Two veterans in their 40s lead the youngsters
BRUCE ANSTEY lead last night's TT practice session with a 128.815mph average lap, Michael Rutter wasn't far behind with a 128.072mph lap.
After rain and damp conditions started the day, the weather cleared up in time for Thursday’s practice session to get underway only slightly behind schedule at 6.25pm and this time it was the sidecars to sample the Mountain Course first.
Guy Martin and Bruce Anstey were the first away in the Supersport and Lightweight session followed by William Dunlop, Ian Lougher, Rob Barber, John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Ian Hutchinson. Lougher, Barber and Rutter were all on their Lightweight bikes as was James Hillier.
Dunlop was the quickest on the opening lap at 124.650mph closely followed by Anstey (123.649), Johnson (123.638), Martin (122.639) and McGuinness (122.349). Ryan Farquhar was also over 120mph whilst Lougher was the quickest Lightweight machine with a lap of 113.023mph. Hillier was only slightly slower at 112.952mph with Rutter also over 112mph.
However, the red flag was being displayed from the startline to Cronk y Voddy due to an incident at Sarah’s Cottage and there was a 25-minute delay before practice resumed at 8.05pm with the session for Superbike, Superstock and Supersport machines.
Michael Dunlop was forced to stop at Ramsey Hairpin when some debris got caught in his radiator but Gary Johnson, James Hillier and Ian Hutchinson had no such problems and all completed their laps in excess of 125mph although Guy Martin was the quickest at 126.939mph. William Dunlop was once again the quickest 600 but Dan Kneen was out at Quarterbridge.
With damp patches in the Glen Helen section, speeds were a bit down on the opening lap but, second time around, the pace quickened, none more so than Anstey and Rutter who circulated in close formation. The duo topped the Superbike session with speeds of 128.815mph and 128.072mph respectively and, although many of the fancied runners failed to go quicker, good laps were posted by David Johnson, Daniel Hegarty and Grant Wagstaff, with the latter posting a first ever 120mph+ lap.
Hutchinson, Lougher, Farquhar, Lee Johnston, Simon Fulton and Michael Niblett were all posted as retirements whilst Karl Harris was the fastest newcomer at 119.017mph.
In a change to the schedule tomorrow’s final qualifying session will now be a split session with Sidecars out at 18.20, Lightweight and all solo newcomers at 19.15 to 19.55 and Superbike, Supersport and Superstock at 20.00 – 20.50 with all solo’s getting the chance to test Pit lane limiters.
Posted: 01/06/2012 at 11:39
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