Dainese Superbike TT Monday Qualifying Results
Honda CBR1000RR machinery qualified in the top-three positions Monday for the opening sessions of the 2014 Dainese TT.
Though rain canceled all sessions scheduled for Saturday, the conditions were perfect for qualifying Monday with only reports of damp patches of pavement at Stella Maris and Ramsey Hairpin.
Leading the way for the six-lap Dainese TT that takes place Saturday, May 31, was Valvoline Honda’s Bruce Anstey. The rider of New Zealand was quick during his first three laps around the 37.73-mile Snaefell Mountain Course, but his hot lap came on the fourth try. His time en route to the provisional fastest time? A 127.743mph.
But not far behind was 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness. The “Morecambe Missile" - who holds the outright IOM TT lap record with a 131.578 mph set in 2009 aboard Honda CBR machinery - opened up the 2014 race season with a 126.355 mph.
McGuinness is currently riding with an injured wrist. He broke his schaphoid during an off-road training accident in March, and the injury plagued him during the North West 200., forcing him to withdraw from all events.
But his opening qualifying performance at the IOM TT has lifted his spirits as he chases Joey Dunlop’s record of 26 TT races.
“When I was lying on the rocks in the Lake District a couple of months ago I didn’t think I’d be competitive when I got here so tonight’s been a real boost to me and it’s great to bang in a good lap straightaway,” McQuinness says.
“I just went out there tonight and rode my motorbike without thinking too much and everything just started to happen naturally for me. The familiar surroundings of the TT Course are where I’m at my happiest and it felt really good out there tonight, just letting the course flow and lapping at a nice, steady speed.”
“The two laps on the big bike felt good as did the 600 although it was quite a difficult session as the sun was really bad, as worse as I’ve ever know it since I’ve been coming here. With all the rain over the last few months, there’s more foliage around the course and the sun poking through the trees was creating a strobe light effect so it definitely kept me on my toes. It’s always good to get the first session under your belt, even more so for me this year and I feel the weight’s been lifted off my shoulders so we’re up and running now and ready to roll.”
Third fastest in Monday’s Dainese Superbike TT qualifying was Lincs Lifting Honda’s Gary Johnson, who posted a 125.686 around the Mountain Course. Rounding out the top five were Tyco Suzuki’s William Dunlop (125.300) and brother Michael Dunlop (125.335) aboard the Hawk Racing BMW S1000RR.
Besides McGuinness, Michael Dunlop is also a favorite this year. He won four of five solo TTs last season aboard Honda machinery for a career-record of seven TT wins. He then joined Hawk Racing BMW Motorrad last year, and had already showed some dominance on the S1000RR. He dominated the Superbike races at the North West 200.
With the Northern Irishman at the controls of the BMW S 1000 RR, the team is looking to emulate the “great BMW victory of Georg Meier at the Senior TT exactly 75 years ago.” That year – 1939 – Meier secured BMW’s first and only TT win aboard a boxer-powered 500cc Rs 255 Kompressor. Meire also became the first ever foreign winner of the Senior TT race; his teammate, Jock West, finished second.
As for the Americans Mark Miller and Bradon Cretu, both are debuting TT machinery at the TT. Miller had an issue at the 29-mile marker where a rock split some wires on the 1190RS, causing an electrical fault. As for Cretu, he was 57th on Monday’s list, posting a fastest lap of 110.882 around the Mountain Course.
Following is the entire list of Monday’s qualifying results for the Dainese TT.
Photography by UMC contributor Wayne Freestone
2014 Dainese TT Qualifying Results from Monday, May 26: