TT 2022: Todd, Irwin Light-Up Opening 1000cc Practice Session

TT 2022: Todd, Irwin Light-Up Opening 1000cc Practice Session
A new TT era in more ways than one commenced this afternoon, as racers sped down Bray Hill for the first time within the current decade.

Lots of focus was on the TT+ live coverage, allied to new safety features around the Mountain Course and the notable absence of the iconic TT scoreboard.

Competitive action got underway twenty minutes behind schedule at 1:50 PM with the solo, Sidecar newcomers speed-controlled lap featuring Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin, IRRC Supersport front-runner Ilja Caljouw, Team A.R.C’s Lee Crawford and Pikes Peak winner Rennie Scaysbrook.

Once newcomers completed their speed-controlled laps, timed Superbike/Superstock/Supersport practice kicked-off.

First away was nine times Macau GP winner, seven times TT Champion Michael Rutter.

Fastest to Glen Helen aboard his Superstock steed was Gas Monkey Garage by FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman.

By Ramsey, Hickman was averaging for a standing start lap, 136 mph!

As standing start laps concluded, Hickman posted a best lap speed of 124.79 mph. Second quickest also piloting Superstock tackle Conor Cummins, additionally nudged past the 124-mph lap mark.

Third fastest behind Cummins was Milenco by Padgetts team-mate Davey Todd whilst fourth fastest, quickest Superbike exponent was John McGuinness MBE.

World’s fastest road racer Hickman continued to set the pace during second timed laps, ultimately setting a new fastest lap speed of 126.48 mph.

This was almost surpassed by Manxman Cummins (126.19), with just over 2.4 seconds covering the riders, who between them have 25 International road-race victories.

McGuinness MBE (124.95) remained at the helm of the Superbike leader-board whilst Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston (120.846) jumped to P1 on the Supersport leader-board.

Speeds increase, prodigious end to opening session:

Six times North West 200 victor Glenn Irwin during his third timed lap, bested Peter Hickman’s newcomers first practice record lap-speed from 2014, lapping at a very impressive 116.463 mph.

Irwin later on in the session aboard Stock 1000, Superbike tackle, went even faster, lapping at 118.665 mph then incredibly 121 mph, 122 mph plus! 122.616, an extremely positive start to his maiden TT Races tenure.

Other TT newbies impressing included Team ILR/Mark Coverdale’s Joe Loughlin (114.992) and DP Coldplaning/TC Racing’s Milo Ward (116.575).

The pace was steadily increasing lap on lap and soon Hickman’s previous top lap speed (126.48) was toppled by respected rival, DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison (126.98).

Still quickest Superstock exponent, Hickman’s opening Superbike stint didn’t go to plan, encountering pit-limiter problems.

Conor Cummins also encountered problems whilst team-mate, the on-form Davey Todd put down an early marker, lapping from a standing start at 126.752 mph.

Todd then went a touch speeder during his following lap, dipping over the 127-mph lap-mark (127.492), to give him the honour of been fastest overall, top Superbike runner from Sunday afternoon practice.

David Datzer (116.726) unofficially set his fastest TT lap to date whilst others going under the radar quietly impressing included Sam West (125.216), Senior Manx GP winner Nathan Harrison (122.94) and BE Racing/RK Racing’s Michael Browne (120.282).

Photo credit: Mark Corlett, Nick Wheeler

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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