XR69 Pilot Dunlop Tops Opening Classic TT Superbike Practice

XR69 Pilot Dunlop Tops Opening Classic TT Superbike Practice
Suzuki's Michael Dunlop

2016 Classic TT Superbike Practice – Monday Results

XR69 Pilot Dunlop Tops Opening Classic TT Superbike Practice
Suzuki’s Michael Dunlop

Not unusual for the Isle of Man, rain plagued the 37.73-mile Mountain Course Saturday for the opening day of practice for the 2016 Classic TT presented by Bennetts.

Though Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson MBE warned of damp patches at Sulby, Glen Helen and Laurel Bank, qualifying for the fourth-annual Classic TT got underway Monday.

After the newcomers completed an un-timed speed controlled lap, the Superbike class got underway included two-time race winner Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69, Steve Mercer on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki and Ivan Lintin, recovering from an accident at Scarborough, on the Devitt/RC Express Racing Kawasaki.

Dunlop, a 13-time Isle of Man TT winner, led the way with a 121.133 (18:41.317), ahead of Mercer with a 118.203 (19:09.107) and Lintin with a 117.995 (19:11.136) to complete the top three.

Gary Johnson, a late replacement for the injured Dave Johnson on the Team York Suzuki, posted 117.805 on only his second lap on the bike with the Kawasaki’s of James Hillier (Greenhall Racing) and Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering) completing the top six.

Alan Thomas from Wales was reported off at the Water Works during the Superbike session but was uninjured.

Lightweight Classic TT Practice

In the Lightweight session, Bruce Anstey was an early retirement at Kirk Michael on his opening lap on the much-anticipated Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles 250 Honda. Welshman Ian Lougher (113.363mph/ 19:58.172) on the Laylaw Racing Yamaha on which he won the 2014 F2 Race was the fastest, from Phil Harvey (107.046/ 21:08.851) and Chris Moore (105.244/ 21:30.605).

Junior (350) and Senior (500) Classic TT Practice

Patton pilot John McGuinness
John McGuinness aboard Paton

The Junior (350’s) and Senior (500’s) Classic TT sessions got away on time at 7.10pm. All eyes were on Michael Dunlop, a late replacement for the injured Lee Johnston on the Black Eagle Racing MV, but he was reported as an early retirement.

Twenty-three time TT Race winner John McGuinness riding Roger Winfield’s Paton will be hoping to break his Classic TT duck and posted the evening’s fastest time in the class on his second lap of the night with 107.089 (21:08.362) from 2015 race winner Dean Harrison (106.746/ 21:12.446) riding the Black Eagle MV with Michael Rutter on the Ripley Land Racing Seeley the third fastest in the session with 104.373/ 21:41.376. Conor Cummins enjoyed his first ride on the second Team Winfield Paton with an opening lap of 103.081/ 21:57.688).

Michael Rutter, the 2015 350cc race winner, will again be the man to beat in the newly named Junior Classic TT, topping the Junior board in the opening session on his Ripley Land Racing Honda with 99.501 (22.45.097) from fellow Honda riders Jamie Coward (Ted Woof) and Alan Oversby (Davies Motorsport).

Qualifying continues Tuesday – Friday for the 2016 Classic TT.