Manx GP 2022: Wednesday Afternoon Practice Summary

Manx GP 2022: Wednesday Afternoon Practice Summary
With the originally planned schedule swung round, first to make the other worldly descent down Bray Hill this afternoon was Senior Classic, Junior, Lightweight class exponents.

Fifteen minutes behind schedule at 1:15 PM, the first pair of racers surging along Glencrutchery Road were Rob Hodson (Ruthless Racing Honda) and Dominic Herbertson (Davies Motorsport Yamaha).

Despite various damp patches around the Mountain Course after heavy overnight rain, speeds remained very impressive.

Setting the fastest Super Twin laps of practice week thus far, fastest overall post opening laps were Team ILR with Mark Coverdale’s Francesco Curinga (114.974) and KTS Racing’s Jamie Williams (114.815).

Jim Hind (113.910) steadfastly topped the Lightweight leader board whilst leading Senior Classics pilot was Stefano Bonetti (107.873).

Early notable retirements included John McGuinness MBE at Ballacrye, Rhys Hardisty at Hillberry and the aforementioned Dominic Herbertson close to Sulby.

Late session proceedings saw Dennis Trollope Racing’s Hind firm up his practice week leader board advantage, lapping at 116.317 mph (19 minutes 27.738 seconds).

This left Hind almost 52 seconds ahead of nearest challenger pace wise, Stuart Hall (111.074).

Italian heroes Bonetti, Curinga remained top of the Senior Classic, Junior times sheets whilst newcomers to show promising speed included Eoin O’Siochru (105.137), Martin Morris (104.624) and Kevin ‘Ago’ Murphy backed Andy Whale (104.496).

Classic Superbikes Captivate:

Attentions then turned towards the combined Classic Superbike/Senior MGP practice session which got underway at 2:33 PM.

First on the road, 21 times TT winner Michael Dunlop was commandingly P1 on the live timing screens after opening laps.

Lapping at 122.914 mph, XR69 Suzuki mounted Dunlop was 16 seconds quicker than Greenall Racing’s Nathan Harrison (121.128).

Dunlop’s best lap speed soon came under scrutiny from Harrison’s Greenall team-mate Rob Hodson.

Setting impressive sector times, Hodson post his first flying lap, went quickest lapping at 123.417 mph, the fastest lap speed to date of practice week.

A late injection of pace saw the most recent Superbike Classic conqueror David Johnson (123.233) finish second quickest in front of Team Classic Suzuki’s Dunlop.

Respectively fourth, fifth fastest were Johnson’s Team ACR (Alasdair Cowan Racing) team-mate Craig Neve (122.91) and reigning Senior MGP Champion Harrison (122.835).

Remaining competitors to nudge past the 120-mph lap mark were Mistral Racing’s Paul Jordan (120.487), Sunday’s pace setter Brian McCormack (120.412), DP Coldplaning/TC Racing’s Julian Trummer (120.133) and Dominic Herbertson (120.114).

There was misfortune for triple MGP winner Michael Evans, who was involved in an incident at Sulby Bridge. He was reported to have been airlifted to Nobles with elbow injuries.

Smith Tops Tight Senior Session:

Tight was one word to describe competition from the Senior session which was topped by Alasdair Cowan Racing’s Stephen Smith.

Quickest post opening proceedings, Smith bested his prior lap speed (118.528) come the conclusion of his fourth timed lap, nudged close to the 120-mph mark, lapping at 119.956 mph.

Graham Dobson Racing’s David McConnachy (119.386), Jamie Williams (119.089) joined Smith in banking 119-mph laps.

In total 19 racers registered lap speeds besting 110 mph or better including quickest Mountain Course debutant, Paul Cassidy (111.901).

Added notable newcomers’ speeds were gained by MGP newbies including Amalric Blanc (110.605), Frankie Stennett (109.461), Lewis Arrowsmith (109.34), Maurizio Bottalico (109.005) and Yann Galli (108.302).

Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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