Belfast Telegraph

Dean Harrison sets practice pace at Isle of Man TT as delay put to one side

 

By Roy Harris

Sunshine greeted competitors for the first Superbike and Superstock sessions at the Isle of Man TT, but practice had to be delayed by 20 minutes after a spectator was seen running up and down the road at Crosby.

The fan leapt over a barrier and got onto Crosby, which is a flat-out 180mph section of the track, and Manx Police had to be deployed to remove him.

As for the racing itself, Dean Harrison (Silicone Kawasaki), Michael Dunlop (Tyco BMW) and Peter Hickman (Smiths BMW) were all quickly up to speed over the 130mph mark.

Harrison was the fastest of the day at 131.376mph, with Dunlop 2.279 seconds behind him at 131.087mph.

Hickman's 130.219mph was the fastest of the Superstock machines.

Harrison (29) set three consistent laps on his Superbike, opening his account with a 130.232mph from a standing start, backing it up with the fastest speed of the night of 131.376mph on lap two and finishing up with 131.272mph.

Dunlop kicked off his TT Tyco BMW Superbike debut with 129.357mph, his second lap slightly slower at 129.117mph, before he pitted to make adjustments and set his fastest lap of the night at 131.087mph.

Hickman, third fastest on the Smiths Superbike BMW at 129mph, said: "There was a heck of a lot of flies about. I had to sit up outside the screen, because it was too dirty.

"It was good to get the first few laps in on the big bike, as it takes a bit of getting used to as it moves about a lot. You just have to get used to it."

The Tyco BMW of Dan Kneen was fourth fastest at 128.788mph ahead of David Johnson on his Gulf BMW at 127.686mph, the top six completed by James Hillier, who clocked 127.300mph.

Ian Hutchinson's big bike return following his major accident a year ago saw him record the ninth fastest lap at 125.843mph, while Josh Brookes - on his Norton, which has attracted huge interest - set the 11th fastest speed at 125.667mph.

Lee Johnston, on his official Honda Team debut around the 37-mile Mountain Circuit, was 13th fastest at 125.619mph, while Banbridge competitor Shaun Anderson got his Suzuki around in 18m 2.309secs at a speed of 125.498mph, which was over two and a half seconds ahead of William Dunlop's 125.197mph.

Dunlop said before heading out: "The fitness is not too bad considering my North West 200 crash. I was a bit sore after five laps on Saturday evening.

"The Temple Golf Club R1 Yamaha is an almost new bike, with Tim Martin and Raceways putting together a really good bike."

Hickman, yet to win a TT, topped the Superstock class with a late lap of 130.219mph to oust long-time leader Conor Cummins by five seconds, his lap coming in at 129.584mph. Fellow Manxman Kneen slotted the Tyco BMW into third at 128.843mph.

Harrison and Dunlop were fifth and sixth with laps at 128.134 and 127.002mph respectively.

Supersport times last night were a lot slower than Saturday as riders concentrated on the set-up of their big bikes.

Ivan Lintin was fastest at 123.563mph, five seconds clear of Jamie Coward, with Derek McGee third at 122.783mph, some 10 seconds faster than his time from Saturday at 122.331mph.

John Holden and Lee Cain topped the sidecar class with a lap of 113.663mph, over three miles per hour faster than the Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom.

• JULY 28-29 will see the 10th running of the Bayview Hotel Race of Legends organised by Armoy Motorcycle Racing Club, with Coleraine-based Roadside Kia continuing their long-standing support by sponsoring the second Supersport race.

Bill Kennedy MBE, who is the Clerk of the Course at the event, commented: "Without sponsors like Roadside Kia, the Armoy races and Race of Legends would not be possible, so for that I am indebted to them, as we celebrate the special milestone of 10 years."

Belfast Telegraph

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