26 August 2010
Michael Dunlop sets Post Classic pace at Manx Grand Prix
Michael Dunlop was the star of the third timed practice of the 2010 Manx Grand Prix, lapping the 37.73-mile Mountain course at an average speed of over 115mph on a machine which is more than 25 years old.
Once again, Michael Dunlop – son of road racing great Robert and nephew of the legendary Joey – has show his class, this time during practice for the 2010 Manx Grand Prix.
During the third timed session, on Wednesday evening, Dunlop put in a series of stunning laps on the Post Classic Senior class, culminating in a fastest lap speed of 115.097mph – only just slower than the fastest lap recorded so far during this week's practice sessions, a 117.793mph circuit.
Dunlop's Suzuki XR69 is at least 25 years old, making the machine older than the rider, but that hasn't prevented it putting in speeds equivalent to some of the modern machinery in the Senior, Junior and Newcomer classes.
When Wednesday evening's session got under way, first out were Andy Brady and Wayne Kirwan in the Junior class, leading the field from the pit lane in front of the TT Grandstand.
Simon Fulton continued his good form from the previous night with a quick opening burst and he was fastest to the first checkpoint at Glen Helen, with Michael Sweeney in hot pursuit in the Junior Class and Ivan Lintin on his Senior machine.
Kirwan was first back to the Grandstand with a first lap of 116.1mph, a speed that was quickly beaten by Sweeney, Fulton and Lintin. Fulton clocked the quickest time of the week so far on his second lap, at 117.793mph, with Sweeney also inside the previous night's fastest lap at 117.319mph.
In the Newcomers A group, Manx riders Tim Venables and Andy Fenton both opened with 110mph-plus laps, with Venables recording his fastest of the week at 112.141mph. Dan Sayle comfortably clocked the fastest first lap in the Lightweights with 114.603, just outside Richard 'Milky' Quayle's MGP Lightweight lap record of 114.8 set in 1999.
Fenton later recorded the fastest Newcomer A time on his second lap with 113.192mph.
The Classic, Post Classic, Ultra Lightweight and Newcomers B session began on time at 7.10pm, with Bob Owen on the 1969 Seeley in the Senior Classic and Maria Costello on one of the Suzuki XR69s in the Post Classic first away.
Olie Linsdell looked like the man to watch in the Post Classics on the Yamaha FZ 746, with Michael Dunlop and Mark Buckley, both riding Suzuki XR69s, following close behind. Linsdell was quickest at each of the five timing checkpoints around the course and clocked the fastest first lap, at 113.87mph, ahead of Dunlop (112.022mph) and Buckley (109.125mph). MGP Rider Liaison officer Johnny Barton, on an '85 Suzuki GSXR, was the fourth fastest in the first lap of the practice, clocking 105.409.
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