Editorial Note: Americans Mark Miller and Brandon Cretu were 33rd and 67th, respectively, on their Splitlath EBR 1190RS machines in Wednesday's 81-rider-strong Superbike practice. Miller was credited with a lap at 121.434 mph, and Cretu was listed with a lap at 116.854 mph. The same laps also counted toward the Superstock class, ranking Miller 27th and Cretu 56th out of 74 riders. Miller was also 29th out of 80 riders in the Supersport session with a lap of 118.710 mph on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
MICHAEL DUNLOP ESTABLISHES HIS STATUS AS PRE-RACE FAVOURITE WITH STUNNING FINAL QUALIFYING SESSION
- Molyneux/Farrance top the board in Sidecar Class
- McGuinness looks to make up for last year's disappointment with fast opening SES TT Zero lap
After the trials of tribulations of recent evenings, conditions were perfect for the final qualifying session of the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, and it proved to be a rapid night of action on the Mountain Course as Michael Dunlop threw down the gauntlet with a lap of 131.501mph, not only his personal best but also just 1.3s outside the outright lap record.
Gary Johnson set the pace on the opening lap on his Superstock bike and he was the only rider to break the 130mph barrier first time around with a lap of 130.207mph although Guy Martin wasn’t far behind on his Superbike with 129.992mph.
Second time around and Bruce Anstey went quickest at 130.642mph on his Superbike with John McGuinness lapping at 129.790 which saw him end up fourth overall. Dan Kneen slotted into a superb fifth place at 129.107, comfortably his best ever lap of the 37 and ¾-mile course while Michael Rutter placed sixth (128.883) with William Dunlop, Josh Brookes, James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson and Dean Harrison the other riders to lap in excess of 127mph.
However, Dunlop waited until the closing stages to really set the track alight as he ripped round the course at 131.501mph to end the week top of the Superbike leaderboard and surely heading into tomorrow’s Dainese Superbike race as favourite. Anstey remained in second overall with Guy Martin the third Superbike rider over 130mph with a lap of 130.102mph.
Cameron Donald had his best night of the week on the Norton with a speed of 123.095 with strong performances also coming from Jimmy Storrar (124.286), James Cowton (123.247) and Michael Sweeney (121.039).
Johnson’s superb 130mph lap saw him top the Superstock class although Harrison was also flying on his Superstock Kawasaki with a speed of 128.662mph, which was his best ever lap of the course. Michael Dunlop went slightly quicker at 129.333 to place third with Hillier in fourth and Rutter putting in a late quick lap to go fifth.
Meanwhile, newcomer Peter Hickman put in three laps in excess of 121mph but his fourth was his best of the week at an excellent 123.329mph. Fellow debutante Martin Jessopp just missed out on his first 120mph lap at 119.918mph with Alan Bonner (117.499), Vick de Cooremeter (116.741), Phil Crowe (116.738), Danny Webb (116.510) and Callum Laidlaw (112.058) all improving on their previous bests.
With most riders opting to get out on their 1000cc machines, there were few quick laps in the Supersport class but Johnson had a busy evening with two laps on the Triumph, the quickest of which, 125.934, was the fastest of the week. William Dunlop (124.475) and Keith Amor (124.356) placed second and third respectively on the night although Michael Dunlop’s lap from Thursday, 124.530, means he ended the week second overall. There was a notable performance from Daley Mathison who moved up to 22nd fastest qualifier from an original start number of 81.
In the F2 Sidecar class Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance were fastest on the night at 113.422 closely followed by John Holden/Andy Winkle (113.039), Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott (112.333) and Tim Reeves/Gregory Cluze (111.651).
Karl Bennett/Lee Cain put in their first ever 110mph lap whilst a stunning lap came from newcomers Alan Founds/Tom Peters with a speed of 107.291mph. Fellow debutantes John and Jake Lowther also recorded their best lap of the week at 101.246mph.
All eyes then switched to the SES TT Zero class as fans were treated to their first look at this year's Electric bike class. The eagerly anticipated showdown between Mugen teammates Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness was put on ice when Anstey pulled in at Quarterbridge leaving McGuinness to post a stunning first lap of 20.:13.202 (111.904mph).
