Dean Harrison has become only the second rider to lap the Mountain Course in less than 17 minutes after posting two 133mph laps in the second Superbike qualifying session.
The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider, who topped Monday’s opening Superbike session as well, got off to a flying start as he posted the fastest ever standing start lap – at 133.140mph.
Harrison would then go even quicker on his second lap with a speed of 133.462mph, unofficially breaking the Superbike lap record and becoming the first rider to join Michael Dunlop in the sub-17-minute club.
Dunlop ended the session second in the Superbike class at 132.319mph, which he recorded on his opening lap. His Tyco BMW teammate Dan Kneen took third spot with a top speed of 132.319mph.
Peter Hickman (132.169mph), Conor Cummins (129.756mph) and Bathams BMW’s Michael Rutter (129.583mph) completed the top six.
Hickman topped the Superstock timing sheets once again, at 130.619mph, ahead of Harrison (130.553mph) and Kneen (129.140mph).
After a slight delay due to oil being cleared at Ballig Bridge, tonight’s session got underway at 6.23pm. Dunlop and James Hillier led the field away on their Superbikes followed by Kneen, Hickman, Ian Hutchinson and Gary Johnson. Johnson’s bad luck would continue as he pulled off at St Ninians and returned to the paddock.
Dunlop and Hickman were first to cross the line at 132.319mph and 131.871mph respectively, however they were blown away by Harrison’s 133.140mph lap. Harrison’s second lap was a record-breaking 133.462mph, some 1.4mph quicker than his personal best as he went under the 17-minute mark.
Kneen was improving as well and his lap of 132.258mph was almost 2mph up on his best lap set in last year’s RL360 Superstock race, while Hickman was again impressing at 132.169mph.
David Johnson improved to 129.360mph with Josh Brookes also upping his speed to 128.590mph, which was just quicker than Phil Crowe’s impressive lap of 128.472mph.
Traffic started to build as the session wore on, causing the lap speeds to dip slightly. Despite this, Hickman and Harrison both managed 130mph+ laps on their Superstock bikes – Hickman the quicker with his second lap of 130.619mph. Kneen slotted into third ahead of Lee Johnston, Cummins and Hillier with Hickman’s third lap coming to a halt with a retirement at Crosby.
At 7.20pm, it was the turn of the Supersport and Lightweight machines and Dunlop was quickest in the 600s with a lap of 125.206mph, which put him ahead of Hillier (124.919mph), Ivan Lintin (124.376mph) and Brookes (123.718).
Lintin would top the Lightweight timing sheets at 119.191mph, ahead of Stefano Bonetti on the Paton (118.848mph), Adam McLean (116.984mph) and the other Patons of Ian Lougher (116.417mph) and Rutter (116.012mph).