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TT2014: Anstey leads way in opening practice

Bruce Anstey topped the Superbike times on the Padgett's Honda with a 127mph lap as practice for the Isle of Man TT commenced on Monday evening
Kiwi Bruce Anstey was off to a flying start as practice for the 2014 Isle of Man TT blasted off on Monday evening.

Anstey topped the Superbike times on the Valvoline Padgett's Honda, setting the fastest lap of the evening on his fourth and final lap at 127.473mph to clinch the top spot.

Morecambe's John McGuinness was second quickest on the Honda Racing Fireblade at 126.513mph as the 42-year-old completed two laps on his Superbike. The 20-time TT winner has been battling to overcome a broken scaphoid but has made an encouraging start to his preparations on the island.

Gary Johnson on the Lincs Lifting Honda (125.335mph), Tyco Suzuki's William Dunlop (125.400mph) and Michael Dunlop on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR were the top five, followed by Michael Rutter at 124.740mph on the Bathams BMW (124.740mph).

Johnson went out for a lap on his Supersport machine and powered to the top of the times in the class with a speed of 122.619mph on the Smiths Triumph 675R to head McGuinness on the Padgett's Honda at 118.627mph. Northern Ireland's Lee Johnston was third fastest on the East Coast Honda (118.102mph), although the majority of top names concentrated on their Superstock and Superbike machines.

Michael Dunlop, fresh from a win on his MD Racing BMW at the North West 200, topped the Superstock times with a speed of 123.239mph.

Guy Martin was forced to return to the paddock after encountering an issue with his Tyco Suzuki Superbike and went back out on his Superstock machine, setting a best lap of 122.701mph to take the second best time in the class behind Dunlop, with William Dunlop on the Tyco Suzuki third quickest (122.461mph).

Peter Hickman set the fastest ever opening night practice lap by a newcomer of 115.103mph in almost perfect conditions, with only a few damp patches reported at Stella Maris and Ramsey.

British Superbike contender Martin Jessopp, also making his TT bow this year, lapped at 113.293mph on the Riders Motorcycles BMW.

In the Sidecar session, Dave Molyneux and Patrick Farrance were quickest at 114.350mph from Ben and Tom Birchall, who posted a lap in excess of 110mph.

Sidecar crew Tony Thirkell/Nigel Barlow were reported to have been involved in an incident at Sulby Bridge and while Thirkell was unhurt, Barlow was airlifted to Nobles Hospital with reported ankle injuries.

Practice is scheduled to continue on Tuesday evening from 6.20pm.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruce Anstey at the Isle of Man TT
Action from the 2016 North West 200
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during the Classic Superbike race at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Black Eagle MV Agusta at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey won the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Padgetts Honda RS250.
John McGuinness on the Winfield Paton at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Dean Harrison on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 at the Classic TT.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 during practice for the Classic TT.
Ian Lougher, Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston in the winners` enclosure following the 2015 500cc Classic TT
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT.
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop, runner-up Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness
Michael Dunlop on the Hawk Racing BMW in the Senior TT.
Ivan Lintin won the Lightweight TT on the Devitt RC Express Kawasaki.
Bruce Anstey, William Dunlop and Daley Mathison were the top three in the SES TT Zero race.

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