Riders were warned of a few damp patches at Quarry Bends and Governor’s Bridge but with close to ideal conditions, it was almost inevitable that the 130mph would be broken and so it was but, surprisingly, only by John McGuinness on his second lap.
It was William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey who got the session underway promptly at 6.20pm, the Northern Irishman on his 600cc machine and the Kiwi on his Superbike. Following them were John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop, Ian Lougher and Cameron Donald, Keith Amor and Daniel Kneen and Adrian Archibald and Carl Rennie, all Superbike mounted with the exception of Kneen who was out on his 600.
McGuinness was the first to complete a lap at 129.265mph with Anstey and Donald not too far behind at 127.915mph and 128.011mph respectively. Michael Dunlop, Lougher, Amor and Archibald were all above 126mph but Guy Martin was close to McGuinness’ pace at 129.145mph, Ian Hutchinson also going well at 128.018mph.
Second time around and McGuinness really showed his class with a lap of 130.242mph, Hutchinson increasing his speed to 128.735mph and Archibald to 128.618mph. Martin had called in to the pits at the end of his first lap but got no further than Quarter Bridge on his second before pulling off, eventually going back out on his Superstock bike. Davy Morgan was also in trouble retiring at Sulby Bridge.
McGuinness and Hutchinson both swapped to their 600cc Supersport bikes, the latter going second quickest on the night with a lap just over 125mph. It was that man Michael Dunlop who was quickest here and he was marginally faster than Hutchinson at 125.087mph. Meanwhile, Amor posted an impressive time on his BMW Superstock bike at 127.525mph.
Most of the riders were able to get back out for a fifth lap and Hutchinson went back out on his Superbike recording a lap of 129.164mph to go second quickest on the night. Amor was close to 128mph on the HM Plant Honda but Ryan Farquhar was flying on his Superstock Kawasaki and a lap of 128.076mph saw him go quickest, that speed also the Northern Irishman’s fastest ever lap of the Mountain Course, albeit unofficially.
Conor Cummins posted a late lap of 127.010mph with Gary Johnson also having a better run after problems earlier in the week, the AIM Racing rider lapping at 126.488mph, just quicker than Dan Stewart, who also recorded his fastest ever lap.
The newcomers again continued to make good progress and this time it was Stephen Thompson who was quickest at 115.114mph. Herve Ganther and James Hurrell both lapped in excess of 111mph with Clinton Pienaar also over 110mph for the first timer whilst former British 125cc Champion Dan Cooper impressed on the 600cc Suzuki at 111.026mph.
In the sidecars it was Dave Molyneux and Patrick Farrance who again led the field away from John Holden/Andy Winkle and Klaus Klaffenbock/Dan Sayle but Tim Reeves and Dipash Chauhan were again in trouble on the opening lap, stopping at Kirk Michael to make adjustments. Molyneux’s first lap was 113.917mph but went quicker second time around at 114.748mph whilst Klaffenbock’s impressive week continued with a best lap of 113.576mph, another, unofficial, personal best. Holden and Simon Neary were again above 112mph with Reeves able to get going to lap at 109.028mph on his second lap. Gary Bryan and Roy Hanks were two more retirements.
Brian McCormack, Scott Wilson and Paul Shoesmith were all involved in an incident at Waterworks but were reported as OK, Jenny Tinmouth’s bike ended up in a hedge at Sulby Bridge, Takahiro Itami came off at Braddan Oak, Brendan Cretu at Nook and Steven McIlvenna at Governors Bridge but all were reported as OK. In the Carl Fenwick’s passenger Keir Pedley sustained leg injuries at Cruickshanks and was taken by airmed to hospital.