2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: BMW’s Hutchinson Fastest

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: BMW's Ian Hutchinson
BMW's Ian Hutchinson

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying Results With Video

For the first time of the practice/qualifying week of the 2017 Isle of Man TT, conditions were perfect Friday as the Superbike, Superstock, Supersport, Lightweight and Sidecar classes posted some respectable lap times.

The quickest lap of the day arrived from the Superstock class. Tyco BMW S 1000 RR pilot Ian Hutchinson was fastest, posting an average speed of 129.53mph around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: BMW's Ian Hutchinson
BMW’s Ian Hutchinson

“Hutchy” was nearly a mph faster than the Superstock field; finishing behind the 14-time TT winner was Michael Rutter, who averaged 128.59 mph aboard the Bathams SMT Racing BMW. Silicone Engineering Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison was third with a 128.48 mph.

Topping the Superbike class with both laps averaging over 129mph was Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda RC213-VS. Anstey’s both Superbike laps were over 129 mph, and like Hutchy in the Superstock class, Ansety was the only rider to average over 129 mph.

Anstey’s best lap of 129.21 mph, and he was followed on the time sheets by 13-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop. The Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilot, who holds the outright lap record with 133.393mph (2016, BMW S 1000 RR), was second quickest in Superbike, posting a 128.58mph lap time.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: Honda's Bruce Anstey
Honda’s Bruce Anstey

Anstey, and 11-time Isle of Man TT winner, was also fastest in TT Zero qualifying aboard the Mugen electric motorcycle; his average lap was 109.520mph.

In the other classes, Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja pilot Dean Harrison was fastest in Supersport (124.35mph); SC-Project Paton’s Stefano Bonetti in Lightweight (115.69mph); and DMR/A&J Racing Yamaha’s Dave Molyneux/Daniel Sayle in Sidecar (114.74mph).

As for 23-time TT winner John McGuinness, he is watching the TT from the sidelines as he recovers from a North West 200 crash.

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

Following is the official 2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying report:

Hutchinson was first to leave the line at 6.23pm alongside Peter Hickman on the Smiths Racing Superstock BMW.  Gary Johnson and James Hillier, Steve Mercer and Lee Johnston and Dan Kneen and Michael Dunlop quickly followed the opening pair down Glencrutchery Road.

Kneen was reported to have stopped at Quarter Bridge but he was soon back out on his Superstock mount while the Norton pairing of David Johnson and Josh Brookes were out of luck, retiring at the Bottom of Barregarrow and Ballaugh respectively.

Hickman was first to complete a lap with 128.028mph but Hutchinson had stopped at Governor’s. Johnson and Hillier had no such problems, and both were above the 127mph mark. Dunlop was quickest on the lap though with an opening lap of 128.576mph with Hillier, Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, Dean Harrison and Bruce Anstey also over 127mph.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: BMW's Michael Rutter
BMW’s Michael Rutter

On the second lap Hickman was slightly slower at 127.63mph but Anstey had upped the pace considerably to 129.212mph, which made him the evening’s quickest Superbike. Mercer and Rutter were over 125mph but further back on the road, Hutchinson was getting back in the groove and sure enough a lap of 129.535mph not only made him the fastest Superstock machine but also the fastest on the night.

Kneen’s good week in the Superstock class continued with a lap of 127.23mph but this was upstaged on the third lap by Rutter and Harrison who lapped at 128.588mph and 128.477mph respectively to go second and third in the Superstock class behind Hutchinson.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: Honda's Guy Martin
Honda’s Guy Martin

Meanwhile, the newcomers were also making good progress with Adam McLean putting in a superb lap at 119.06mph. Paul Jordan jumped up to 114.88mph with Joey Thompson on 112.91mph.

Just after 7.10pm, the 1000cc machines were short lapped and the course became the sole domain of the Supersport and Lightweight machines.  Hutchinson set the initial pace on the McAMS Yamaha at 123.19mph but this was bettered by Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki with a speed of 123.323mph.

However, towards the end of the session, Michael Dunlop just edged out Harrison with a speed of 123.325mph but the Bradford rider wasn’t to be outdone and a 124.35mph lap sent him to the top of the leaderboard. Hillier slotted into fourth at 122.93 with Hickman, Cummins, Jamie Coward, William Dunlop, Anstey and Kneen also above 121mph.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: Honda's Conor Cummins
Honda’s Conor Cummins

In the Lightweight class, Italian Stefano Bonetti set the fastest lap of the week to date with a speed of 115.69mph on the Paton with Rutter, also on a Paton, on 114.28mph. Hickman on the KMR/IEG Kawasaki, was second with a lap of 114.86mph from Dan Cooper (114.79) and Lee Johnston (114.73).

Steve Mercer was reported to have had an accident at the 11th milestone and was taken by airmed to Nobles with what were initially described as minor injuries while Frank Gallagher suffered broken teeth at the Gooseneck and was taken back to the paddock in a course car.

After a short delay due to the incidents in the solo’s session, the Formula Two Sidecars were back out on the Mountain Course at 8.10pm with Ben and Tom Birchall leading the field away only to retire at Crosby.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: Yamaha’s Dave Molyneux/Daniel Sayle
Yamaha’s Dave Molyneux/Daniel Sayle

That gave Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle a clear road and their opening lap of 113.001mph was just over 1mph quicker than Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes on 111.999mph. Karl Bennett/Maxime Vasseur (109.51), Alan Founds/Jake Lowther (109.04), Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (107.95) and Estelle Leblond/Melanie Farnier (106.59).

Second time around and the leading duo both upped their pace but Molyneux/Sayle held onto the top spot with the fastest lap of the week at 114.74mph. Reeves/Wilkes weren’t too far behind though and improved to 114.35mph, the fastest ever lap by a newcomer passenger albeit unofficially.  John Holden/Lee Cain got a clear run on their second lap with a speed of 112.085mph putting them third quickest.

Some of the TT Zero machines opted for an early look at the track at the end of the evening and the Mugen pair of Anstey (109.520) and Martin (108.413) were predictably quickest although there was a notable performance by Adam Child in completing the first production electric bike lap (74.786) on the Energica machine.

2017 Isle of Man TT Friday Qualifying: Kawasaki's Dean Harrison
Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison

Following the loss of earlier sessions during the week, Saturday’s Isle of Man TT schedule is now a full dedicated day of qualifying with the first race of 2017 TT, the RST Superbike now scheduled for Sunday.

Saturday Isle of Man TT Qualifying Schedule:

  • 10:40-12 p.m.: Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (all Classes except Lightweight) Qualifying
  • 12:05-1:05 p.m.: Sidecar Qualifying
  • 2:10-3:30 p.m.: Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomers (all classes) Qualifying
  • 3:40-4:30 p.m: Sidecar Qualifying
  • 4: 35 p.m.: Superbike/Superstock/Supersport Qualifying (1 lap)
  • 5 p.m.: TT Zero Qualifying (1 lap)

Photos by Wayne Freestone