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Jun 1, 2011

Updated: Anstey Fastest During Third Qualifying Session At Isle Of Man TT

Bruce Anstey (5). Photo courtesy of

Kiwi Bruce Anstey, riding for the Yorkshire based Padgetts Honda Racing team, showed his hand with the fastest time of the week in the third qualifying session at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy.

A cloudy day on the Isle of Man gave way to sunny intervals in time for Wednesday's session but with a stiff breeze, competitors would have to take particular care, as expected, over the Mountain although the wind could be felt all the way round the 37 and ¾ mile course. There was also a lack of adhesion at Ballagarey reported ahead of the practice but with good visibility and dry roads, conditions were otherwise ideal for some high speed laps.

Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop who got the session underway slightly later than scheduled at 6.29pm, both on their Superbikes, and following them were Gary Johnson, Keith Amor, James Hillier, Bruce Anstey, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher, all also Superbike mounted with the exception of Farquhar and Lougher who were on their Superstock and Supersport machines respectively. Dan Kneen was slow to leave the line but after a few adjustments he was soon on his way.

Martin was the first to complete the lap at 128.35mph with Dunlop right on his tail at 128.269mph, the Ulsterman later nosing ahead on the road, although it didn't last long as he soon retired at Ginger Hall.

Johnson was the quickest though at 128.452mph whilst Amor, Anstey and Dan Stewart were all in the 127mph bracket with John McGuinness further back on 126.029mph, the Honda TT Legends rider immediately pulling in to make adjustments before getting back out on the course. Michael Rutter was going well on the Ducati at 125.69, only slightly slower than Cameron Donald on 125.76mph whilst Lougher was the quickest Supersport machine at 119.85mph.

Johnson and Amor were the quickest through the Sulby speed trap at 191.2mph but Davy Morgan again out of luck, this time getting as far as Quarry Bends, whilst Paul Owen, Jim Hodson and Brian McCormack were some of the other riders to experience technical problems.

Second time around and Martin upped his pace to 129.333mph but it was Anstey who went to the top of the leaderboard with a lap of 129.695mph, his best ever lap around the Mountain Course. Amor, who was trying a different tyre and suspension combination, dropped back to 126.42mph but Rutter was another to improve, this time to 126.811mph. William Dunlop was another to lap quicker than ever before at 125.872mph but McGuinness was slower still at 125.64mph whilst Ben Wylie got his first 120mph lap of the week in on his Supersport machine. Farquhar was again in trouble though, his second lap on the Superstock machine a lowly 95.99mph having stopped at Sulby before being able to proceed.

Martin, Johnson, Stewart and McGuinness all switched to their Supersport machines, the former initially quickest at 121.977mph but Donald, who was on his second lap on his 600, was going well at 125.110mph with William Dunlop later going second quickest at 123.959. Anstey, meanwhile, put in a speed of 124.396mph on his Superstock bike, the slightly lower speeds most likely due to the bright sun that was now shining, the clouds having completely dispersed to give way to clear blue skies.

Amor was later off at Quarterbridge on his Superstock bike, and was later reported to have a dislocated shoulder, whilst McGuinness stopped at the Mountain Box before proceeding with Lougher another high profile rider in trouble, this time retiring at Creg ny Baa.

The newcomers again continued to make good progress though and it was again Simon Andrews who was quickest at a highly impressive 119.465mph but Dean Harrison and Piotr Betlej were also going well at 114.83mph and 114.969mph respectively.

At 8pm, the sidecar session commenced with Klaus Klaffenbock and Daniel Sayle leading the field away from John Holden/Andy Winkle, Tim Reeves/Gregory Cluze and Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott.

Klaffenbock's first lap was 112.488mph with Holden and Reeves second and third at 111.066mph and 109.954mph but Elmer was a retirement at the Creg. Klaffenbock went quicker second time around at 113.754mph but Reeves was delighted with his lap of 111.379mph whilst Dougie Wright and Ben Birchall were both going well on their return to the Mountain, Wright lapping at 105.33mph and Birchall at 105.42mph.

Piotr Betlej was attended to by the red cross after an incident at Signpost but was confirmed as okay.

More, from a press release issued by Centurion Racing:

Cooper Gets Up To Speed At TT 2011

Dan Cooper and the Centurion Racing team have been enjoying a steady week of practice so far at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races and after three sessions, the 24 year old from Stroud has posted a best lap of 115.183mph.

Monday evening was best described as hectic and whilst the team were already set up on the Island, Dan had to make the dash, along with a number of other riders from Thruxton where he took a season's best third at the latest round of the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship.

