Sulby Bridge; 20 miles into the 37.73 miles of the Mountain Course was the vantage point for Monday evening’s TT practice. The new owners of Riverside Cottage made the photographers welcome; this is the ideal homestay location for next year’s TT. There was a very cool breeze and intermittent cloud; but at least the track was perfectly dry.
There were delays to the start; one for a medical emergency just 10s before the first machines were due to charge off towards Bray Hill. It was 31 minutes beyond the scheduled time of 18.20 when the session began.
Dean Harrison was first to Sulby and had pulled well away from the rest of the riders. He was neat and fast as he powered through and away to Ginger Hall and the tricky Kerrowmoar section. The action was then fast and furious with the riders trying to make the most of their now limited practice time. The top men were within inches of the low wall on the exit of the bridge. Newcomer Rennie Scaysbrook was very close to kissing the bales and local rider Nathan Harrison did well to save what could have been a nasty highside.
Peter Hickman was the headline grabber with the first 130mph lap of the event, his speed of 130.72mph putting him seven seconds clear of second quickest Dean Harrison (129.84mph) with Davey Todd (128.024mph) third.
Todd’s strong start to this year’s event continued as he set the fastest lap in the Superstock class, the Milenco by Padgett’s Motorcycles rider lapping at 129.58mph which put him clear of teammate Conor Cummins (127.91mph) and Manxman Nathan Harrison (125.67mph), the latter having a great start to his maiden TT.
Meanwhile, the newcomers continued to get to grips with the Mountain Course with Glenn Irwin again leading the way at 122.92mph; although both Milo Ward (118.24mph) and Joe Loughlin (117.97mph) impressed.
Dean Harrison (DAO Racing Kawasaki) had the honour of being first away, followed by Michael Rutter (Bathams Ales), Shaun Anderson (Crendon Suzuki by Hawk Racing), Brian McCormack (FHO Racing BMW/ The Roadhouse Macau) and Ian Hutchinson (Milwaukee BMW Motorrad).
All were Superbike mounted other than Anderson who had opted for his Superstock mount, as had Davey Todd and James Hillier (RICH Energy OMG Racing); whilst Gary Johnson was out on his Supersport machine. Peter Hickman (Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing) stalled off the line but quickly got going with John McGuinness MBE (Honda Racing UK) one of the last seeds to go.
First back to the Grandstand was Harrison at 128.18mph followed by Anderson (124.65mph) and Rutter (124.14mph), but Hickman was the quickest through all the sectors and he flashed across the line almost ten seconds quicker than Harrison at 129.37mph.
Todd slotted into third at 127.77mph, which put him quickest in the Superstock class whilst other riders to reach over 125mph were Michael Dunlop (127.29mph), Conor Cummins (126.97mph), Hutchinson and McGuinness (both 125.71mph), Sam West (125.49mph), Jamie Coward (125.17mph), Lee Johnston (125.15mph) and Hillier (125.06mph).
Local rider Nathan Harrison was going superbly and a lap of 125.43mph put him ninth quickest overall on the lap and third overall in the Superstock class. Meanwhile, Glenn Irwin’s opening lap, on the Superstock Honda, was 120.16mph, the Ulsterman struggling slightly with tendonitis.
Second time around and just under three seconds covered Hickman, Harrison and Todd up to Ballaugh but as the lap progressed Hickman edged away and his second lap of 130.72mph put him seven seconds clear of Harrison (129.84mph). McGuinness (127.77mph) was third quickest in the Superbike class ahead of West (126.90mph), Hutchinson (126.39mph) and Johnston (126.25mph).
Todd, meanwhile, was only two seconds slower than Harrison and his lap of 129.58mph put him comfortably quickest in the Superstock category. Cummins (127.91) was 13s back in second and Nathan Harrison third, his second lap slightly quicker than his first at 125.67mph.
Irwin’s second lap of 122.92mph put him fifth quickest on the Superstock leaderboard and 18th overall with fellow newcomer Milo Ward (TC Racing/DP Coldplaning Honda) also going well at 118.24mph. Equally impressive was Joe Loughlin’s lap of 117.97mph in the Supersport division on the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Yamaha.
Hickman, Johnston and Dominic Herbertson were three of the leading contenders to switch to their Supersport mounts for their third lap but, unfortunately, an incident for Sam West at Laurel Bank brought out a red flag and the session to an end just before 8pm – the rider reported conscious with hand and leg injuries.
As solo riders were required to return to the Grandstand, the sidecar session was cancelled for today. The very long delay in re-opening the roads was a source of frustration for those waiting to go home or travel elsewhere.
Rider condition updates:
- Ilja Cajouw, off at the 27th Milestone, reported conscious, airlifted to Noble’s Hospital and has since been discharged.
- James Chawke, off at the Railway Pub, Union Mills, rider OK.
- Jonathan Perry, off at Cruickshanks, rider OK.
- Sam West, off at Pump House, Laurel Bank, reported conscious with hand and leg injuries, airlifted to Noble’s Hospital.
- Michael Sweeney, off at the 11th Milestone, reported conscious with possible arm and leg injuries, airlifted to Noble’s Hospital.
We wish the injured riders a full and speedy recovery.
Report and images by Richard Radcliffe. For more info check out our dedicated Isle of Man TT News page Isle of Man TT