Buckeye's Rob Barber and Italian outfit VercarMoto also completed laps to get their qualifying campaigns underway while Paul Owen (Brunel) Rob Wilson (Sarolea) and Russ Mountford (Arc Ev Engineering) all set off from the grandstand but failed to complete their laps.
Neal Champion (Greeba Castle) and Calum Laidlaw (Governors Bridge) were both reported off in the Superbike session but while Laidlaw was reported OK and later went out again, Champion was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital. Sean Anderson was also airlifted to Nobles in the Supersport following an accident at Guthries while Frank Lelias and Paul Knapton were both taken by airmed for further assessment.
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad/Hawk Racing:
Michael Dunlop sets spectacular 131.501 mph lap at the Isle of Man - just 1.3s off outright lap record.
Michael Dunlop has thrown the gauntlet down at the Isle of Man TT, setting a blistering 131.501 mph lap around the legendary mountain course - the fastest seen so far in 2014. He also set the second-fastest Superstock lap with an incredible 129.333 mph average speed.
Dunlop and the BMW S 1000 RR Superbike stormed to the top of the timesheets during the Friday evening practice session, crossing the finish line of the 37.3-mile course just 1.3 seconds shy of the all-time lap record.
The BMW Motorrad / Hawk Racing rider set a Superbike lap time six seconds faster than second place rider Bruce Anstey, who recorded a lap of 130.86 mph earlier in the week. Guy Martin was third quickest on 130.10 mph.
Friday evening's practice session was in perfect warm and dry conditions. Dunlop initially set out for one lap on his Superbike to acclimatise, before coming in to swap to his Superstock machine for one lap, before setting out on his final Superbike practice.
Michael completed one out-lap on the BMW S 1000 RR followed by his incredible 131.501 mph lap, by far the fastest of the entire practice week.
Michael, a four-time winner at last year's Isle of Man TT, will be looking to add to his impressive total of seven victories - beginning with tomorrow's six-lap Superbike race which starts at 11:00 (GMT).
For more information and live timing visit www.iomtt.com.
“That felt really good - the BMW is really coming together now. We've still got some work to do on the bike, but it's getting there. I think we could even go quicker on the Superbike. I don't think you can be confident about the TT, but tomorrow should be good. I'll keep my head down and battle on. If I can be good enough to win, well, we'll see what happens."
More, from a press release issued by RC Express Racing:
Harrison and RC Express Racing ready for TT opener
Dean Harrison and the RC Express Racing team head into tomorrow’s 6-lap Dainese Superbike race in confident mood, with the Bradford rider having posted his best ever lap of the Mountain Course, 128.622mph, during Friday evening's final practice session.
Despite a practice week that has seen a combination of the Manx weather and stoppages severely limit the competitors’ track time, Dean has been at the forefront in all of the sessions and has regularly placed inside the top ten on all three leaderboards – Superbike, Superstock and Lightweight. Indeed, with all riders struggling to get clear laps – and enough of them – Dean has made the most of his time on the 37 and ¾ mile Mountain Course and took full advantage of the perfect conditions on Friday evening to record his best times in the Superbike and Superstock categories.
The 128mph+ lap came on the Superstock machine, which has placed him third on the overall leaderboard for the week, with a late lap on the Superbike of 127.258mph putting him in twelfth. Meanwhile, a solid lap of 113.190mph on the little Lightweight 650cc ER6 machine sees him handily placed in that class too and he's now all set for an extremely busy and productive week of racing where he’ll contest all six solo races.
Dean Harrison: “I’m feeling good going into race week and although I’ve had a few small issues and a slight lack of time on the bikes, I’ve been chipping away and am pretty happy with the lap speeds we’ve done. I haven’t had a flying lap on any bike yet and the conditions have been a bit sketchy at times, so it was good to get some decent laps in on Friday evening so we’re in pretty good shape. I’m expecting the usual suspects to be at the front tomorrow, especially the more experienced ones, but I’ll be giving it a good go and am confident of a good result.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-Owner: “Track time’s obviously been an issue for everyone but, aside from a few minor issues which you expect at the TT, everything’s going to plan. We haven’t had any major problems and Dean’s been doing what he always does and that’s go quicker and quicker with each and every lap.”
