23 August 2012
Jamie Coward sets fastest time of Manx GP practice
Jamie Coward raises benchmark with 119mph lap during practice for Manx Grand Prix to head Junior and Senior leaderboards
Yorkshire's Jamie Coward made a statement of intent during practice for the Manx Grand Prix last night as he recorded the fastest lap of the week so far.
Coward clocked 119.528mph on his Yamaha R6, putting him ahead of Irish rider Wayne Kirwan (115.796mph), Mike Minns (113.663mph) and Stephen McKnight from Northern Ireland, who was fourth fastest in the Junior class with an average speed of 112.572mph on his 600cc Yamaha.
Coward's lap also puts him at the top of the Senior leaderboard with Kirwan second fastest and Manx rider Paul Smyth (114.166mph) third on his PRF Racing 750cc Suzuki.
Michael Sweeney from Skerries near Dublin was ninth fastest for the blue riband Senior race on the Martin Bullock Manxsport 750cc Suzuki.
Last night's practice session was red-flagged after newcomer Adam Nix crashed at Sarah's Cottage.
The session was halted to allow Nix to be transported by ambulance to a waiting helicopter for further transport to Noble's Hospital.
He was described as 'conscious' following the crash.
Russ Mountford topped the times for the Classic machines, lapping the 37.73-mile Mountain Course at 112.447mph.
Behind Mountford, Manx star Dan Kneen was second fastest on his 1985 Suzuki XR69 at 110.360mph followed by Isle of Man TT rider liaison officer John Barton at 108.826mph.
Davy Morgan, winner of the 250cc race at the Ulster Grand Prix, was fifth fastest at 106.597mph.
Ryan Farquhar, quickest in the Classic Superbike session on Monday evening, was on a hot lap on his Suzuki XR69 until he encountered problems.
His young rival, Michael Dunlop, continues to face an uphill struggle with his Trident Engineering Suzuki XR69, lapping at 103.557mph.
Sweden's Bjorn Gunnarsson set the pace in the Newcomers A class at a respectable 107.971mph, with Antrim's John Simpson third fastest on the Splitlath Redmond Triumph 675 at 106.595mph.
Reigning British Supersport Cup champion Simpson hopes to make his full debut at the Isle of Man TT in 2013, joining American Mark Miller in the British Superbike outfit.
Ulster's Trevor Ferguson leapt to the top of the Supertwin times on a Kawasaki ER6 supplied by Ryan Farquhar, lapping at 107.622mph to edge the top spot from Mike Minns (107.358mph).
Nigel Moore, also riding a Kawasaki for Farquhar's KMR team, was fourth fastest at 105.008mph behind Joe Phillips.
Practice is scheduled to resume tonight, with the opening event - the Newcomers A race – taking place on Saturday evening.
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