Michael Dunlop finally gets a full lap in and goes second quickest on Team Classic Suzuki
IOM Classic TT 2017

Michael Dunlop was finally able to compete his first Superbike qualifying lap ahead of Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Classic TT Superbike Race and immediately moved to second place on the overall leaderboard for the week.

Michael Dunlop (1000 Suzuki/Team Classic Suzuki) at Douglas Road corner, Kirk Michael during Friday evening's Classic TT qualifying session. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS
Michael Dunlop (1000 Suzuki/Team Classic Suzuki) at Douglas Road corner, Kirk Michael during Friday evening’s Classic TT qualifying session. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS

A change to the advertised schedule saw the Superbike and Lightweight Machines go out first in the final full qualifying session for the 2017 Classic TT presented by Bennetts because of the power requirements for tyre warmers.

Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson confirmed that the track was dry with good visibility and the combined Classic TT Superbike and Lightweight session roared into life on time at 6.20pm.

Michael Rutter and Dan Kneen leave the startline in the Motorsport Merchandise Classic TT Race Qualifying session. Photo Stephen Davison / Pacemaker Press Intl.
Michael Rutter and Dan Kneen leave the startline in the Motorsport Merchandise Classic TT Race Qualifying session. Photo Stephen Davison / Pacemaker Press Intl.

Dunlop was first to Glen Helen on the opening lap but Dean Harrison, riding the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki was quickest to the opening sector a couple of seconds ahead of Dunlop with Jamie Coward third fastest on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki just over a second further back.

James Coward, Mistral Kawasaki at Douglas Road Corner, Kirk Michael: Photo Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press Intl."
James Coward, Mistral Kawasaki at Douglas Road Corner, Kirk Michael: Photo Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press Intl.”

Dean Harrison was reported as a retirement at Ballaugh leaving Dunlop at the front of the session and the Northern Ireland rider was first through the Grandstand on the opening lap in 124.92.

Coward (123.77) was ten seconds back in second place ahead of three other Kawasaki riders – teammate Dan Kneen (122.79), who was marginally ahead of Greenall Racing rider Horst Saiger (122.765) with Ivan Lintin (120.91) on the Kraus Racing bike completing the top five.

Michael Dunlop (1000 Suzuki/Team Classic Suzuki) at Douglas Road corner, Kirk Michael during Friday evening's Classic TT qualifying session. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS
Michael Dunlop (1000 Suzuki/Team Classic Suzuki) at Douglas Road corner, Kirk Michael during Friday evening’s Classic TT qualifying session. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS

Dunlop was reported to have stopped at Hillberry on his second lap making adjustments, eventually completing the lap but Jamie Coward was enjoying a clear run to post the third fastest Superbike lap of the week (124.012) on his second lap.

In the concurrent Lightweight Classic TT session, Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Motorcycles 250 Honda continued his dominance with a lap of 117.54 – outside his unofficial lap record from Wednesday but comfortably ahead of Michael Rutter (113.36) on the Red Fox Grinta Racing Ducati with Gary Vines on the Online Lubricants Yamaha completing the top three.

Bruce Anstey (250 Honda/Padgetts Motorcycles.com) at Douglas Road corner, Kirk Michael during Friday evening's Classic TT qualifying session. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS
Bruce Anstey (250 Honda/Padgetts Motorcycles.com) at Douglas Road corner, Kirk Michael during Friday evening’s Classic TT qualifying session. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN/PACEMAKER PRESS

The second session for Senior and Junior machines got underway at 7.05pm. In the Senior class, William Dunlop was first to Glen Helen on his Davies Motorsport Honda from Josh Brookes on the Winfield Paton and Ian Lougher on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta while Maria Costello was an early retirement at Quarterbridge.

The second session for Senior and Junior machines got underway at 7.05pm. In the Senior class, William Dunlop was first to Glen Helen on his Davies Motorsport Honda from Josh Brookes on the Winfield Paton and Ian Lougher on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta while Maria Costello was an early retirement at Quarterbridge.

In the concurrent Junior Classic TT qualifying session Alan Oversby was eight seconds quicker than second placed man Phil McGurk with Dominic Herbertson on the Davies Motorsport Honda completing the top three.

However, with the Classic TT session approaching Ramsey, an incident in the MGP Junior qualifying session resulted in an all course red flag with the rider transferred by airmed to Nobles.

The circulating machines were brought back to the Grandstand and the session was curtailed shortly after 7.15.