Andy Winkle set the fastest speed of 111.59mph, fractionally ahead of the Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom.

Reeves was third fastest at 108.31mph in the session that saw Ewan Walker and his passenger Dicky Gale crash at Pinfold Cottage. Both were taken to hospital where Walker was described as having minor injuries and Gale as having back and knee injuries.

The final practice session is this evening. Many riders will still be seeking much needed set-up time in the Superbike class with the first race tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph

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