PATONS TO THE FORE IN SECOND CLASSIC TT QUALIFYING SESSION
Perfect conditions greeted competitors for tonight’s second qualifying session at the Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts. After a short delay to allow a newcomer to complete his speed-controlled lap, the session got underway in earnest at around 6.35pm.
Jamie Hamilton, a late replacement for Dean Harrison on the Black Eagle Racing MV, was first away and was followed off the line by Bruce Anstey on the McIntosh Norton and the illustrious pairing of John McGuinness on the Team Winfield Paton and Michael Dunlop riding the Molnar Manx Norton.
The Patons were clearly to the fore in this session. Ian Lougher on the Flitwick Motorcycles machine, was quickest to Glen Helen in the opening lap of the 500’s session but McGuinness was fastest back to the grandstand, with an opening lap with 109.846, which he followed with a second lap of 109.454. The Welsh veteran Lougher split the Team Winfield riders with his opening lap of 109.282 from Ryan Farquhar who clocked 108.767.
Hamilton (107.327) was just ahead of the Molnar Manx pair Dunlop (106.431) and Dan Cooper (105.896). Other notable performers included Michael Rutter, who completed his first Classic TT lap on the Seeley Matchless G50 with 102.114 and last year’s 500 race winner Olie Linsdell, this year campaigning a 72 Enfield Seeley who was timed at 101.100. With many of the riders opting not to go out for a second lap, McGuinness’s opening lap was the fastest of the 500’s session.
In the 350’s session experienced campaigner Alan Oversby, riding the ’72 Honda was the only rider over 100mph (102.707), 3 seconds off the lap record, from Conor Behan (99.842) and William Dunlop (99.756).
Ahead of the second session, Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman advised the riders that there would be waived and stationary yellow flags at Ballaugh following an oil spill in an incident that saw Alex Sinclair taken by Airmed to Nobles with an arm injury.
The Formula 1/Formula 2 session got underway shortly after 7.10 and Team York Suzuki Racing’s Russ Mountford opened with a 115.966 on the GSXR XR69 which he followed with a 116.534. However, all eyes were on Bruce Anstey on the two stroke Yamaha YZR 500. The Kiwi completed his first lap of the meeting (114.107) on the Valvolene Racing by Padgetts Motorcycle bike, having stopped in Ramsey last night but he then stopped at the Creg Ny Baa when on a quicker second lap. Anstey was also the quickest through the Sulby speed trap on the night with 164.5mph.
However, last year’s F1 Race winner Michael Dunlop, again riding for Team Classic Suzuki, signalled that he will be the man to beat in Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise F1 Race, posting a lap of 118.772, the evening’s fastest lap, while Gary Johnson proved that he’s recovered from his TT injuries with 113.668 on the Team Winfield Harris Yamaha.
In the F2 Class, James Cowton, who finished third in this year’s Lightweight TT, posted the fastest lap on his 92 Berwick Yamaha TZ250 (108.326) with Chris Moore and Ian Lougher completing the top three on the night.
Colin Croft came off at Ramsey Hairpin but was reported as OK.
LAWSON AND HODSON SHOW EARLY FORM IN SECOND MANX GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING SESSION
Tonight’s qualifying session for the IMGold Manx Grand Prix got underway shortly after 6.25 with a speed-controlled lap for newcomer Leon Murphy, before the session got underway in earnest at around 6.35.
First to experience the excellent conditions around the Mountain Course were SuperTwin, Lightweight and Newcomers B (650/250) and C (400).
Wigan’s Rob Hodson continued his fine form from the previous evening to post the fastest SuperTwin lap (109.251) from Gary Gittins (108.575) and James Neesom (108.481). Dean Osborne (104.537 and 104.366) posted the fastest two newcomer B laps with Eddie Venn also posting a pair of 100+mph laps (102.839 and 101.263).
Seven riders posted laps of over 100mph in the Lightweight session with the Isle of Man’s Adam Jones (101.807) the fastest from Ireland’s Mick Jordan (101.794) and Rikki McGovern (101.518).
Ahead of the second session, Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman advised the riders that there would be waived and stationary yellow flags at Ballaugh following an oil spill.
In the second session, Scotland’s Andy Lawson again signalled his intent with the fastest lap of the evening (116.332) on the Kawasaki that he’ll race in the Senior Manx Grand Prix while Andrew Soar (114.128) and Paul Smyth (113.068) also signalled their intent.
Hodson also topped the Junior leader board with a lap of 116.144 from James Neesom (114.095) and Stephen Harper (112.762) while Shane Egan in the Newcomers A again showed that he’d be the man to beat with 111.836. Billy Redmayne (110.893) and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas (110.494) also posted quick laps, building on their performances from the previous night and already signalling that this year’s Newcomers A Race, which is scheduled to take place on Monday 25th August, is likely to be competitive.
Barry Furber (Quarterbridge), Dave Matravers (Sulby) and James Buckett (Braddan Bridge) were all reported OK after accidents during the session while Stephen Carr was taken by ambulance to Nobles Hospital with a possible ankle injury.