2015 Isle of Man TT Lightweight Qualifying – Saturday, May 31
The 104th edition of the 2015 Isle of Man TT officially got underway Saturday, May 31, with newcomer practice and qualifying for the Lightweight (all Kawasaki 650cc machinery) and F2 sidecar classes.
Weather already played a roll in the outcome of day one, and rain prevented the F2 sidecars from qualifying later in the evening. But luckily, the Lightweight class got a full session under their leathers with KMR Kawasaki’s Ryan Farquhar leading the way at 117.12mph.
But first, the newcomers of the TT got their first taste of the 37.73-mile Mountain Course under closed-roads conditions. Newbie riders from the solo and sidecar classes took a speed-controlled lap with TT rider liaison officer Richard “Milky” Quayle – the 2002 Lightweight TT winner.
The newcomers in 2015 TT are the following – Tom McHale, Robbin Harms and Franck Petricola. Then the second TT Rider Liaison Officer John Barton rode his Lightweight machine with Derek McGee, Dan Harrison and Geoffrey Vankoekelnbergh.
Soon after it was the turn of the F2 Sidecar newcomers with seasoned regulars Roy Hanks/Kevin Perry, John Holden/Dan Sayle and Tony Baker/Fiona Baker-Milligan showing the 12 debutantes around including Terry O’Reilly/Aidan Browne, Alan Warden/Stuart Clark and Pascal Gassmann/Olivier Chabloz, IOM TT reports.
Also out on track was reigning British F1 Champion Sean Hegarty making his first appearance at the TT since 1996. James Neave partnered him with their 675cc Triumph outfit certainly standing out, the IOM TT reports.
Lightweight qualifying then got underway at 6:57 p.m. (GMT), with Jamie Hamilton and Michael Sweeney. They were followed in quick succession by Junior Manx Grand Prix winner Andy Lawson and Dan Cooper, Michael Rutter and James Hillier and Ivan Lintin and Michael Jessopp.
Newcomers were then able to lap the course at speed, and the two quickest riders on the opening lap were WK Bikes Kawasaki’s Gary Johnson (114.866mph) and Farquhar (114.827mph). By the second lap these riders were in the 117 mph.
When the first Bennets Lightweight Qualifying session ended, Farquhar took the top spot with a speed of 117.12. Johnson followed closely with 117.07 mph.
Lintin on the RC Express Racing Kawasaki was third quickest (116.60mph), followed by KMR Kawaski’s Lee Johnston (115.40mph) and Johnson again at 114.87mph).
There’s no TT action on Sunday, but all other solo classes – Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers – and the Sidecars begin qualifying Monday evening.
Photos by Wayne Freestone
2015 Isle of Man TT Lightweight TT Qualifying Photo Gallery – Saturday, May 31: