Hutchinson the First to Break 130mph at Isle of Man TT Thursday Practice
Like Wednesday’s qualifying sessions for the 2015 Isle of Man TT, the riders were greeted Thursday with dry and sunny conditions – as perfect as can be for the storm-ridden island at the heart of the Irish Sea.
From the outset of Thursday’s qualifying for the 104th edition of the TT held on the 37.73 -mile Mountain Course, speeds were intense in the superbike class. Two riders already broke the 130mph mark – Ian Hutchinson, an eight-time TT winner who swept the five solo classes in 2010, and 21-time TT winner John McGuinness.
PBM Kawasaki’s Hutchinson was the first to complete a lap around the Snaefell Mountain Course. His first lap was recorded at 129.743mph, and he was followed through the grandstand start/finish line by Penz13.com/Bathams BMW’s Michael Rutter (127.896), TYCO BMW’s Guy Martin (128.504mph) and William Dunlop (128.139mph).
The current outright lap record holder who led Wednesday’s TT qualifying, Bruce Anstey, was next, posting a 128.642mph on his Valvoline by Padgetts Honda CBR1000RR, followed by Honda HRC’s McGuinness, who posted a 129.139mph lap.
Michael Dunlop, who switched from Milwuakee Yamaha back to BMW following Wednesday practice, was happy to be back on the S1000RR; he posted the quickest Superstock time at 128.447 mph.
Taking advantage of the optimal conditions, Huntchinson was the first break 130mph at the 2015 IOM TT, posting a 130.266 on his second lap; this would be the fastest time of the day. McGuinness was the next – and only other rider to post over 130mph – the 43-year-old “Morecambe Missle” posting a 130.030mph.
As for Anstey, he was just over two seconds slower, posting a lap of 129.957mph to finish third fastest. The TYCO BMW S1000RR teammates – William Dunlop (129.419mph) and Guy Martin (128.963) – followed in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The last two to break the 128mph barrier were Bathams BMW’s Michael Rutter and Honda HRC’s Conor Cummins.
Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing Suzuki’s Jamie Hamilton posted his best ever time of 127.752mph, which was good for eight fastest. Rounding out the top 10 were Mar-Train Racing Yamaha’s Dean Harrison (127.120mph) and Valvoline Padgetts Honda’s Dan Keen (126.568mph).
In the Superstock class, BMW’s Michael Dunlop increased his pace the second time around to 129.659mph, which was the fourth fastest lap of the night. Hutchinson followed with a lap of 128.308mph aboard the PBM Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, Smiths Racing BMW’s David Johnson (127.740mph).
The Supersport and Lightweight Kawasaki 650cc machines came out just after 7 p.m. GTM, but the session was soon red flagged due to a crash at Ballagarey. Roy Richardson crashed, and was air lifted to the Nobles hostpital due to leg injury; no updates were reported as of this writing.
IN the Supersport class, TBC Yamaha’s Gary Johnson took the top time with a 124.307mph, followed by Valvoline by Padgetts Honda’s Bruce Anstey (124.051mph) and CD/IC Racing Yamaha’s William Dunkio (123.708mph).
Following the top three were Mar-Train Yamaha’s Dean Harrison, Team Traction Control Yamaha’s Ian Hutchinson, East Coast Construction/Burdens Triumph’s Lee Johnston, Honda’s John McGuinness, RigDeluge Road Racing Honda’s Keith Amor, Smiths Racing Triumph’s Guy Martin and Quatrro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki’s James Hillier.
Once again Ryan Farquhar set the pace in teh Lightweight class of 117.432mph as he chases his fourth TT win, followed by Ivan Lintin (116.804) and Jamie Hamilton (115.538). James Cowton, Daniel Cooper and Michael Sweeney completed the top six with Rutter getting his first full lap in on the Paton at 111.588.
In the F2 Sidecar class, LCR/Silicone Engineering/Barnes Racing’s John Holden/Dan Sayle were quickest at 114.742, five seconds faster than DMR Suzuki’s Dave Molyneux/Benjam.
As for the Friday Isle of Man TT qualifying schedule, all classes will once again be on the Mountain Course, along with the electric bikes that will compete in the TT Zero Challenge race.
Photos by Wayne Freestone
2015 Isle of Man TT Thursday Qualifying Photo Gallery