Dean Harrison nudges TT lap record in Tuesday qualifying

Dean Harrison set the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, alight on Tuesday evening with a stunning lap of 133.462mph, which unofficially broke the Superbike lap record and also saw him become only the second rider to lap the Mountain Course in less than 17 minutes.

Dean Harris approaches Guthries
Dean Harris approaches Guthries

The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider laid down a marker from the outset with an opening lap of 133.140mph, the fastest ever standing start lap – albeit unofficially – before increasing his pace second time around. The Bradford rider’s quickest lap prior to tonight was 132.019mph, set in last year’s PokerStars Senior TT race.

With the sun continuing to shine on the island, conditions were again excellent all around the Mountain Course and after a slight delay due to oil being cleared at Ballig Bridge, the session got underway at 6.23pm.

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop (Tyco BMW) and James Hillier (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki), led the field away on their Superbikes followed by Dan Kneen (Tyco BMW), Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW), Ian Hutchinson (Honda Racing) and Gary Johnson (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki), and Harrison and Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing BMW). Johnson was soon out though, his bad luck continuing as he pulled off at St Ninians and returned to the paddock.

Michael Dunlop and James Hillier led the field away
Michael Dunlop and James Hillier led the field away

It soon became clear that Harrison was setting a fierce pace throughout the 37.73-mile lap and although Dunlop and Hickman were first to cross the line at 132.319mph and 131.871mph respectively, he jumped to the top of the timesheets with his aforementioned opening lap of 133.140mph.

Kneen (130.668), Hillier (129.181), Rutter (129.583), Conor Cummins (129.756) and Martin Jessopp (128.144) were all going well but Harrison was in a class of his own and as he crossed the line, his lap speed came up as 133.462mph, some 1.4mph quicker than his personal best and only the second rider, after Michael Dunlop in 2016, to lap under 17 minutes.

Dan Kneen
Dan Kneen

Manxman Kneen was flying too and his lap of 132.258 was almost 2mph up on his best lap set in last year’s RL360 Superstock race while Hickman was again impressing at 132.169mph.

David Johnson (Gulf BMW) improved to 129.360mph with Josh Brookes also upping his speed to 128.590mph on the Norton.

As the session wore on, the lap speeds dipped slightly, largely due to heavy traffic all around the course and the setting sun but Hickman and Harrison both managed 130mph+ laps on their Superstock bikes – Hickman the quicker with his second lap of 130.619mph. Kneen slotted into third ahead of Lee Johnston, Cummins and Hillier with Hickman’s third lap coming to a halt with a retirement at Crosby.

Superbike Qualifying Results

  1. Dean Harrison Kawasaki/Silicone Engineering 133.462
  2. Michael Dunlop BMW/Tyco BMW 132.319
  3. Dan Kneen BMW/Tyco BMW 132.258
  4. Peter Hickman BMW/Smiths Racing BMW 132.169
  5. Conor Cummins Honda/padgettsmotorcycles.com 129.756
  6. Michael Rutter BMW/Bathams BMW 129.583
  7. David Johnson BMW/Gulf BMW 129.360
  8. James Hillier Kawa/Quattro JG Speedfit Kawasaki 129.181
  9. Joshua Brookes Norton/Norton Motorcycles 128.590
  10. Philip Crowe BMW/HandTrans-Chapman Racing 128.472
  11. Martin Jessopp BMW/Riders Motorcycles BMW 128.144
  12. Derek Sheils BMW/Team Penz13.com BMW 127.575
  13. Jamie Coward BMW/Team Penz13.com BMW 127.554
  14. Shaun Anderson Suzuki/Anderson Developments 127.167
  15. Ian Hutchinson Honda/Honda Racing 127.038
  16. Lee Johnston Honda/Honda Racing 126.873
  17. Gary Johnson Kawasaki/RAF Kawasaki / Briggs 126.566
  18. Sam West BMW/PRL / Worthington 126.562
  19. Daley Mathison BMW/Eddie Stobart Racing 125.608
  20. Daniel Cooper BMW/Impcross Engineering 125.265
Peter Hickman at Ballaugh Bridge
Peter Hickman at Ballaugh Bridge

Superstock Qualifying

  1. Peter Hickman BMW/Smiths Racing BMW  130.619
  2. Dean Harrison Kawasaki/Silicone Engineering  130.553
  3. Dan Kneen BMW/Tyco BMW 129.140
  4. Lee Johnston Honda/Honda Racing128.288
  5. Conor Cummins Honda/padgetts 128.154
  6. James Hillier Kawa/Quattro JG Speedfit Kawasaki 128.110
  7. David Johnson BMW/Gulf BMW 127.719
  8. Jamie Coward BMW/Team Penz13.com BMW 127.554
  9. Shaun Anderson Suzuki/Anderson Developments 127.167
  10. Philip Crowe BMW/Lee Jackson Aircon/Agriwash 125.564
  11. Daniel Cooper BMW/Impcross Engineering 125.265
  12. Ian Hutchinson Honda/Honda Racing 125.196
  13. Sam West BMW/PRL / Worthington 124.950
  14. Dominic Herbertson BMW/WH Racing 124.782
  15. James Cowton Kawasaki/McAdoo Kawasaki 124.519

Supersport | Lightweight

At 7.20pm, it was the turn of the Supersport and Lightweight machines and Dunlop was quickest in the 600s with a lap of 125.206mph (MD Racing Honda) which put him ahead of Hillier (124.919), Ivan Lintin (124.376), Brookes (123.718), Johnston (123.367) and Gary Johnson (122.741) who’d managed to get back out on course after his earlier retirement in the Superbike session.

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop

Supersport Qualifying

  1. Michael Dunlop Honda/MD Racing 125.206
  2. James Hillier Kawa/Quattro JG Speedfit Kawasaki 124.919
  3. Ivan Lintin Kawasaki/Dafabet Devitt Racing  124.376
  4. Joshua Brookes Yamaha/McAMS Yamaha Monster 123.718
  5. Lee Johnston Honda/padgetts 123.367
  6. Gary Johnson Triumph/RAF Triumph 122.741
  7. Jamie Coward Yamaha/Prez Racing 122.460
  8. Derek McGee Kawasaki/B & W Racing 122.173
  9. Conor Cummins Honda/padgetts 122.034
  10. Adam McLean Kawasaki/McAdoo Racing 121.575

Lightweight

Harrison’s night ended on a low note when he pulled off the course at Ballacraine while Lintin had a slow speed tip-off at Governor’s Bridge on a Superbike lap although he got back out on his Lightweight machine where he went quickest at 119.191mph.

That put him ahead of Stefano Bonetti (Paton) who was second quickest at 118.848mph from Adam McLean (116.984) and the other Patons of Ian Lougher (116.417) and Rutter (116.012).

Stefano Bonetti - 650 Paton
Stefano Bonetti – 650 Paton

Sidecars

Not to be outdone by the solos, the Formula Two Sidecars were also setting a formidable pace and John Holden/Lee Cain scorched round on their opening lap at 115.732mph, which was only three seconds outside their personal best. The Birchalls were second quickest at 114.875mph with Alan Founds/Jake Lowther (112.602) slotting into third ahead of Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle (111.122).

Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley (110.866) and Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (110.180) were the other two crews to break the 110mph barrier on their opening lap whilst a good lap came from newcomers Michael Jackson/Harry Payne at 101.714mph.

Second time around, the Birchalls lapped at 115.145mph which kept them in second place with the Founds brothers in third and fourth, Alan the quicker on 113.037mph from Peter at 112.324mph. Meanwhile, Tony Baker/Fiona Baker-Holden got as close to breaking the 110mph barrier as possible with a second lap of 109.999mph whilst Jackson/Payne improved further still to 102.983mph.


Images Pacemaker Press

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