2014 Isle of Man Tuesday Qualifying
When the 2014 Isle of Man TT pilots arrived on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course Tuesday for the second official day of qualifying (Saturday was canceled due to rain), conditions were once again pristine.
And just as the conditions mirrored Monday’s qualifying, the fastest rider once again was Bruce Anstey. The rider of New Zealand lapped the Snaefell Mountain Course at an impressive 130.860 mph aboard the Valvoline Racing/Padgetts Honda CBR1000RR. He was the only rider to break the 130mph barrier.
Twenty-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness was once again second, posting a quickest lap of 129.395mph. The “Morecambe Missile” holds the outright IOM TT lap record with a 131.578 mph set in 2009 aboard Honda CBR machinery, and is favorite once again at the 103rd running of the IOM TT.
But the other favorite vastly improved over his Monday time – BMW Motorrad rider Michael Dunlop looked like he’d break the 130mph barrier until coasting to a halt at Governor’s Bridge. He still finished fourth quickest with a lap of 129.032mph. He finished just behind TT icon Guy Martin; the TYCO Suzuki pilot managed a 129.164mph lap as he chases his debut TT win.
Following is the official IOM TT report:
The session got underway at 18:23 and, as with Monday night, the majority of riders opted for their Superbike machines, leaving the line in numerical order. McGuinness and James Hillier were first away followed by Ian Hutchinson and Guy Martin then Anstey and Dunlop, Gary Johnson and William Dunlop with Michael Rutter and Conor Cummins completing the top ten. Hillier was aboard his Superstock Kawasaki as were Lee Johnston and Daniel Kneen.
McGuinness was first to complete a lap at 127.578, followed by Anstey (128.630) and Dunlop (129.032) with Cummins and Rutter also over the 128mph mark. Martin and Johnson lapped at over 127mph while Hillier’s lap of 126.243mph was the evening’s fastest Superstock time.
The pace really quickened second time around though with Anstey, Dunlop and McGuinness in close formation and while most eyes were on the Northern Irishman, Anstey went to the top of the leaderboard with his near 131mph lap. Dunlop was delayed through the Grandstand and it shortly emerged that he had stopped at Governors Dip.
Martin went third quickest behind Anstey and McGuinness with a lap of 129.164mph with the top six completed by Dunlop (129.032), Rutter (128.728) and Cummins (128.719). William Dunlop and Johnson were the only other two riders to break the 127mph mark with Kneen and Hutchinson in the 125mph bracket.
Further back, impressive speeds came from James Cowton (122.246) and newcomer Peter Hickman who only just missed out on his first 120mph lap with a speed of 119.684mph whilst the American Buell lapped at an encouraging 118.794mph in the hands of Mark Miller. Meanwhile, Martin Jessopp (117.385), Alan Bonner (115.303) and Belgian Vick de Cooremeter (114.226), all newcomers this year, again proved they were getting to grips with the Mountain Course.
Hillier’s opening lap kept him at the top of the Superstock leaderboard for the entire night and he was followed by Michael Dunlop (125.840), Rutter (125.325), Anstey (125.086), McGuinness (124.529) and Kneen (124.111). Notable laps came from Russ Mountford (123.090) who ended up in tenth and Michael Sweeney who chalked up his first 120mph lap at 120.203mph. Austrian Horst Saiger came off at Governors during the session but was OK after been seen by a travelling medic.
The second part of the session was split between the Supersport and Lightweight machines, the latter getting their first action of the 2014 festival, and a late lap from Lee Johnston of 123.803mph saw him top the 600cc class. Johnson and Rutter improved their speeds of the previous night on the Triumphs to place second and third, with William Dunlop the fourth rider to lap in excess of 123mph. Harrison, Martin, Brookes and Michael Dunlop completed the top eight.
In the Lightweight division Ivan Lintin occupied the top spot, the McKinstry Racing rider’s lap of 117.297mph almost twelve seconds quicker than Keith Amor’s speed of 115.595mph. Cowton was the only other rider above 115mph with Olie Linsdell impressing on the Paton in fourth. Previous Lightweight race winners Hillier and Ryan Farquhar completed the top six.
In the Formula Two sidecar class, which saw just one lap completed before the session was red flagged due to an incident at Kerrowmoar, John Holden/Andy Winkle showed there’ll be contenders come race day once more with a lap of 112.877mph, just under ten seconds quicker than Ben and Tom Birchall. Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott placed third ahead of Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn, Frank Lelias/Paul Knapton and Carl Fenwick/Phil Knapton but Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance stopped on the opening lap, the duo pulling up to a halt at Moly’s own corner at the end of the Cronk y Voddy.
It was later reported that sidecar crew Nev Jones and Milan Vorel were the team involved in the accident at Kerrowmoar. Jones was reported to be OK but Vorel was taken by airmed to Nobles where he was assessed for possible leg fractures.
Photography by Wayne Freestone