McGuinness sets early pace

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A DRY, sunny evening met the competitors for Tuesday evening’s qualifying session and, apart from a stiff a breeze, conditions were almost perfect for the second night of the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy.

After a 10-minute delay, the riders were out at 6.30pm and Michael Dunlop and Guy Martin who, as on Monday, were the first to leave the line, Martin on the Superbike and Dunlop on the Supersport machine.

Cameron Donald and Gary Johnson were the next pairing to go, swiftly followed by Ryan Farquhar, Bruce Anstey, Keith Amor and Dan Stewart.

All were Superbike mounted as was Adrian Archibald out for the first time on a brand new ZX-10R Kawasaki.

Fifteen time race winner John McGuinness was in the 8th pairing away.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Guillame Dietrich left at the back of the field in order to complete his sighting lap with Richard Quayle, the Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider having tipped off at Sulby during Monday evening’s qualifying.

Johnson was the first man back at 127.71mph just ahead of Martin at 126.325mph, followed by Donald at 125.05 and Anstey at 126.24.

Amor and Stewart were slightly slower at 125.9mph and 125.8mph whilst McGuinness moved up to second quickest on 126.975mph.

Meanwhile, Dunlop was the fastest 600 with a lap of 123.59mph followed by James Hillier on 118.415mph and Luis Carreira on 118.402.

Conor Cummins was also improving steadily, breaking the 120mph at 120.203mph.

McGuinness clocked the quickest time through the Sulby speed trap at 190.6mph.

Johnson pulled in and switched to his 600 with Donald doing likewise to the Superstock bike but many of the other riders went straight through, keen to get two early laps in on the Superbike.

Martin increased his speed to 128.261mph but McGuinness followed him in at 129.041mph.

Dunlop increased his 600cc lap speed to 125.464mph with both Hillier and Carreira in the 119mph bracket but Davy Morgan stopped at the Mountain Box, Conor Cummins at Greeba Castle and Michael Rutter at Quarter Bridge although the latter was able to proceed.

Donald briefly went quickest in the Superstock class with a lap of 124.447mph as McGuinness reported track conditions to be good except for a slightly dusty road at Ramsey.

His only concern was leathers that were too tight but he was soon back out on the circuit, this time on his Padgetts Superstock Honda.

See the Lancaster Guardian (02-06-11) for full story.