Manx GP: Dunlop Approaches 120 mph Lap


Isle of Man

Conditions were again described as perfect around the mountain course on the Isle of Man for the 6th motorcycle practice for the 2010 Manx Grand Prix sponsored by, with a dry track and only light breezes reported.

Competitors were again warned about excessive glare between Union Mills and Ballacraine and also at the exit to the Gooseneck.

And it was a night of lap records in both classic and modern machines with Michael Dunlop again posting an unofficial fastest in the Post Classic Class while double TT 2010 sidecar champion Dan Sayle shattered Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle’s 1999 lap record with a new, albeit also unofficial, fastest ever MGP Lightweight’s lap of 116.500 in the evening’s second session.

The talk in the padock was whether John McGuinness’s outright mountain course Lightweight record of 118.29mph, set on slick tyres in the 2004 TT meeting, was also under threat. Chris Palmer also posted a new fastest lap in the Junior Post Classic Class.

The riders got away after a short delay at 18.27pm with the Classic, Post Classic, Ultra Lightweight and Newcomers A enjoying the first session.

First away were Andy Lawson and Dave Moffitt, both on the 650 Suzuki Twins, with Michael Dunlop away behind them and it was Dunlop, who has already set the festival event alive with some incredible times on the ‘81 Suzuki XR69, who was first to the Glen Helen checkpoint in 4:54.09.

Dunlop increased the pace at the front of the field and posted an average lap of 129.018 to Ramsey with Scotsman Mark Buckley almost 30 seconds behind on time. Dunlop eventually recorded 117.647 through the Grandstand, before the second rider had reached Cronk Ny Mona.

Mark Buckley clocked 112.949 with Johnny Barton on the 85 GSZR 749cc (108.902), Andy Lovett on an ’85 Suzuki GSXR 750cc (102.486) and Maria Costello on the 89 Suzuki XR69 (102.204) also clocking over 100mph average lap speed around the course.

Dunlop continued on a flying second lap and was timed at 11mins 43 seconds to Ramsey (131.481), eventually completing the lap in 119.590 (18:55.78).

Michael Dunlop says: “I was disappointed not to get to 120 mph but on another night I’ll do it.”

Johnny Barton also improved his time on the second lap with 109.897.

In the Junior Post Classic Barry Davidson on a Yamaha was first back with 105.844, a time subsequently surpassed by Brian Mateer (106.749) Phil McGurk (107.035) and Chris Palmer who clocked 111.075 to top the leaderboard and post the fastest ever Junior Post Classic lap. Ewan Hamilton on a 1990 Yamaha TZA was also over 100mph with 102.890.

In the Senior Classic (750cc) Chris McGahan on his 746 Miles Trident was fastest on the night with 98.942. Dave Madsen-Mygdal recorded the second fastest time of the evening with 97.846 on the Triumph R06 with Alec Whiwell on a 72 Honda CB 560cc just over 4 seconds behind for the lap (97.557).

In the Lightweight Classic Class Tom Jackson on a 1966 Suzuki TR 249cc was the fastest on the night at 92.856 with David Smith (67 Yamaha TDIC 246cc) and Jeff Ward (67 Suzuki T20 247cc) second and third respectively.

In the Senior Classic (500cc) class Alan Oversby on the 72 MV was the only rider over 100mph (106.830) with Steve Linsdell on a 1970 Enfield Seeley, Bob Owen on a 69 Seeley, Fernando Mendes on a 68 BSA Gold Star, Henry Bell on a 71 Honda Drixton and Keith Dixon on a 72 Seeley all recording 90mph plus laps.

Chris McGahan topped the Junior Classic session (97.059) on a 346cc Honda ahead of Nigel Moore and Ken Davis.

In the Ultra Lighweights, Dave Moffitt topped the leader board with 110.584 from Andy Lawson and Joe Phillips while in the Newcomers B Class Lee Darbyshire 105.500 led from Scott Campbell and Tom Llewelyn.

The second session featuring Senior, Junior, Lightweight and Newcomers A got away shortly after 7.10pm and a number of the leading contenders again took advantage of the excellent conditions to post their fastest times of the week.

In the Junior class, Michael Sweeney clocked the fastest of the night and indeed the week with 119.734, Simon Fulton was hot on his heels with 119.226 and Wayne Kirwan 118.267. In the Newcomers A group Andy Fenton, James Coward and Shaun Anderson all posted 114mph laps.

Andrew Brady was the fastest Senior class rider on the night with 118.123, ahead of Grant Wagstaffe and Jules Croft.

Finland’s Osmo Partti was reported as having a possible arm fracture following an accident at Cruickshanks, while Andy Lawson sustained a hand fracture and was taken by Air Med to Nobles Hospital after an incident at Guthries. Mick Moreton slid off at Sulby Bridge after a puncture but was reported as unhurt.