13-time TT winner Michael Dunlop demonstrated just how quick he is around the Isle of Man’s Mountain Course as he set the fastest laps of the Classic TT presented by Bennetts meeting so far in two classes.
A lap of 123.263mph (18m 21.936s) on the Classic Team Suzuki in qualifying last night, the fastest lap of the week so far, was quickly followed by a 102.082mph (22m 10.572s) lap on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta.
The Northern Irishman will race both bikes in Monday’s two main races: the Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Raceand the Okells Junior Classic TT Race.
Conditions were pretty perfect for the third qualifying session of the week and the flying Kiwi, Bruce Anstey, took advantage to finally set a lap time having retired in the previous two evenings.
Anstey set a lap time of 113.776mph (19m 53.819s) on the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles Honda RS250 that he will race in Saturday’s Sure Lightweight Classic TT. The second quickest time of the week and only just over a second shy of Ian Lougher’s from Tuesday’s session.
Michael Rutter (Winfield Harris Yamaha), Ivan Lintin (Devitt RC Express Racing Kawasaki), Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) and James Hillier (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) all posted 122+mph laps in the Superbike class, their fastest laps of the week so far, all from standing starts.
Rutter’s opening lap of 122.337 was the fastest, a couple of seconds ahead of Lintin (122.089) with Harrison (122.084) completing the top 3. Michael Dunlop posted an opening lap of 116.937 but was clearly biding his time before his session topping second lap.
In the concurrent Classic TT Lightweight session, Ian Lougher who has topped the leaderboard for the first two qualifying sessions, was reported as a retirement at Braddan Bridge.
Paul Owen on the Team 98 Honda and Phil Harvey on the CSC Racing Honda finished second and third on the night with 110.068 and 109.077 respectively behind Anstey.
In the Senior class, John McGuinness retired on his second lap but his Team Winfield Paton team-mate Conor Cummins posted the fastest time of the session with 107.199 (21:07.066) with Paton-mounted Maria Costello second fastest on the night with 105.044 (21:33.554) from Dominic Herbertson (104.902).
Michael Dunlop’s first completed lap on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta topped the qualifying leaderboard for the Junior class, beating Michael Rutter’s time from the previous evening while Jamie Coward (101.640) riding the Ted Woof Honda and William Dunlop (100.977) were also both inside Rutter’s previous fastest time for the class.