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Bruce Anstey and Ian Hutchinson set almighty standards at Isle of Man TT

 

By Robert Jones

Bruce Anstey and Ian Hutchinson were the stars of the show at the Isle of Man TT last night.

Padgett's Honda rider Anstey heads the Superbike times after practice as Hutchinson set the fastest lap so far on his Tyco BMW Superstock machine.

After Thursday's practice was lost due to poor weather, conditions were relatively fine around the Mountain Course last night, with only a few damp patches.

Hutchy was on for a hot lap on his Tyco BMW Superbike but encountered a problem close to the finish at Governors.

That left Anstey to take centre stage on the RC213V-S as the New Zealand rider headed the Superbike times with a speed of 129.212mph after completing his lap in 17m 31.199s.

However, Bingley Bullet Hutchinson made amends as he went out on his S1000RR Superstock machine and lapped at 129.535mph as he edged ever nearer to the first 130mph lap of the 2017 TT.

Behind Anstey, Michael Dunlop was second fastest on his Bennetts Suzuki at 128.576mph followed by Michael Rutter in third, who lapped at 127.390mph on the Bathams SMT BMW.

James Hillier was next on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki (127.308mph), ahead of Manx rider Conor Cummins (127.227mph) on the Padgett's Honda and Bradford's Dean Harrison, who clocked 127.203mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.

The TT's fastest ever newcomer, Peter Hickman, was seventh quickest on the Smiths Racing BMW at 126.978mph followed by Fermanagh's Lee Johnston (126.975mph), who is riding the East Coast BMW Superstock bike.

Michael Dunlop did a lap on his new Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 at 125.328mph to leave him in sixth place ahead of Derek Sheils, who did 125.097mph on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.

In the Supersport class, Dean Harrison hit the top on the on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki with a speed of 124.353mph.

The Bradford rider was followed by Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing Yamaha, who lapped at 123.325mph with Hutchinson in third on the McAMS Yamaha (123.191mph).

Northern Ireland newcomer Adam McLean impressed with a lap of 119.062mph on the MSS Kawasaki.

Meanwhile, Cal Crutchlow believes tomorrow's MotoGP race is ex-Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso's to lose, after the Englishman pipped the Italian to the fastest Friday free practice time at Mugello. The Englishman posted a fastest time of 1m 47.365s in the closing minutes of FP2, an effort that was close to three tenths under the 3.2-mile circuit's official lap record, and 0.161s quicker than Dovizioso.

"Dovi, at the moment it is his to lose," said Crutchlow.

"They have the most amount of testing around here.

"Dovi and (Michele) Pirro; he has good pace.

"It is Dovi's to lose at the minute. They have so much testing and data around here."

Belfast Telegraph

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