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Jul 12, 2011

Guy Martin Was Fastest During Southern 100 Practice Monday On The Isle Of Man

Guy Martin (2). Photo by Dave Collister - Photocycles, courtesy of Isle of Man TT Press Office

Racing got underway yesterday evening at the Steam Packet International Southern 100 and some of the leading TT riders were quickly in their stride in the dry conditions on the 4.25 mile Billown circuit in the South of the Island.

The first practice session, for 1000cc machines, got underway at 18.32 and former champion Guy Martin continued his fine TT form, setting the early pace with a fastest lap of 2:21.844 (107.865), on his third practice lap, on his 1000cc Relentless by Tas Racing machine. 2010 champion Ryan Farquhar (2:26.993) and Russ Mountford with a credible 2:27.801 were also on the pace.

Former winners Australian Cameron Donald, racing for Wilson Craig Honda and Ian Lougher on his Blackhorse Kawasaki made up the top five, just ahead of Dan Kneen, a late entrant on his Mark Bloom Yamaha and 2010 Manx Grand Prix Senior winner Si Fulton.

In the 1000cc 's second practice later in the evening Guy continued to set the pace but Paul Cranston came through as the second fastest rider on the night with 2:24.839 and Ian Lougher improved his earlier time with 2:26.325. Conor Cummins continued his comeback from his 2010 TT accident with 2:27.523 to complete the top five.

Guy Martin also topped the 600cc leaderboard with Ryan Farquhar and Dan Kneen making up the top three. Guy posted the fastest 600cc lap of the night with 2:25.434 (105.202), set in the second session but with Ryan Farquhar and Cameron Donald also improving their earlier times, Guy will have his work cut out to stand on the top step in Thursday's packed race schedule.

In the 125/400cc class multiple winner Chris Palmer topped both practice sessions; 2:42.556 in the first and going slightly quicker with 2:40.570 in the second.

An incident in the second 250/650 practice saw the session red flagged with the only recorded times in the class from the first session. Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher was the top two and will be the men to beat on Wednesday and Thursdsay.

The sidecars also got some early track time with Simon Neary/Jason Crowe looking to make up for their TT disappointment. A lap of 2:37.484, set in in the latter part of the session was comfortably the fastest on the night. Ian Bell/Carl Bell were also on the pace and with 2011 TT Race winning teams John Holden/Andy Winkle and Klaus Klaffenbock/Dan Sayle also in the field it promises to be a competitive class.

Today sees further practice schedule which will feature a number of the Irish riders joining the event including Michael and William Dunlop who arrive from Ireland earlier in the day. The evening programme will also include the Solo Founders race and a six-lap sidecar race.