Road Racing

TT 2017: Hutchinson sets early Superbike pace

Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson topped the opening Superbike practice times at the Isle of Man TT from fierce rival Michael Dunlop.

IAN Hutchinson put down a marker as he topped the Superbike and Supersport sessions as practice got underway at the Isle of Man TT. 

The weather forced the cancellation of the Saturday and Monday sessions, but the action finally commenced on Tuesday evening, with the riders warned of damp patches around the Mountain Course. 

Hutchinson set the fastest time of the evening on his Tyco BMW Superbike following a lap of 125.839mph, which he set on his second lap. 

Fierce rival Dunlop wasn't far behind as the Northern Ireland rider posted his best lap from a standing start on the new Bennetts Suzuki, clocking 125.680mph as he ended the night 1.4 seconds behind Hutchinson. 

Manx rider Dan Kneen impressed on the Penz BMW as he finished third fastest at 124.642mph followed by Peter Hickman on the Smiths BMW (124.093mph) and Steve Mercer on the Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki, who lapped at 123.870mph. 

Guy Martin, who is back at the TT for the first time since 2015, lapped at 120.081mph on the Honda Racing Fireblade SP2. 

Hutchinson also set the pace in the Supersport session on the McAMS Yamaha at 121.147mph from Dunlop, who was close behind with a lap of 121.020mph on his MD Racing Yamaha. 

Two-time winner Gary Johnson was third fastest on his private Triumph at 120.311mph ahead of Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda (119.794mph) and JG Speedfit Kawasaki's James Hillier (119.776mph). 

A number of riders opted to ride their Superstock machines and it was Michael Rutter who was quickest on the Bathams BMW at 124.117mph from Anstey (123.722mph) and his Padgetts Honda team-mate Conor Cummins (121.181mph). 

Rutter was also fastest in the Lightweight class on the Paton (113.946mph) from Ivan Lintin (Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki), who lapped at 113.856mph. Dan Cooper and Peter Hickman, who is riding a Kawasaki for Ryan Farquhar's KMR team, were third and fourth fastest respectively. 

Read more at bike racing news at Crash.net.

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