Dave Molyneux, along with partner Patrick Farrance, marked his return to the Isle of Man TT by topping the timesheets in the opening practice session of the Sidecar class. The Douglas rider was unable to add to his 14 TT victories last year after taking a break from racing but rode as if he'd never been away, setting a 110.831mph lap on his first competitive run on the mountain course for two years.
Conrad Harrison, a podium finisher in each of the last two years, was second fastest with Mike Aylott although they took nearly half a minute longer to complete a lap of the circuit. The Birchall brothers, Ben and Tom, will be among the favourites in the next fortnight with an impeccable CV. The pair were runners up in the FIM World Superside Championship last season, two years after winning the title itself, and were just over a second shy of P2.
Gary Bryan and Gary Partridge were fourth on 107.439mph ahead of Tim Reeves and Dipash Chauhan (107.259mph) while Douglas Wright and Martin Hull completed the top six. Practice resumes on Monday evening with the sidecar riders getting another chance to prepare for Saturday's opening race.
John Holden and Andy Winkle, winners of last year's second race, weren't involved as they led the newcomers on their first taste of the TT.