Harrison gets the bit between his teeth in Thursday qualifying
Conditions on the Isle of Man were definitely cooler than last night but the pace was heating up in the Superbike class with Dean Harrison posting the fastest time of the week to date – 123.580mph - on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.
The session got underway promptly at 6.20 and Michael Rutter on the Harris Yamaha was first to the first timing point at Glen Helen, three seconds ahead of Harrison. The Midlands based rider had extended that to almost six seconds by Ramsey but was reported to have retired shortly after at the Waterworks, leaving Harrison to top the board with his opening lap.
Bruce Anstey also completed his first lap on the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Motorcycles YZR 500 with 121.18 while Danny Webb (120.12) clocked his first 120mph of the meeting on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69.
Gary Johnson (Team York Suzuki) and James Hillier (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) both moved into the overall top five leaderboard in the Superbike class with impressive opening laps of 122.56mph and 122.12mph respectively while Jamie Coward on the Mistral Racing Kawasaki also posted his first 120mph lap of the meeting.
Meanwhile Michael Dunlop, after some chassis changes, posted a relatively sedate time – for him - of 120.51 and Ivan Lintin, another rider who was high up on the overall leaderboard, was reported as an early retirement at Ballacraine.
In the Lightweight Classic TT class Manx rider Ryan Kneen posted the fastest lap of the class on the night with a lap of 111.63 and moved into the top three overall in qualifying, behind Ian Lougher’s time from Tuesday and Bruce Anstey’s from Wednesday. Davy Morgan and Phil Harvey also clocked laps of over 109mph.
However with riders in both classes still on the course the session was red flagged from sectors 1 to 8 following an incident at Churchtown on the approach to Ramsey in the concurrent Manx Grand Prix qualifying session and the session was brought to a halt shortly before 6.45.
It was a shame for Dean Harrison as the Bradford rider was on a charge on his second – flying - lap and had reached Glen Helen in a time of 4.28.077, five seconds faster than Rutter’s time for the sector on his opening lap and ten seconds ahead of his own time on the first lap.
Unfortunately, while the road was being swept ahead of the Classic TT Junior and Senior Classic TT session, the mist came in on the mountain section and Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson ended the session at 7.20pm.
As a result of this evening’s shortened session, Gary Thompson announced, in a change to tomorrow’s final qualifying session schedule, that the Classic TT Senior and Junior machines would have first use of the track followed by the Superbikes and Lightweight machines.