Perfect conditions greeted competitors for tonight’s second qualifying session at the Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts. After a short delay to allow a newcomer to complete his speed-controlled lap, the session got underway in earnest at around 6.35pm.
Jamie Hamilton, a late replacement for Dean Harrison on the Black Eagle Racing MV, was first away and was followed off the line by Bruce Anstey on the McIntosh Norton and the illustrious pairing of John McGuinness on the Team Winfield Paton and Michael Dunlop riding the Molnar Manx Norton.
The Patons were clearly to the fore in this session. Ian Lougher on the Flitwick Motorcycles machine, was quickest to Glen Helen in the opening lap of the 500’s session but McGuinness was fastest back to the grandstand, with an opening lap with 109.846, which he followed with a second lap of 109.454. The Welsh veteran Lougher split the Team Winfield riders with his opening lap of 109.282 from Ryan Farquhar who clocked 108.767.
Hamilton (107.327) was just ahead of the Molnar Manx pair Dunlop (106.431) and Dan Cooper (105.896). Other notable performers included Michael Rutter, who completed his first Classic TT lap on the Seeley Matchless G50 with 102.114 and last year’s 500 race winner Olie Linsdell, this year campaigning a 72 Enfield Seeley who was timed at 101.100. With many of the riders opting not to go out for a second lap, McGuinness’s opening lap was the fastest of the 500’s session.
In the 350’s session experienced campaigner Alan Oversby, riding the ’72 Honda was the only rider over 100mph (102.707), 3 seconds off the lap record, from Conor Behan (99.842) and William Dunlop (99.756).
Ahead of the second session, Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman advised the riders that there would be waived and stationary yellow flags at Ballaugh following an oil spill in an incident that saw Alex Sinclair taken by Airmed to Nobles with an arm injury.
The Formula 1/Formula 2 session got underway shortly after 7.10 and Team York Suzuki Racing’s Russ Mountford opened with a 115.966 on the GSXR XR69 which he followed with a 116.534. However, all eyes were on Bruce Anstey on the two stroke Yamaha YZR 500. The Kiwi completed his first lap of the meeting (114.107) on the Valvolene Racing by Padgetts Motorcycle bike, having stopped in Ramsey last night but he then stopped at the Creg Ny Baa when on a quicker second lap. Anstey was also the quickest through the Sulby speed trap on the night with 164.5mph.
However, last year’s F1 Race winner Michael Dunlop, again riding for Team Classic Suzuki, signalled that he will be the man to beat in Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise F1 Race, posting a lap of 118.772, the evening’s fastest lap, while Gary Johnson proved that he’s recovered from his TT injuries with 113.668 on the Team Winfield Harris Yamaha.
In the F2 Class, James Cowton, who finished third in this year’s Lightweight TT, posted the fastest lap on his 92 Berwick Yamaha TZ250 (108.326) with Chris Moore and Ian Lougher completing the top three on the night.
Colin Croft came off at Ramsey Hairpin but was reported as OK.