News Isle of Man TT: HM Plant Practice Report

Isle of Man TT: HM Plant Practice Report

IoM TT Report

HM Plant Honda’s John McGuinness, Keith Amor and Michael Rutter took to the TT course again this evening for the second practice session, although lap times were affected by overnight rain which lingered for most of the morning and left some damp patches around the 37.73-mile mountain course.

The mountain mist took a long time to clear but eventually practice got underway at 6.20pm in clear and sunny conditions.

Michael was one of the first riders to tackle the course, taking the HM Plant Honda Fireblade Superstock bike through to post the third fastest time on his opening lap. Having checked out the course for damp patches, Michael was more confident on his second lap and headed the leaderboard.

But as the track dried out the times began to tumble, he ended his evening in third place with a lap time of 18m 2.91s – 125.429mph, which is his fastest ever lap around the Mountain course in all the years he has been competing on the Island.

Keith Amor improved his position from Monday evening, powering his HM Plant Honda Superbike through to fifth overall on the night with a time of 17m 57.63 – 126.043mph.

Teammate and multi-TT winner John McGuinness erred on the side of caution in the tricky conditions to end his evening in seventh place, a tad slower than Monday’s session, with a time of 18m 01.9s – 125.546mph.

Keith Amor says: "I really didn’t think we would be out tonight. But it turned into a beautiful evening and although a bit damp in places, it was fine. Last night was my first time on the bike and the first night of practice here at the TT is more about me enjoying myself and not frightening myself. I didn’t frighten myself and just rode around to get used to the bike, which is awesome, and get myself settled into it. But tonight I got my head down and went for a quicker time. But of course it’s how fast you go on Saturday in the race that matters, not how fast you go on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday."

John McGuinness says: "Last night the times were just unbelievable. Everything felt pretty good and under control. My first lap was 125mph and the second 127mph which is incredible on the first night of practice. The course is in pretty good shape, there was a bit of dust about but it wasn’t as bad as we expected. We were worrying about the bad winter over here and there would perhaps be more bumps but it’s exactly the same and the resurfacing they have done through the Black Dub and through Kirk Michael is really good. Tonight it was wet in places and I was not comfortable to go for a really fast lap in those conditions. The weather forecast is good for tomorrow and the rest of the week so we can work towards improving our lap times then."

Michael Rutter says: "I am really enjoying myself, love the HM Plant Honda Fireblade and it’s going really well for me. I have posted quicker lap times than ever before here, which is great news and now we are promised some good weather so I am really looking forward to Wednesday evening’s practice session."

Havier Beltran (HM Plant Honda Team Manager) says: "The conditions here have not been ideal for us so far. The track was dirty on the first night and last night it was quite wet at Glen Helen and also towards the end of the course. The HM Plant Honda riders quite sensibly are not prepared to push it in those conditions but with the weather set to improve from Wednesday onwards we can get on with tyre choice and set-up in preparation for racing on Saturday."

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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