Dunlop tops Superbikes; Robinson the Senior; before red flag halts MGP qualifying.


Whilst most of the course had sunshine; cloud had rolled in from the northwest, at Ballaugh, when the first riders reached the famous old bridge. The strong wind that been a problem on Sunday had abated considerably.

There was a below average crowd watching proceedings. The action began with Michael Dunlop giving the Team Classic Suzuki his normal front wheel landing. The action was then fast and furious with a large number of riders out on the track. Dean Harrison had his Ducati flying well; James Hillier, Tom Robinson and Victor Lopez had plenty of air under their machines as they jumped the bridge. Michael Rutter and Davo Johnson scored top style marks. Local riders Mikey Evans and Jamie Williams were impressive; fast and flat over the bridge. Local newcomer David Rigby was rapid; but had a very heavy landing; unfazed, he powered away through the village. Joe Yeardsley and Marcus Simpson were the neatest of the newcomers; but for Joe it was a retirement in Ramsey. Two who never reached Ballaugh were Mike Browne and Craig Neve; machine failure the reason.

Michael Dunlop was the fastest of the Classic Superbike riders on the first lap; but he pulled into the pits for some issues to be addressed; he did not reappear in this part of the session. Davo Johnson put the Cowan Kawasaki into second place with 122.352mph; with Dean Harrison third on the Key Racing Ducati. Dominic Herbertson (BHR Kawasaki), Brian McCormack (Greenall Kawasaki) and Michael Rutter (Batham’s Suzuki) were the other 120mph+ lappers.

In the MGP Senior it was local man Jamie Williams (NCE Honda) who led the way at 117.469mph; Daniel Ingham (Brook Built Yamaha) was second at 117.092; with Tom Robinson (Pete Stacey Kawasaki) third at 116.042. Victor Lopez (ILR Yamaha) also lapped at over 116mph. David Rigby led the newcomers with a very impressive 115.260mph.

The second lap brought more good action with Dean Harrison, Nathan Harrison and Davo Johnson giving us good leaps. Dom Herbertson appeared to have a problem as he left the village looking over his shoulder. James Hillier made a brief stop; but with all okay, he continued. Victor Lopez was again a highflyer; Mikey Evans was lower and flatter but had to wrestle the bike through the village as it fought for its head. All in all, some very good action for the crowd to enjoy.

Dean Harrison upped his p.b. to 123.996mph, Davo Johnson improved to 123.800mph; with Rob Hodson up to 123.562mph. Herbertson, Rutter and McCormack all improved on their first lap speed. Nathan Harrison is settling in on the Ashcourt RC45; with some help from Lee Johnston; he broke the 120mph barrier on his second lap. In the Senior MGP; it was Tom Robinson who took over at the top of the chart with 118.059mph. Samuel Mousley (Gwrhyd Yamaha) upped his best to 117.906mph; with Ingham recording 117.542mph. Lopez was also over 117mph. David Rigby was neat at Ballaugh and upped his best to 116.086mph; Marcus Simpson was next nest newcomer at 114.601mph.

The second session for the Junior MGP, Lightweight MGP and Senior Classics was in full swing when the dreaded red flag appeared. This brought the session to an early conclusion. No details of the incident that occasioned the red flag have been released as yet.