Michael Dunlop picked up where he left off at the North West 200 last weekend by topping the opening Lightweight practice session of the 2013 Isle of Man TT. The Ulsterman was victorious in the rain-shortened Supersport race last Saturday and took full advantage of ideal conditions this evening to go fastest of all.
The first on track action of this year’s TT saw the newcomers taken for their speed controlled lap of the mountain course, Josh Brookes being the most high profile of the debutants. Hong Kong’s Cheung Wai On was left on the line thanks to a problem on his Splitlath Redmond Aprilia and rider liaison officer Richard Quayle picked up a puncture while leading his group around but aside from that, their first taste of the TT was incident-free. Brookes and the Netherlands’ Branko Srdanov would actually go on to lap faster than any newcomers had done before on opening night ahead of the start of full qualifying on Monday.
The first official running of the event commenced at 6:50pm and Dunlop was straight on the pace with a lap at 111.850mph to give him just under seven seconds advantage over Cameron Donald but Michael had much more speed in his locker and shaved eighteen seconds off his own personal best to take top spot at the end of day one. Ivan Lintin and Michael Rutter improved later in their runs to complete the top three while Donald dropped to fifth behind Manxman Conor Cummins and just ahead of Dean Harrison.
Last year’s double winners Dave Molyneux and Patrick Farrance made a rapid start to their 2013 campaign with the fastest time in the Sidecar session but John Holden and Andy Winkle weren’t far behind in second. Conrad Harrison and Mike Aylott were third but Tim Reeves and Dan Sayle were surprisingly low on the leaderboard in nineteenth, albeit at a very early stage.
|2013 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy – Saturday 25th May|
|Superstock Qualifying (Newcomers Only)|
|Supersport Qualifying (Newcomers Only)|
|TT 2013 Schedule – Monday 27th May|
|18:20-19:55||Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)|