“Being a seeded rider means there’s no real pressure on us as we don’t have to go chasing lap times for a decent start position so we’re confident of having a good run tomorrow. There’s plenty more time and speed to come from Dean and we’re looking forward to a strong week of racing.”
The 6-lap Dainese Superbike race is due to get underway at 11.00am tomorrow.
More, from a press release issued by Mar-Train Racing:
HARRISON POSTS 123MPH LAP AND SECOND QUICKEST TIME ON MAR-TRAIN YAMAHA AT TT
Mar-Train Racing's Dean Harrison set the second quickest time in Supersport qualifying last night on the Isle of Man with a lap speed of 123.886mph.
Dean also completed two laps on the Mar-Train machine on Tuesday night with a best lap of 122.858mph, following a solitary lap to blow out the cobwebs on the opening night of practice on Monday.
The young Yorkshire man is flying the flag this TT fortnight for Mar-Train Racing and we will keep you posted on his progress on the 'Mar-Train Missiles' in both Supersport races on Monday [June 2] & Wednesday [June 4].
Dean Harrison: “Yeah all going good so far. We've had some positives laps on the Mar-Train bike and we're not far off the other boys. The times will get quicker on Monday for sure in the race. But yeah all good and very positive and looking forward to tonight's session where we will be looking for some more from the Yamaha."
Practice continues tonight [Friday] with the solo session commencing at 7.15pm.
Saturday 31st May
11:00 hrs Superbike TT Race 6 laps
14:00 hrs Sidecar TT Race 1 3 laps
Monday 2nd June
10:45 hrs Supersport TT Race 1 4 laps
14:00 hrs Superstock TT Race 4 laps
Wednesday 4th June
10:45 hrs TT Zero Challenge 1 lap
12:00 hrs TT Supersport Race 2 4 laps
14:30 hrs TT Sidecar Race 2 3 laps
Friday 6th June
10:15 hrs Lightweight TT Race 3 laps
13:00 hrs Senior TT Race 6 laps
More, from a press release issued by Penz13.com BMW Racing Team:
Penz13.com BMW Racing Team: Storrar delivers strong Qualifying for the TT2014
Isle of Man. British Racer Jimmy Storrar made his Penz13.com BMW Racing Team proud during the practice week of the Tourist Trophy 2014 at the Isle of Man. The BMW S 1000 RR rider battled much further up the rankings than expected. Team mate Dan Kruger from Canada only got limited track time to learn the over 60 kilometres of the Mountain Course.
The practice week of this year’s TT saw some difficult weather and the Newcomer’s practice already had to be postponed due to rain last Saturday. This meant that Kruger missed out some valuable time to get to grips with this difficult track.
Monday and Tuesday saw regular practice sessions whereas on Wednesday again most of the day had to be cancelled due to rain. Thursday didn’t come any better - the “big” bikes of the Superbike- and Superstock categories had to stay in the pits as there was mist in the mountains.
For Friday organizers decided to increase the Solo-Session to 1.40 hours and that meant some proper track time for all the racers, to tackle the most difficult road racing circuit in the world.
Storrar got to an personal best of 18:12,865 Minutes which meant an average speed of 124,111 miles per hour. With that time he got qualified as 19. placed Superbike rider for Saturday’s race - and as incredible 9th for Monday’s Superstock TT.
Dan Kruger was not able to lap more than 10 times round the Mountain Course, which is not quite much to learn the over 60 kilometres of this Highspeed circuit. The Canadian is now hoping for more laps on his BMW machinery but admitted he had fun at his first TT appearance so far.
This week’s best lap time was set by last year’s 4 times winner Michael Dunlop on a BMW S 1000 RR in 17:12,901 Minutes (131,501 mph) which is only slightly underneath the lap record (131,8) held by 20 times TT winner John McGuinness.
„So far I am very happy with my BMW S 1000 RR. The bike worked right out of the gutter. Today we changed the geometry setting a bit and I was able to go even quicker. I am a bit disappointed we got so limited track time this week, but that was the same to everyone. The race is tomorrow only.”
„I got a bit outpaced by the weather this week and was able to do less laps only. But that would have been the key point - to know, where you have to go here. The bike has been prepared brilliantly, but I can’t judge it’s potential or even use it as long as I do not really know where to go here. But I had fun so far.”