Peter Hickman came within a whisker of a 132mph lap as he set the pace in Superbike practice at the Isle of Man TT yesterday, where the evening qualifying session was red-flagged following an incident at Ballagarey.
Only a few minutes of the session remained when the action was halted shortly before 8.10pm and Sidecar practice was cancelled as a result.
Earlier, outright lap record holder Hickman recorded the fastest speed of practice week so far at 131.957mph on his Gas Monkey Garage BMW to lead the way by 1.9s from Tuesday pacesetter Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki), who did 131.713mph.
Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop completed two laps on his Hawk Racing Suzuki and was fifth overall with a speed of 129.391mph behind Milenco by Padgett’s Honda riders Davey Todd and Conor Cummins, who both clocked 130mph laps.
Dunlop was struggling with the set-up of his Superbike, with his right-hand man Gary Ryan revealing the Suzuki was “tying itself in knots everywhere”.
“I thought he might have gone faster after that first lap but we made big changes to the bike because it’s tying itself in knots everywhere,” said Ryan.
“We’re going to make another big change and see if we can go in the right direction. I think he’ll go out on the Superstock bike and then hopefully there will still be time to get another lap on the Superbike.”
Dunlop, a 19-time TT winner, did go out on his MD Racing Superstock Honda and went to the top of the times in the class with a lap of 127.454mph.
However, the 33-year-old didn’t get the chance to go back out on his Superbike to assess the changes made by his team following the red flag stoppage.
Morecambe’s John McGuinness set his fastest time so far in practice on the Honda Racing UK Fireblade at 129.117mph.
Manx rider Nathan Harrison was second fastest in the Superstock class, 9.1s slower than Dunlop, after lapping at 126.368mph, with 16-time TT winner Ian Hutchinson in third on the Milwaukee BMW (126.032mph).
Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan concentrated on his Supersport machine last night and topped the times at 122.041mph after two laps on the PreZ Racing Yamaha from Englishman Todd (123.581mph), while Lee Johnston was third quickest on his Ashcourt Racing Yamaha (123.134mph).
Newcomer Glenn Irwin cracked the 125mph barrier as he improved his best lap again on the Honda Racing UK Superstock machine to 125.447mph.