Guy Martin (Hydrex Honda) and Michael Rutter (Bathams Suzuki) led off the line on their Superbikes follwed by the Relentless by TAS Suzuki riders, Bruce Anstey and Cameron Donald who again setting off together. Steve Plater was out on his first appearance on the Padgetts Honda that he’ll ride in Monday’s Royal London 360◦ Superstock race and he set off towards Bray Hill alongside Dan Stewart on his Wilcock Consulting Honda Superbike.
The first rider to complete a lap was Anstey at 126.561mph with Martin not too far behind at 126.273. Stewart was going well at 125.701 whilst Ian Lougher put in a lap of 124.704 on the AIM Yamaha R1 but it was that man John McGuinness again who was quickest out the blocks.
The HM Plant Honda rider lapped at 126.696mph but then went even quicker still on his second lap and was just over six seconds outside his own outright lap record. A superb lap of 129.661mph saw him again go clear of his rivals with Martin the next quickest at 128.294mph. Stewart was again in excess of 125mph as was Keith Amor (Wilson Craig Honda), who recorded his quickest lap of the Mountain Course, albeit unofficially, at 125.924mph.
Later in the session, both Ian Hutchinson (Padgetts Honda) and Adrian Archibald (AMA Racing Suzuki) lapped above 126mph on their Superbike machines whilst Rutter was also getting closer to the pace at 124.243mph.
In the Royal London 360◦ Superstock class, it was Donald who was quickest with 126.436mph closely followed by Martin at 125.245mph whilst McGuinness also recorded the fastest time in the Relentless Supersport class at 123.107mph, the first time he’d been out this week on the 600cc machine.
The newcomers are all going well with Steve Mercer now the quickest at a very impressive 116.054mph. Portuguese rider Luis Carreira was again on from at 113.345mph with Michal Dopukil at 113.05mph. Ben Wylie was also in the 113mph bracket whilst Yoshinari Matsushita wasn’t too far behind at 112.054mph.
Nick Crowe and Mark Cox, who did complete a lap on Monday, again led the sidecars away with the three-wheelers continuing to leave in near perfect numerical order and the HM Plant Honda duo put in two flying laps, the quickest at 115.164mph, to top the leaderboard for the Sure Sidecar class . Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle were second quickest but there were problems for Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance on their first lap and they were stopped for approximately 15 minutes before they were able to get going again. Meanwhile, Ben and Tom Birchall improved their speed to 106.023mph with fellow newcomers Karl Bennett/Lee Cain lapping at 104.029mph.
Tonight’s times mean that it’s McGuinness and Crowe who are now leading the race for the Graham London Watches, awarded to the fastest solo and sidecar pairing.
A total of 203 machines went out. The breakdown was as follows: 1 Senior, 58 Supersport, 76 Superbike, 20 Superstock and 48 Sidecars.
James Vanderhaar was reported off at Sulby Bridge but was seen by a travelling marshal and confirmed OK, Roger Maher hit the bales with his shoulder at Glen Helen and was black flaged but reported OK. In the sidecars David Wallis and Sally Wilson were involved in an incident at the 13. They were taken by air med to Nobles with possible fractures.
Graham Watch – Solo Leaderboard
1 John McGuinness (HM Plant Honda - 129.661mph
2 Guy Martin (Hydrex Honda) – 128.29mph
3 Ian Hutchinson (Padgetts Honda) – 127.271mph
Graham Watch – Sidecar Leaderboard
1 Nick Crowe/Mark Cox (HM Plant Honda) – 115.174mph
2 Dave Molyneux/Dan Sayle (A&J Racing Suzuki) – 114.697mph
3 Phil Dongworth/Gary Partridge (WAS Autocentre Honda) – 112.400mph