Martin Dominates On Day One Of The Southern 100

by Louis Suddaby

Guy Martin got off to the perfect start at the 2011 Southern 100 races after dominating the 1000cc and 600cc practice sessions on Monday evening at the Isle of Man.

In the 1000cc class, Martin topped the opening free practice session with a lap of 2:21.844 (107.865mph), a time that remained unbeaten despite the best efforts of his rivals in the second session. Paul Cranston improved in the second session to take second, three seconds down, with five-time champion Ian Lougher in third.

Last year's Solo champion Ryan Farquhar finished the night in fourth after setting his best time of 2:26.993 in the opening session, with Conor Cummins half a second further back in fifth, just ahead of Russ Mountford.

Not through with topping the 1000cc times, Martin also led the way when the 600s took to the Billown circuit, setting a time of 2:25.434 on the Relentless Suzuki GSX-R600. Farquhar was his nearest challenger this time ahead of Wilson Craig Honda's Cameron Donald.

An incident during the evening meant there was only one 250/650 practice session, allowing Farquhar to end the day on top with Ian Lougher close behind in second. Meanwhile, the 125cc/400cc class was led by multiple-winner Chris Palmer who was the quickest man in both sessions, eventually finishing with a best time of 2:42.556.

The sidecar class was expected to be dominated by the teams of Klaus Klaffenbock & Dan Sayle and John Holden & Andy Winkle, but the TT 2011 winners didn't have it all their own way on the opening night. Instead, Simon Neary & Jason Crowe were the quickest duo on Monday, edging out Ian & Carl Bell.

The racing gets underway on Tuesday evening with the Corlett's Trophies 600cc/1000cc Race before the Vehicle Sourcing Centre Sidecar Race rounds out the day's action.

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