All systems go for first qualifying session of TT 2018
Qualifying for the 2018 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, gets underway this evening (Saturday) and with good conditions on the Island, the Monster Energy Supersport and Bennetts Lightweight competitors will be the first to take to the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
The session will also see the newcomers get their first taste of the course on closed roads and Davey Todd, David Jackson and Adam Lyon kickstart the session at 18.20, the solo riders featuring. The sidecar newcomers at 18.25 with Michael Jackson/Harry Payne and Paul Leglise among them as well as a number of sidecar passenger debutantes.
At 18:40, the session proper, scheduled to be over two hours in duration, will fire into life with both the Supersport 600cc and Lightweight machines setting off down Glencrutchery Road for their first laps of 2018.
All of the leading names will be out this evening with 15-time TT winner Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Honda), Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki), Peter Hickman (Trooper Triumph by Smiths Racing), and James Hillier (Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki) set to feature prominently.
Almost a year after his Senior TT accident, Ian Hutchinson will return to Mountain Course action with the 16-time winner riding for Padgetts Honda Racing alongside team-mates Conor Cummins and Lee Johnston. Dan Kneen (Jackson Racing) adds further weight to the Honda challenge with Josh Brookes (McAMS Yamaha), William Dunlop (Temple Golf Club) and Jamie Coward (PRez Racing) the leading Yamaha riders.
Gary Johnson (RAF Regular & Reserve) and Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles) are both Triumph mounted and are expected to show well with Ivan Lintin (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki) and James Cowton (McAdoo Racing Kawasaki) completing the seeded riders.
A large number of the aforementioned will also be contesting the Bennetts Lightweight TT race with Dunlop set to get his first miles on the SC-Project Paton tonight. Last year’s race winner Michael Rutter returns on the Paton he took to victory twelve months ago with Stefano Bonetti, Ian Lougher and Joey Thompson also riding for the Italian manufacturer.
2015 and 2016 winner Lintin, Hickman and Jessopp lead the Kawasaki charge where there’ll be joined by, amongst others, Cowton, Adam McLean, Dan Cooper, Danny Webb and Derek McGee who returns to the TT for the first time since 2016.
Johnson will again campaign the Chinese WK Moto machine with Coward expected to be the leading Suzuki rider.
The session is due to conclude at 20:50.
You can keep up to date with all the track action with the TT Live service via iomtt.com and Manx Radio TT commentary on-line