Subsequently, Dan was late to take to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course on the new Honda Fireblade and he'd only managed half a lap when the red flag came out due to heavy rain and hail on the Mountain.

Tuesday evening was significantly better weather wise and Dan again opted to take out the 1000cc Honda Fireblade and utilise the conditions to familiarise himself with both the circuit and the machine. He was able to put in three laps during the course of the evening, the best of which was 112.894mph but with the rear suspension too hard, he was unable to make the advances forward that he would have liked.

Therefore, the Cornwall-based team made a change to the set up for this evening, going softer on the suspension and this allowed Dan to complete three laps improving significantly to 115.183mph. He also took out the 675cc Triumph for the first time and recorded a best lap of 110.601mph.

Speaking afterwards, Dan said: "Having lost Monday night due to the weather, I've obviously been keen to get in as many laps on the big bike as possible because, apart from a few laps at Rockingham, I've never ridden a 1000cc bike before let alone at the TT. I'm very much finding my feet at the moment but we've been chipping away and just been putting some steady laps in as it's still only my second time here and I've still got an awful lot to learn. The track's been resurfaced in places and a lot smoother whilst I've been surprised at how cold it's been up on the Mountain late in the session. Softening the suspension was definitely an improvement with the big bike though and I feel a lot happier with it now and we're heading the right way. It's great to be back here, I just love the place, so it's all about building on what I learnt last year and enjoying myself throughout."

Practice continues tomorrow evening.

Centurion Racing will continue to show their support for Help for Heroes, their chosen charity, by displaying H4H logos on the bikes' new livery designed by Rage Designs and team attire. Dan's race helmet has been kindly donated by Arai and will be a one-off design by RichArt showing both the H4H and IOM TT logos. Team Principal Paul Rees, who spent 20 years in Her Majesty's Royal Marine Commandos, was given permission to have the bikes carry the H4H logos in order to encourage the public to be more aware of this charity that supports our Armed Forces, many of whom are making daily sacrifices in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Centurion Racing would specially like to thank Arai, FTR, GPR Racewear, Dunlop, Rage Designs, RichArt, R2 Logo Print & Embroidery, Akrapovic, Daytona, and Alan Smith of Smiths of Gloucester for personally supporting Dan, and all our friends and followers.

More, from a press release issued by Ryan Farquhar's publicist:

Tough week on the Island so far for Farquhar

Ryan Farquhar has endured a problematical week of practice so far at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races, with the KMR Kawasaki rider struggling to complete a flying lap on any of his machines.

With the removal of Saturday practice from this year's schedule, Monday evening was essentially the warm up session but with damp conditions around the course, speeds were considerably down on what everyone has become accustomed to in recent years. Taking his all-new Superbike out for the first time though, Ryan completed two laps, the fastest of which was 119.502mph, and although it was very much early days, he was happy with the initial performance of the machine.

With far better conditions on Tuesday evening, the pace of the main contenders increased considerably and Ryan's opening lap on the Superbike was a more rapid 124.051mph. However, as he quickened his pace on the second lap, he started to notice a slight problem with the engine and so pulled in at Kerromoar, approximately 20 miles around the course. Unfortunately, that meant he was stranded with no way of getting back to the paddock and so he missed out on a full session of practice, his main rivals completing 5 laps of the 37 and 3/4-mile course.

With the Superbike out of action until Thursday, Ryan got his first laps in on the Superstock bike during Wednesday evening, which again saw good conditions. He was able to complete 2 laps, the best at 124.394mph which made him 4th quickest but overheating problems forced him to stop at Sulby before he was able to proceed later on in the session. That resulted him in jumping onto the Supersport bike for the first time during the week and two steady laps late in the session saw him put in a speed of 119.790mph.

Speaking on Thursday, Ryan said: "It's been a frustrating week so far and we've had nothing but problems to say the least! With Monday being damp, we just had a couple of steady laps and Tuesday was the night when I really wanted to get stuck in properly but coming through Sulby Bridge and Ginger Hall, the engine made a slight noise so I pulled in just round the corner at Kerromoar and that was my night over as there's simply no way of getting back from there. I lost a really good session that night but I went back out on the stocker on Wednesday only to run into a few overheating problems. I got a half decent lap in but I've got a fair way to go yet before I'm where I want to be. Losing the track time has put us on the back foot a bit but that's the Isle of Man for you so we'll be back out on Thursday to give it a go and, hopefully, get the bikes closer to where I want to be. The first race is right around the corner now so we need to get some good laps in tonight otherwise it's going to be a longer fortnight. The saying goes 'bad practice week, good race week', so I'm hoping that's the case!

Practice continues on Thursday and Friday evening with the opening Superbike race taking place on Saturday.
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