Beginning at 6:28 PM, decent conditions, albeit with the odd damp patch on the fabled, mythical Mountain Course greeted racers for this evening’s eagerly awaited Superbike/Lightweight Classic TT practice session.
Fresh from competing at the latest British Superbike Championship round at Cadwell Park, Dunlop Senior TT winner Dean Harrison was quickly on the pace, setting purple sectors at Ramsey, the Bungalow and Cronk Ny Mona.
Come the completion of his standing start lap aboard the Silicone Engineering Racing ZXR 750 Kawasaki, Harrison registered a lap speed of 123.42 mph, which equates timing wise to 18 minutes 20.532 seconds.
After his first lap exploits, it was soon revealed on Manx Radio that the bracket holding the exhaust on Harrison’s ZXR 750 Kawasaki was loose.
Others alongside seven times International Road Race winner Harrison to encounter teething troubles with their yesteryear Superbike mounts included standing start lap retirements Paul Jordan (Ballacrye), David Johnson (Crosby), Wayne Axon (St Ninians), Michael Booth (Barregarrow Cross Roads) and Adrian Harrison (Sulby Bridge).
Photo by Nick Wheeler
With early pace setter Harrison switching his attentions to the Laylaw Racing TZ 250 Yamaha, the pace from those taking in ‘Flying Laps’ was set by 2017 TT Privateers Champion, Greenall Racing’s Horst Saiger.
Saiger’s lap speed of 122.87 mph, placed him just under five seconds off the pace produced by reigning class champion Harrison.
PreZ Racing/Kraus Racing’s Jamie Coward (120.70) also topped the 120 mph lap mark, on route to finishing third quickest whilst fourth place on the timing screens went to 2019 Irish Road Race Superbike Champion Derek Sheils (118.38).
Rounding out tonight’s ten fastest yesteryear Superbike class competitors were new Wilcock Consulting Racing signing Joe Thompson (117.60), Team Winfield’s Michael Rutter (117.25), YZR 500 Yamaha mounted Conor Cummins (116.69), Gary Johnson (116.04) who’s lap two challenge ended at Quarterbridge and DP Coldplaning/TC Racing’s Julian Trummer (115.58).
Others to record impressive lap speeds included Paul ‘Potchy’ Williams (114.41), Allan Brodie (113.36), Cornwall’s Forest Dunn (113.92) and road racing returnee Immingham’s Craig Neve (112.996).
Let’s be honest Lightweight class action this evening was about one man, one true hero, one incredible racer, one unique sportsman, Bruce Anstey.
The hugely respected, genial New Zealander piloting the Milenco by Padgetts RS 250 Honda, reminded everyone of his incredible ability on the Mountain Course, by finishing fastest, over 20 seconds clear of lead Laylaw Racing Yamaha runner Dean Harrison (114.28).
Photo by Mark Corlett
Anstey’s class topping lap speed was an ultra impressive 116.277 mph, a quite remarkable performance from a competitor who many regard as the finest International Road Racer of his generation.
Lead early pursuer Ian Lougher (112.59) took third on tonight’s time sheet, whilst this evening’s fourth fastest lap speed was secured by another Welsh roads star, Geoff Duke Post Classic Junior Pre TT Classic race victor Rhys Hardisty (111.33).
Sidecar TT legend Dan Sayle (109.90) making a very welcomed return to Mountain Course action, finished a more than creditable fifth fastest in front of lead Binch Racing runner Gary Vines (107.54).
Wrapping up Monday evening’s ten fastest Lightweight class competitors were John Barton (106.85), Davies Motorsport’s Dominic Herbertson (106.61), Denmark’s Carsten Svendsen (105.28) and multi Manx GP rostrum finisher Tom Snow (103.68).
Remaining racer’s to top the coveted, illustrious 100 mph lap mark were Irish roads Ultra Lightweight class front runner Sam Grief (102.94), Goole’s Phil Harvey (102.74), James Ford (101.68) and Steven Howard (101.10).
Just as Junior/Senior class competitors took the Mountain Course, red flags entered the horizon following an incident at the Black Hut.
The competitor involved in the incident, was flown to Nobles Hospital and was reported to have sustained leg injuries. Road Racing News wishes the competitor involved a very speedy recovery.
Following a delay in proceedings due to the aforementioned incident, an announcement soon arose from event organisers stating that tonight’s Junior/Senior Classic TT practice session had been cancelled, with factors such as lack of time available, fading light forcing the abandonment.
Words by Stevie Rial