2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying Begins: Michael Dunlop & Hutchinson Quickest

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying Begins: BMW's Ian Hutchinson
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW's Ian Hutchinson

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying Results, Tuesday May 30

The 2017 Isle of Man TT is finally underway. Monday’s practice sessions were canceled due to heavy mist from the Irish Sea, which is not unusual for the Isle of Man.

Some rain patches remained on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course ahead of Tuesday evening qualifying, most notably at Greeba, Glen Helen and the approach to Governor’s Dip.

But the skies were clear without rain, and race direction called it a go. The first qualifying sessions of the 2017 Isle of Man TT got underway with the Superbike, Supersport, Lightweight and Sidecar classes.

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying Begins: BMW's Ian Hutchinson
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW’s Ian Hutchinson

Leading the way in the Superbike class were two winners from the 2016 Isle of Man TT: Ian Hutchinson and outright lap-record holder Michael Dunlop. These were the only two riders to set lap times over 125mph, with Hutchinson leading the way aboard the Tyco BMW S 1000 RR with an average speed of 125.84.

Dunlop followed in second aboard the Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000, the 13-time TT winner averaging 125.68 mph. During last year’s RST Superbike TT, Dunlop became the first rider in TT history to break 133 mph (BMW S 1000 RR). Dunlop posted a best outright lap of 133.393mph – destroying the previous record set in the 2015 Senior TT by 23-time TT winner John McGuinness (132.701mph, Honda).

“It’s a good start,” Michael Dunlop says. “We’re the only team here with a brand-new bike and we’ve started strongly. The boys made some changes after the North West, and we’ve got some work still to do on set-up, but it’s good to finally get our TT underway. It was important to see the bike do laps around here for the first time, but they were two good laps and there’s still more to come.”

As for McGuinness, he is not racing at this year’s TT; the “Morecambe Missile” continues to recover from a broken leg and other injuries sustained during qualifying for the North West 200 earlier this month.

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: Suzuki's Michael Dunlop
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: Suzuki’s Michael Dunlop

Leading the Supersport qualifying was Hutchinson once again, this time aboard the Mcams Yamaha fueled by Monster Energy YZF-R6; he posted an average lap of 121.15 mph. The 11-time TT winner, who won both Monster Energy Supersport TTs last season, was once again followed Dunlop on the MD Racing Yamaha R6; Dunlop averaged 121.02 mph.

Paton SC-Project Reparto Corse’s Michael Rutter was the quickest in Lightweight qualifying, finishing Tuesday with an average lap of 113.95mph, just beating Dafabet Devitt RC Express Racing Kawasaki’s Ivan Lintin to first.

In the Sure Sidecar qualifying sessions, Yamaha/DMR/A&J Racing’s Dave Molyneux/Daniel Sayle were quickest with an average lap of 114.09 mph.

Wednesday’s Isle of Man TT qualify sessions is began at 6:20 p.m. local time, and will include Superbikes, Superstock, Supersport, Newcomers and Lightweight classes.

Following is the official recap of 2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying from Tuesday, May 30:

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW's Dan Kneen
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW’s Dan Kneen

It was a prompt start too as the three newcomers – Adam McLean, Paul Jordan and Joey Thompson – headed off down Glencrutchery Road slightly before the 6.20pm start.

After the sidecar newcomers left the line for their speed controlled lap, there was a slight gap before the session proper fired into life with Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda first away just before 6.35pm with James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson, Josh Brookes and Lee Johnston on their Supersport mounts following the Kiwi rider down Glencrutchery Road.

Ivan Lintin, Peter Hickman and Michael Rutter were also among the early starters on their Lightweight machines whilst the returning Guy Martin set off slightly later on his Supersport Honda as he got his first taste of the Mountain Course on closed roads since the 2015 PokerStars Senior TT.

Hutchinson, on the McAMS Yamaha, was first to complete a lap at 118.845mph with Michael Dunlop second across the line and quickest on the opening lap of TT2017 at 120.371mph. Gary Johnson was also above the 120mph mark at 120.311mph, just over half a second slower than Dunlop.

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW's Peter Hickman
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW’s Peter Hickman

Hutchinson’s lap made him third quickest ahead of Dean Harrison and Jamie Coward (both 118.160), Hillier (117.884) and Conor Cummins (117.673). Martin’s first lap was a solid 115.808mph with Brookes back on 108.171mph. Meanwhile, Dan Kneen was reported as having stopped at Cronk y Voddy although he was able to proceed.

Second time out and Hutchinson and Dunlop both lapped in excess of 121mph, at 121.147 and 121.020 respectively. Anstey and Hillier were next with 119.794 and 119.776 respectively while Johnson was slightly slower on his second lap at 119.341. Martin improved to 117.092mph. McLean was the fastest newcomer with a fastest lap of 112.89mph.

Rutter was quickest in the Lightweight class with a speed of 113.946 on the Paton from Lintin (113.856) with Dan Cooper, Hickman and Stefano Bonetti all inside the 111mph lap barrier.

At 7.10pm it was the turn of the 1000cc machines with David Johnson first away on the Norton. The Aussie hasn’t got a Supersport bike at his disposal so waited slightly longer than other riders for his first laps of 2017.

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: Kawasaki's Steve Mercer
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: Kawasaki’s Steve Mercer

Steve Mercer lapped at 120.906mph with Hillier (120.986) and Rutter (120.986) slightly quicker but it was that man Dunlop who was laying an early marker down on the Bennetts Suzuki and a speed of 125.680mph sent him comfortably to the top of the leaderboard.

Hutchinson cruised across the line with a lap of 122.704mph but this was only good enough for fourth as Dan Kneen slotted into second on the Penz13.com BMW with a fine lap of 124.642mph. Dean Harrison (122.853) moved up to third with Peter Hickman (121.472) and Lee Johnston (121.322) completing the top six whilst Guy Martin’s opening lap on the Superbike saw him post a speed of 118.739mph.

2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW's Lee Johnston
2017 Isle of Man TT Qualifying, Tuesday: BMW’s Lee Johnston

There were changes later in the session though and although Dunlop broke the 125mph barrier once more, Hutchinson took the first night honors with the fastest lap on the night with a speed of 125.839mph. Hickman (124.093) jumped up to fourth although Rutter’s lap of 124.117mph made him quickest in the Superstock class from Anstey (123.722).

Harrison looked like he would make a significant impression but he retired at the Mountain Box whilst Martin broke the 120mph barrier with a speed of (120.018).

To complete a dominant night in Sidecar qualifying, Molyneux/Sayle then went quicker still on their third and final lap with a speed of 114.090mph.

Photos by Wayne Freestone


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