Bruce Anstey leaving rivals in his wake
Fermanagh's Lee Johnston topped the Monster Energy Supersport qualifying times during last night’s practice session on the Isle of Man aboard his East Coast Construction Pirtek Honda, with a lap speed of 123.803mph. But the big headlines were reserved for Kiwi Bruce Anstey in the Superbike class.
Anstey, who topped the timesheets on Monday night with a lap of 127.473mph, continued his rich vein of form during last night’s session for TT2014. The 45-year-old Valvoline by Padgetts’ Honda rider topped the timesheets again with an improved best and the first 130mph lap of this year’s event.
Anstey posted a time of 17mins 18.000sec, recording a phenomenal lap speed of 130.860mph, some 19 seconds quicker than Honda Racing’s John McGuinness (129.395mph), who is showing no obvious signs of weakness despite his well-documented wrist injury.
With Anstey’s transponder not working correctly, the Kiwi’s lap was worked out the old fashioned way, with McGuinness believing that his Honda team-mate actually went quicker as he passed the 20-time TT winner on the road during the lap.
Tyco Suzuki’s Guy Martin, who suffered an engine problem on his Superbike on Monday night, put his own marker down with a lap of 129.164mph, less than two seconds slower than McGuinness.
Michael Dunlop was fourth fastest with a standing start lap of 129.032mph and was on course for a 131mph lap onboard his BMW Motorrad machine but ran out of petrol in the closing miles, which will undoubtedly be a concern for his team.
Fellow BMW rider Michael Rutter continues to impress at TT2014 with the fifth fastest time (128.728mph/17mins 35.154sec), just ahead of Honda Racing’s Conor Cummins (128.719mph/17mins 35.231sec) and Tyco Suzuki’s William Dunlop (127.910mph/17mins 41.902sec).
Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider James Hillier set the fastest time in the Superstock class last night with a lap speed of 126.243mph, just over three seconds faster than Monday night’s top performer in the class, BMW mounted Michael Dunlop (125.840mph).
Rutter was again in the thick of the action onboard his Batham’s backed BMW S1000RR Superstock machine in third place, with a speed of 125.325mph, 4.5 seconds adrift of Dunlop.
Anstey (125.086mph), McGuin
ness (124.529mph) and Dan Kneen (124.111mph) rounded out the top six in the Royal London 360 Superstock class.
The aforementioned top dog in the Supersport class Johnston was closely followed in last night’s middleweight times by Lincolnshire’s Gary Johnson (123.576mph), with Rutter again at the sharp end with a lap of 123.402 onboard the Smith’s Triumph.
North West 200 podium man Ivan Lintin (117.297mph) topped the Lightweight class last night from KMR/SGS Kawasaki’s Keith Amor (115.595mph/19mins 17.982sec).
Another North West podium finisher, 21-year-old James Cowton (115.036mph), was the third quickest of the evening.
Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar set the sixth fastest time, 29 seconds adrift of Lintin with a lap speed of 114.452mph.
Quickest newcomer so far has been Peter Hickman, who managed to improve his time from Monday night to 119mph last night.
The final session for Sidecars was red flagged after an incident at the Kerrowmoar section of the circuit involving Nev Jones and passenger Milan Vorel.