Clear, blue sunny skies greeted Senior Classic, Junior, Lightweight class entrants for part one of this afternoon’s 2023 Manx GP qualifying sessions. First away five minutes behind schedule at 1:05 PM was Ian Lougher (Laylaw Racing Yamaha) and James Hillier (CSC Racing 500 Yamaha). Quickest overall post Glen Helen, Ballaugh Bridge, Ramsey Hairpin timing points was 25 times TT winner Michael Dunlop. ‘Maverick’ remained rapidest towards standing opening timed laps conclusion, lapping at nigh-on 116 mph (115.964 – 19:31.291 seconds). Seven seconds down on Dunlop’s speed was ten times TT winner Lougher (115.253) with third fastest, leading Junior Super Twins exponent, Andrea Majola (114.866). Dafabet Racing Kawasaki mounted Marc Colvin (113.702), Jamie Williams (113.700) we’re covered by only 0.012 of a second! Whilst Team Winfield’s John McGuinness MBE commanded lap one Senior Classic proceedings, lapping at 108.943 mph. Confirmed early retirements, all coming to a stop at Ballacraine were Sam Mousley, Davies Motorsport’s Dominic Herbertson and Andy Lovett. Onto the topic of those banking in flying laps and in particular, attentions for many were transfixed on the battle for Junior times sheet supremacy between Manici Racing Team’s Majola and No.1 plate carrier Colvin. Closely matched, over the Mountain, Majola found a juicy piece of speed and went onto consolidate his position as leading Twins pilot, lapping at 116.102 mph, which equates timing wise to 19 minutes 29.905 seconds. A touch over two seconds behind the affable Italian was Colvin, recording a lap speed of 115.872 mph. McGuinness MBE upped the ante in the Senior Classic field, lapping at 110.848 mph whilst others increasing their pace included Dan Sayle (113.328 – Lightweight), Craven Classic Racing Manx Norton pilot Dean Harrison (107.722 – Senior Classic), Flitwick Motorcycles supported Adam McLean (106.794 – Senior Classic). MGP debutants Joe Yeardsley (114.891), Marcus Simpson (113.363) and David Rigby (112.911). There weren’t any major changes to the sharp-end of aforementioned class leader-boards, before session proceedings ended at 2:20 PM. Photo credit: Nick Wheeler, Mark Corlett Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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