Another dry evening greeted competitors for the third qualifying session for the Isle of Man Classic TT presented by Bennetts although Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman warned the riders that there was a lack of adhesion at the top of Bray Hill, Kate’s Cottage and Governor’s Dip from the overnight rain.
An intriguing session saw Bruce Anstey post the fastest lap of the week to date – 122.523 – on the two stroke Yamaha YZR 500 on his second lap of the session.
Although there’s still five days to go before Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise F1 Race, it already looks like its going to be a battle royal with Michael Dunlop also posting his fastest lap of the week to date – 122.173 – on his opening lap on the Suzuki GXSR XR69 although the Ballymoney man then pulled in and said that there were a couple of issues with the bike and confessed that he’d ‘nursed her home.’
Anstey clearly enjoyed his lap and talking to Manx Radio’s Chris Palmer, himself a two stroke specialist, after the lap said:
“I’ve got a massive smile. The bike’s handling is pretty good although once the fuel lightens on the second lap it gets a bit lively. We’re just slowly getting it down, playing it safe. The bike was definitely on song tonight though and there’s more to come.”
James Hillier on the Jackson Racing ZXR 750 Kawasaki (119.396), Russ Mountford riding TEam York Suzuki Racing’s XR69 (119.127), Mistral Racing’s Steve Mercer on another ZXR Kawasaki (118.298) and Team Winfield’s Ryan Farquhar (117.755) and Gary Johnson (113.127) on the Harris Yamaha’s all signalled their intent by posting laps over 115mph
In the F2 Class experience Classic rider Roy Richardson on the FCL Racing Martin Bullock Manxsport backed TZ250 topped the board with 110.349 ahead of Classic TT F2 lap record holder James Cowton (109.893) with Chris Moore posting the third fastest time in the class (108.401).
Shortly before 7.10 the 500cc and 350cc machines got their chance to get some laps under their belt in the later session.
The Team Winfield Patons of John McGuinness and Ryan Farquhar were again on the pace in the 500cc class with the pair fastest to Glen Helen on the opening lap of the session but with McGuinness reporting problems just before Ramsey, Ryan Farquhar posted was left to post a stunning opening lap of 111.102, marginally outside Olie Linsdell’s fastest lap of 111.660 from last year’s 500cc Race. Alan Oversby was second fastest in the class with 107.239, which he posted on his second lap while Michael Rutter showed that he’s getting to grips with the single cylinder G50 Seeley with 107.067.
William Dunlop (101.271) topped the 350’s board on the Davies Motorsport 4 cylinder Honda and was the only rider over 100mph from Ian Lougher who posted 99.689 on the Ripley Land Racing Drixon Honda.