Dunlop raises the bar with 131mph standing start lap TT 2017
Saturday's morning qualifying session saw Michael Dunlop drop a serious marker for his fellow competitors as he took his Bennetts Suzuki Superbike for a 17:16.361 lap of the TT Mountain Course - 131.062mph – from a standing start.
Dan Kneen was second quickest on the opening lap at 130.22mph, his fastest ever on the Mountain Course, and he went even quicker on the next circuit to end on 130.324mph.
Hutchinson was initially slightly off the pace but his second lap saw him up to third overall in the session at 130.327mph, 0.302 down on Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman.
Michael Rutter was the fourth BMW rider in the top five, and the only other to break the 130mph barrier, with a best lap of 130.036mph on the Bathams SMT Racing machine.
None of the Superstock riders were able to get into 130mph territory but James Hillier impressed with 128.173mph on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki until Lee Johnston edged him out at 128.896mph.
However, shortly after recording this lap it was announced Lee had been taken to Noble’s Hospital by airmed following an incident at Greeba Castle. He was reported as being conscious. The session was red flagged to allow the track to be cleared.
Johnston had also topped the Supersport qualifying for the morning at 123.369mph in a session which had seen the newcomers Paul Jordan, Adam McLean and Joey Thompson all over 117mph, with McLean in particular impressing at just a shade under 120mph – 119.886mph, 18:52.973.
The sidecars followed the solo session with a delayed start due to the red flag at Greeba Castle. A report on that qualifying will follow shortly.