Posted: 21 Aug 2013
Tuesday night saw the first timed sessions of the Bennetts Classic TT, in which many current TT heroes are campaigning numerous classic bikes dating back many decades. Fortunately the Manx micro-climate held out for the sessions, with the thirty-seven and three-quarter mile circuit reported as dry all around, although there were high winds on the mountain.
First out of the blocks were two stunning Patons, ridden by Ollie Linsdell and TT legend himself, John McGuinness. However, it was John Barton on a Kawasaki ZXR who got back to the Grandstand first, despite setting off ten seconds behind McGuinness and Lindsell. Barton posted a lap of 113.112mph to start proceedings.
Lindsell put in a 111.285mph, which was to be the fastest 500cc lap of the evening with McGuinness second with a 111.193 lap. New Zealander, Bruce Anstey was third fastest in the 500cc on the McIntosh Racing/Mobil1 Norton with a 106.066 with Ausie Cameron Donald fourth with a 105.949 on the Ripley Land Matchless G50.
In the Formula 1 times, Barton’s 113.112 was beaten by Mick Godfrey on a 1991 Ducati 888 Corsa with a 113.2125, however the Formula 1 machines were also permitted to go out during the Manx Grand Prix session alongside the modern bikes. It was in this session that 2013 TT hero, Michael Dunlop shot to the top of the timesheets with two blistering laps. The Ballymoney first clocked a 119.511 and then followed it up with a 120.894 on his Team Classic Suzuki XR69. Jamie Coward was second fastest in the Formula 1 overall times on a 1992 Kawasaki ZXR750 with 116.5459mph while Steve Mercer took the third fastest time with 115.8564 on his 1990 Yamaha FZR750R.
Other notable Formula 1 Classic laps include Nick Jefferies’ first timed lap around the Island since the 2002 TT races, he posted a 108.844 on his Honda RC30. Mark Miller, the TT’s fastest American put in a (108.952mph) and Gary Johnson put in a 109.850mph.
In the Formula 2 class, Chris Moore on the TZ250 was fastest with a 106.124 ahead of James Cowton’s 105.754 while in the Formula Classic, Mark Parrett topped the board with 104.586 from Gavin Lupton riding a ’71 Triumph Trident. In the 350cc class, Chris Palmer took his Honda Drixon to a 100.495mph lap while Dan Cooper was also up to speed on the Molnar Manx Norton (97.831). In the 250cc class, Peter Symes and Dave Edwards topped the times.
Wednesday’s session sees the Classic machines scheduled at 19:05.