Tuesday May 31
Riders were reporting near-perfect conditions, and predicting fast speeds, for the third practice session of the week on Tuesday night.
They were proved correct when the times came through with John McGuinness recording the fastest lap of the week so far. His speed of 125.262 miles an hour on his Superbike Yamaha beat the week’s previous best – also in his name – of 125.041 which he set up 24 hours before.
It hadn’t been a particularly auspicious start to the session for McGuinness who went out firstly on his Supersport Yamaha only to be reported ‘touring’ at the Verandah on the mountain section of the course. However, he made it back to the pits and his second lap – this time on the Superbike - was an entirely different story.
Adrian Archibald also claimed his fastest lap of the week with a circuit of 124.391 on his Superbike Suzuki to take second place for the evening, with Jason Griffiths (Yamaha) third fastest at 123.890. In all, eleven riders – in the Superbike class alone - recorded speeds in excess of 120 miles an hour.
One feature of the week so far has been the performances of some of the newcomers. Among those worthy of mention were Les Shand who lapped at 115.717 on his Superbike Yamaha while Cameron Donald recorded 112.997 on his Supersport Honda.
McGuinness also led the way in the Superstocks with a speed of 123.164. Next in line were Griffiths at 122.242 and Richard Britton (121.344). Britton was fastest in the Supersport class at 121.371 with Bruce Anstey (121.368) and Martin Finnegan (120.985) not far away. Bruno Bonhuil led the evening’s Senior leaderboard at 113.707.
Nick Crowe and Darren Hope were again the fastest sidecar outfit in their Honda at 110.574, just in front of Steve Norbury and Andy Smth (110.456). Tony Baker and Mark Hegarty were next at 107.620. Ten times TT winner Dave Molyneux and Danny Sayle still have to complete a timed lap on their Honda. Saturday’s session was untimed and they were not out on Monday. Then, tonight, they were forced to retire at Creg-ny-Baa on their opening lap.
There was an incident at Sarah’s Cottage involving the sidecar outfits of Gary Horspole and Mark Cox, and Nigel Connole and Philip Roberts. Horspole was said to have sustained back injuries and his passenger, injuries to his leg. Roberts sustained possible rib injuries, while Connole was said to be uninjured.
In the solos, Frank Spenner came off his Superbike Yamaha at Governor’s Bridge but was not hurt.
The fine weather attracted 228 competitors with the Supersport class leading the way at 79, followed by Superbikes and Sidecars (both 63), Superstocks (18) and Senior (5).