TT legend John McGuinness has described his first practice for the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy as a ‘steady start’ after lapping at more than 128mph.
The 17-times TT winner took his Honda TT Legends Superbike around the Mountain course at 128.266mph to top Monday night’s practice session.
“It's very early days, but it's a solid start so we'll just keep doing what we're doing and hope to continue in the same vein.”
There had been concerns earlier in the session when the Morecambe rider could only manage a 111.23mph lap on the Superbike, however, after changes to the set up he was back out and able to put in the evening’s fastest time.
He had planned to do two laps on the Superbike, but halfway round the first lap it was clear all was not well and after a slow lap, McGuinness pulled into the pits. As the team changed the rear shock absorber, he went out on the Padgetts Superstock machine for a lap before resuming on the Superbike.
The changes had clearly worked and, after a lap of 126.116mph, he went quicker still on his final lap of the evening and with just minutes of the session remaining crossed the line with a speed of 128.266mph, almost 2mph quicker than Cameron Donald in second.
“I'm always a bit nervous for the first evening of practice and this year was no different. The weather on the Island's been superb and I've just been chilling out for a few days, but the nerves crept in as I got ready to take the big Superbike out.”
“The plan was to get two laps in straightaway, but not far into the first lap I could tell the bike wasn't right so I cruised round and pulled in to the pits, which allowed the boys to change the rear shock absorber.”
“After a steady lap on the 'stocker, I went back out for two laps on the Superbike and it felt better so I had a bit of a go and managed to get two good laps in.”
“The biggest problem was the sun and at places like Appledene and Greeba Bridge, as well as a couple of spots over the Mountain, it was really treacherous, so I had to be really cautious.”