After the sensational speeds set on Thursday evening, the lap times were slightly slower during qualifying on Friday evening for the 2009 Isle of Man TT Races and although it was a pleasant evening on the Island, temperatures were down and a strong breeze prevalent. The main change in proceedings was that the solos were only out for an hour with the F2 sidecars getting an extended session due last night’s abandonment.
However, the evening was dominated by a spill involving fastest man in practice Cameron Donald who is now expected to miss all 5 solo races. The Australian went out on his Superstock machine but crashed out at Keppel Gate on his first lap, subsequently taken to Nobles Hospital by Airmed with minor injuries including a shoulder injury.
The session got underway on time at 6.20pm although one man missing was Bruce Anstey, the Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider happy with the set-up and performance of all his machines and opting to sit back and relax instead. It was 131mph man Donald who left the line first on his Superstock machine and he was joined by Conor Cummins on his McAdoo Racing Kawasaki. They were followed in quick succession by Gary Johnson and Michael Dunlop on their Superbikes, and Ian Lougher and Keith Amor, the latter on his Superstock bike. Ian Hutchinson, Steve Plater, Mark Parrett, Ryan Farquhar and Guy Martin were next to leave the line.
John McGuinness went out on his Supersport machine as did William Dunlop with Mats Nilsson and James McBride not too far behind. Americans Jimmy Moore and Mark Miller were also well to the fore whilst Michael Rutter was out for the first time on the 600cc JMF/Millsport Yamaha.
Cummins was first back lapping at 127.020mph but Martin was quickest at 128.687. Johnson set his best lap of the week at 127.794 but Rutter suffered a flat battery on his 600cc machine and limped over the line with a 117mph lap. He missed the rest of the session as his Suzuki Superbike was still being repaired after blowing a head gasket the previous night.
Farquhar reported that the yellow flags were out due to the incident involving Donald and his lap was 126.734 with Lougher and Amor slightly further back. On the second lap Martin upped the pace on the Hydrex Honda with a lap of 129.013 whilst Cummins and Johnson were again above the 127mph mark. Carl Rennie (WA Corless/Jackson Racing Suzuki) was going well once more with a speed of 126.57 but it was Plater who went to the top of the Royal London 360◦ Superstock leaderboard with a lap of 126.93 ahead of Hutchinson, Amor and McGuinness.
In the Relentless Supersport class it was William Dunlop who was quickest with his best ever lap of the Mountain Course, a very impressive 123.34 and he was followed by Amor, McGuinness and Hutchinson.
Ben Wylie became the fastest newcomer of the week with a lap of 120.336 with Michael Dopukil again the best 600 newcomer.
Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle led the chairs away at 7.30pm with Nick Crowe/Mark Cox, John Holden/Andy Winkle, Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance and Klaus Klaffenbock/Darren Hope following them.
Crowe was the first back past the Grandstand though with a lap of 114.44 whilst second quickest, with their best ever lap, were Phil Dongworth and Gary Partridge at 113.30. Klaffenbock was next on 112.04 ahead of Holden at 111.32 and Reeves at 111.17 but Molyneux was touring and headed straight into the pits after just one lap at 101.07
Dongworth continued for a second lap, increasing his pace slightly to 113.355 whilst Reeves put in a total of 3 laps, the best 112.09. The Birchall brothers also completed three laps in the extended session and it paid dividends with their first ever 110mph lap coming on the third circuit, a speed of 110.688mph.
So, at the end of practice week, it’s Donald, Crowe and Cox who walk away with the superb Graham Watches having topped the solo and sidecar leaderboards but it will be little consolation for Cameron who will now miss out on adding to his two TT wins.
The full results can be downloaded from our 2009 TT Results page.
Graham Watch – Final Solo Leaderboard
1 Cameron Donald (Relentless by TAS Suzuki) – 131.457mph
2 John McGuinness (HM Plant Honda) – 130.171mph
3 Bruce Anstey (Relentless by TAS Suzuki) – 130.129mph
Graham Watch – Final Sidecar Leaderboard
1 Nick Crowe/Mark Cox (HM Plant Honda) – 116.063mph
2 Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle (A&J Racing Suzuki) – 114.697mph
3 Phil Dongworth/Gary Partridge (WAS Autocentre Honda) – 113.35mph