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Dunlop and Anstey throw down the gauntlet in Classic TT qualifying

By Paul Lindsay

Published 25/08/2016

Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop
Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop

Ballymoney's Michael Dunlop continued to dominate this year's Classic TT Superbike class during last night's qualifying in near perfect conditions, increasing his best lap speed to 123.26mph on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69.

Right behind him on the timesheets and posting 122mph laps were well-known TT stars Michael Rutter, Dean Harrison, Ivan Lintin and James Hillier.

Kiwi Bruce Anstey, the last 250cc TT winner on the Mountain Course back in 2002, was back riding a 250cc two-stroke on the Isle of Man last night for the first time in almost 14 years. He was aboard Clive Padgett's RS250 Honda in the Classic TT qualifying.

After setting the fastest time of the night at 113.776mph in the class, which included a speed trap time of 145mph, Anstey said: "It's a small and light machine and so easy to ride around this circuit.

"It holds the lines well but they can also catch you out."

His team boss Clive Padgett said: "We did two standing-start laps at 113mph and we've learned that we can do two laps on a tank of fuel. Mechanically, the bike is superb."

Dunlop also showed his worth as a replacement for the injured Lee Johnston in the Okells Brewery Junior Classic TT class, posting an amazing lap of 102.08mph on the exotic Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta.

Roads close tonight at 6pm for qualifying with the first session out at 6.20pm for Classic TT 350/500cc machines.

The second and final session is due to get under way at 7.15pm and will include Classic TT 250cc machines and the blue riband Classic TT Superbike class.

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