Isle of Man TT Races

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Cameron Donald hits 131.457mph at 2009 TT!

Thursday, June 04, 2009
TT
Cameron Donald during the third practice session of the 2009 TT (Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press International)

After days of domination by 14-times TT winner, a new name tops the timesheets for fastest lap in practice for the 2009 Isle of Man TT.

And what a way to move to the head of the standings with an unofficial lap record and the first ever circuit of the legendary Mountain course at an average speed of more than 131mph!

TAS Suzuki’s Cameron Donald, on his four lap in the fifth practice session, hooked up a perfect lap to cross the line in 17m 13.25secs, an average speed of 131.457mph.

Fans watching this incredible feat unfolding on the TT Live! Subscription service saw the Australian complete the run to Ballaugh Bridge at an average of 140.428mph, after roaring through the Sulby speed trap at 188mph – more than 4mph slower than the night’s fastest speed, set by Guy Martin, Donald upped his pace to raise his average to 143.897mph. even at the Bungalow his speed was only 0.024 off 140mph!

Initially it was Hydrex Honda’s Martin who had the led the way in the Superbike class, only to be outdone by TAS Suzuki Bruce Anstey.

The Kiwi’s 130.129mph average on lap two, only slightly slower then the benchmark set by McGuinness on Wednesday, had looked good enough for him to finish the evening on top – until his teammate blitzed the Mountain course.

Donald’s awesome performance overshadowed some stunning superbike runs from others, including a notable 129.027mph from Honda-mounted Ian Hutchinson, a 128.982mph from HM Plant Honda’s Steve Plater and a fantastic 128.334mph from Manxman Conor Cummins.

McGuinness, who has been dominating the headlines during practice week suffered mechanical issues with his HM Plant Honda superbike and was unable to fight for a place at the top of the leaderboard.

While Donald’s sensational Superbike pace caught everyone’s attention, no one should overlook the equally impressive efforts of Michael Dunlop, who took his year-old Yamaha R6 supersport machine around at a staggering 126.299mph, a record time, albeit unofficial.

Hutchinson was his nearest rival, but was some 10 seconds down on Dunlop’s magnificent speed.

The TT Live! Data shows Dunlop maintained an average speed in excess of 130mph in all but the final section from Cronk ny Mona to the Grandstand, actually averaging more than 138.5mph between the start and Ramsey Hairpin.

There was some consolation for Martin as he topped the superstock times, with a 126.054mph.

Only a handful of sidecars got away from the Grandstand before the session was halted because of a major oil spill on the circuit.

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