Road Racing

Harrison tops first night at Isle of Man TT

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Dean Harrison topped the Supersport timing sheets on the opening night of the 2016 Isle of Man TT.

The Bradford racer clocked an impressive 124.218mph on his sixth and final lap of the evening. Meanwhile in the Lightweight category, Ivan Lintin topped the leader board with a lap of 116.773mph.

The session began with the speed-controlled newcomers lap – with TT rider liaison officer Richard Quayle leading Alessandro Polity, Michael Booth, Seamus Elliot and Jochem van den Hoek around the famous Mountain Course for their first closed road lap.

Bruce Anstey then led Josh Daley, Andre Pires and Forrest Dunn around the circuit, with rider liaison officer John Barton taking Darren James, Olaf Romijn and Alastair Fagan around the island. The newcomers in the sidecar category were then taken around the course on speed-controlled laps.

The weather conditions were perfect as the qualifying session got underway just after 6.45pm – with Swede Bjorn Gunnarsson setting-off first. He was followed by the likes Martin Jessopp, Ian Hutchinson, Gary Johnson, Harrison and James Hillier on their Supersport machines.

First around the course was Hutchinson on the Team Traction Control Yamaha, with a lap of 120.280mph but was he was soon beaten by Harrison on his Sillicone Engineering Kawasaki. James Coward went to the top of the timing sheets in the Lightweight category with a lap just over 110mph.

The speeds increased second-time around the course with Hutchinson lapping at 123.206mph, ahead of John McGunness who posted a 122.550mph. The leaderboards were changing throughout the session with Harrison, Dunlop and Hutchinson all going top of the timing sheets with their third and fourth laps.

The top five guys broke into the 123mph barrier as they started their sixth and final run. The times were extremely close but it was Harrison who got the beater of his rivals – beating Hutchinson by just over half-a-second.

Back in the Lightweight session, Coward had increased his speed to 111.854mph but was beaten by Barton, who lapped at 112.213mph.

They were both beaten by 2015 winner Lintin, with an amazing lap of 115.095mph. He went even faster on his next lap, reaching a speed of 116.777mph.

Four riders crashed during the opening session of the 2016 TT. William Dunlop fell at Sarah’s, Forrest Dunn came off at the Water Works and Ben Rea fell at Lambfell. Newcomer Elliot also crashed at Hailwood Heights. Fortunetly all four riders were reported to be uninjured.

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