JOHN McGuinness lead last night's session at the 2012 Isle of Man TT, with a rapid 129.411mph average to remain at the top of the qualifying leaderboard.
Riders were met with yet another dry, sunny evening for the third qualifying session. Conditions were described as dry and clear all the way around the course although the lack of adhesion flags were on display at Cronk y Voddy, the 23rd Milestone and Guthrie’s.
Guy Martin and James Hillier were first off the line, followed by Ryan Farquhar, Ian Hutchinson, Cameron Donald, Dan Kneen, Michael Rutter, Bruce Anstey, John McGuinness and Ian Mackman. All were on their Superbike machines with the exception of Kneen and Rutter who were Superstock mounted.
Meanwhile, Conor Cummins got his campaign underway, setting off on his Superstock machine half way through the field. Hillier had problems though pulling off the course before going back out on his Superstock machine.
Martin was first man back at 127.115mph swiftly followed by Michael Dunlop at 126.03mph and Farquhar on 125.197mph. Gary Johnson, Donald and Rutter were also over 125mph but Martin’s time was bettered by McGuinness who lapped at 127.385mph. Anstey was the quickest Superstock bike on the first lap with a speed of 126.075mph whilst the rapid progress of the newcomers could clearly be seen with Jamie Hamilton lapping at a very impressive 116.56mph. Jimmy Storrar and Karl Harris were also going well at 114.01 and 113.72 respectively.
At the front of the field Martin lapped slightly quicker at 127.524mph. The men who were really upping their pace, however, were Donald and McGuinness with both breaking the 129mph barrier for the first time this week.
Donald posted a lap of 129.023mph but McGuinness was again quickest at 129.411mph. Rutter lapped in excess of 126mph on his Superstock ZX-10R whilst Kneen was again over 124mph on his Suzuki Superstock. Anstey and William Dunlop were just over 125mph on their Superbikes with Cummins improving to 121.64mph. Storrar also improved, with a lap of115.75mph.