Author: Phil Wain - pictures Pacemaker Press Posted: 30 May 2016
Monday night’s evening session at the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races saw dry, sunny conditions all the way round the Mountain Course and it was Ian Hutchinson who set the fastest time of the night with a speed of 129.964mph on the Tyco BMW, two seconds quicker than Michael Dunlop.
However, one of the most impressive feats of the night came from Bruce Anstey who, after one sighting lap on his Valvoline Racing/Padgetts Honda Fireblade, switched to the RCV213-V Honda MotoGP replica and recorded a speed of 127.071mph.
Speaking afterwards, Anstey said; "I was a bit apprehensive beforehand as setting off down Bray Hill on a bike you've never ridden before is quite daunting. The bike feels like a 600 to ride but it's lighter and faster! Out of the corners, it drove really well with good torque and I was surprised at how stable it was. That was one thing I was worried about but it was fine over the bumps and flicking it from left to right was so much easier than a superbike."
The evening saw the 1000cc machines take to the course for the first time and all of the leading competitors did exactly that, Anstey and Michael Rutter leading the field away down Glencrutchery Road. First to complete a lap was Rutter at 125.152mph swiftly followed by Hutchinson at 124.914mph but Dunlop soon went to the top of the leaderboard with a speed of 127.395mph.
Anstey’s opening lap was only 117.828mph but the Kiwi was soon back out, this time on the RC213V-S Moto GP replica machine and immediately lapped in excess of 122mph, the first time he’d ever ridden the bike! He later went through the speed trap at 193.4mph, the fastest on the night, before positing two 127mph+ laps.
John McGuinness upped the pace second time around to 128.871mph but he was ultimately upstaged by both Dunlop and Hutchinson, the latter’s fourth lap just shy of 130mph. Dunlop’s last lap was quickest and, perhaps tellingly, he did three in excess of 129mph.
Dean Harrison topped the Superstock class with a speed of 128.044 mph, followed by Dunlop (126.726) and Peter Hickman (125.725) with the Bradford rider also topping the Supersport class with a speed of 124.461mph although the majority of the riders concentrated on the 1000cc machines during the course of the evening.