Manx GP 2022: Dunlop, Smith Remain Pace Setters

Manx GP 2022: Dunlop, Smith Remain Pace Setters
With unquestionably the best conditions of this week thus far, the mood in Parc Ferme ahead of tonight’s Classic Superbike practice session was positive to say the least.

Commencing at 6:30 PM, first away were the Michael’s, 28 times TT winner’s combined Dunlop and Rutter.

Fastest to Glen Helen, Team Classic Suzuki’s Dunlop soon hit problems, leaving the course at Glen Vine.

In Dunlop’s absence, Kawasaki runners a plenty dominated yesteryear big-bike competition.

Quickest across flying laps was reigning class Champion David Johnson (124.504), followed closely by Team ACR (Alasdair Cowan Racing) team-mate Craig Neve (124.275).

Ryan Kneen (123.611), Nathan Harrison (122.911) also showed a swift turn of speed whilst 21 times TT winner Dunlop, now out aboard the exotic SRAD GSX-R 750 Suzuki, lapped at 122.167 mph.

Soon the Ballymoney roads maestro was back out aboard XR69 Suzuki tackle and in determined mood went onto lap from a standing start at 124.676 mph (18 minutes 09.450 seconds).

This jumped Dunlop to the helm of tonight’s Classic Superbike leader board, 1.499, pretty much 1.5 seconds in front of Aussie ace Johnson.

In terms of the Senior MGP fraternity, Stephen Smith continued to command class proceedings, registering another 119 mph plus lap speed.

No.1 plate holder Smith, second timed lap, looked good to be a high 120 mph, 121 mph lap before stopping at Bedstead.

Despite this he still finished strongly top of tonight’s times sheet with nearest pursuer been David McConnachy (117.942).

Rounding out this evening’s Senior top 6 were Spain’s Victor Lopez Santos (117.685), Chris Cook (117.486), Tom Robinson (116.85) and Sam Mousley (115.897).

12th fastest overall, speediest newcomer was Frenchman Amalric Blanc (113.429 mph – 19 minutes 57.472 seconds).

Other Manx GP newbies registering new PB lap speeds included Paul Cassidy (113.006), Lewis Arrowsmith (111.727) and Martimotos Racing’s Maurizio Bottalico (110.493).

Photo credit: Nick Wheeler

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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