An evening of beautiful weather and a perfectly dry track ended under a dark cloud when the red flag appeared on third lap of the solos’ session. Sadly; Mark Purslow lost his life when he crashed at Ballagarey, Glen Vine. Our condolences go to Mark’s family and friends.
What happened on track hardly seems relevant; but it was a night of high speeds with the track rubbered in and bikes at or close to their ideal race settings. Kirk Michael was bathed in sunshine and the crowds gathered at the vantage points; notably at the White House were very large. The first action of the evening came from the Sidecars; they had lost track time to previous sessions being curtailed. 29 outfits started the session, with ben and Tom Birchall leading the way. They were first into Kirk Michael and well clear of their pursuers. Tim Reeves / Kevin Rousseau were next; closely followed by Peter founds / Jevan Walmsley. Dave Molyneux / Daryl Gibson provided a change of engine note on the KTM; Dave will be mightily relieved to have completed a lap at last. Why they were given only one lap at this time was a mystery to all present trackside; it is as if the organisers do not want them at all. Events transpired against the Sidecars, and they did not reappear later as scheduled. The Birchalls were fastest at 116.825mph; Founds was second at 115.432; with Ryan and Callum Crowe third at 114.598; it is easy to forget that they are in only their second year at the event. Gary Bryan / Phil Hyde were 4th; then it was newcomers Harry Payne / Mark Wilkes and fellow newcomers Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie. These were the only crews to lap at over 110mph. John Holden with Dan Sayle in the chair had a troubled time but did limp home.
We then had a session for the solos other than the Supertwins. For once, Dean Harrison was not first on the road; it was Peter Hickman (BMW) who broke the stillness of the early evening as he swept around Douglas Road and plunged into the village to charge between the walls at 170mph. The action provided a great spectacle for the spectators. Hickman was flawless, fast and kerb to kerb as flowed through the corner and away. Glen Irwin (Honda) is gaining pace each evening; he was notable for his leg dangle coming into the corner and being a tad wide on the first lap. The Superbike / senior times show that Peter was the fastest of the evening and the week so far at 131.957mph; just 1.9s faster than Dean Harrison (Kawasaki) 131.713mph. Harrison was electric on the first sector; taking 5.33s from Hickman who is best on the mountain. The other 130 men were the Padgett’s Milenco Honda duo of Davey Todd and Conor Cummins. Michael Dunlop (BMW) and John McGuinness MBE (Honda) both lapped at over 129mph. Glenn Irwin (Honda) continued to be the pick of the newcomers, he set a best of 125.447mph on the Superstock machine on the second lap.
In the Superstock, Hickman was the only rider to lap at over 130mph, with 130.695mph, next was Todd at 129.583mph and then Jamie Coward at 128.190. The Supersport list was headed by Paul Jordan (Yamaha) at 124.041mph. Best of the newcomers was Joe Loughlin at 119.571mph; he was stopped with us by the red flag. Also impressing were Jamie Cringle 115.090mph and Pike’s Peak winner Rennie Scaysbrook at 114.563mph. It was good to see Michael Sweeney, Sam West and Ilja Caljouw back on track following their accidents on Monday.
The next session is Thursday evening for which conditions are set to be ideal.