Road Racing

McGuinness fastest qualifying lap to date at Isle of Man

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Gorgeous sun and blue sky met the competitors for Wednesday evening‰Ûªs practice session and conditions were perfect for the third night of the 2010 Isle of Man TT Races. Indeed, the biggest problem was going to be the ever present Manx population of flies who were again out in force!

Riders were warned of a few damp patches at Quarry Bends and Governor‰Ûªs Bridge but with close to ideal conditions, it was almost inevitable that the 130mph would be broken and so it was but, surprisingly, only by John McGuinness on his second lap.

It was William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey who got the session underway promptly at 6.20pm, the Northern Irishman on his 600cc machine and the Kiwi on his Superbike. Following them were John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop, Ian Lougher and Cameron Donald, Keith Amor and Daniel Kneen and Adrian Archibald and Carl Rennie, all Superbike mounted with the exception of Kneen who was out on his 600.

McGuinness was the first to complete a lap at 129.265mph with Anstey and Donald not too far behind at 127.915mph and 128.011mph respectively. Michael Dunlop, Lougher, Amor and Archibald were all above 126mph but Guy Martin was close to McGuinness‰Ûª pace at 129.145mph, Ian Hutchinson also going well at 128.018mph.

Second time around and McGuinness really showed his class with a lap of 130.242mph, Hutchinson increasing his speed to 128.735mph and Archibald to 128.618mph. Martin had called in to the pits at the end of his first lap but got no further than Quarter Bridge on his second before pulling off, eventually going back out on his Superstock bike. Davy Morgan was also in trouble retiring at Sulby Bridge.

McGuinness and Hutchinson both swapped to their 600cc Supersport bikes, the latter going second quickest on the night with a lap just over 125mph. It was that man Michael Dunlop who was quickest here and he was marginally faster than Hutchinson at 125.087mph. Meanwhile, Amor posted an impressive time on his BMW Superstock bike at 127.525mph.

Most of the riders were able to get back out for a fifth lap and Hutchinson went back out on his Superbike recording a lap of 129.164mph to go second quickest on the night. Amor was close to 128mph on the HM Plant Honda but Ryan Farquhar was flying on his Superstock Kawasaki and a lap of 128.076mph saw him go quickest, that speed also the Northern Irishman‰Ûªs fastest ever lap of the Mountain Course, albeit unofficially.

Conor Cummins posted a late lap of 127.010mph with Gary Johnson also having a better run after problems earlier in the week, the AIM Racing rider lapping at 126.488mph, just quicker than Dan Stewart, who also recorded his fastest ever lap.

‰ÛÏLast night the times were just unbelievable," McGuinness said.

"Everything felt pretty good and under control. My first lap was 125mph and the second 127mph which is incredible on the first night of practice. The course is in pretty good shape, there was a bit of dust about but it wasn‰Ûªt as bad as we expected. We were worrying about the bad winter over here and there would perhaps be more bumps but it‰Ûªs exactly the same and the resurfacing they have done through the Black Dub and through Kirk Michael is really good. Tonight it was wet in places and I was not comfortable to go for a really fast lap in those conditions. The weather forecast is good for tomorrow and the rest of the week so we can work towards improving our lap times then.‰Û

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