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Classic TT: Anstey up and running, Dunlop fastest again

Bruce Anstey heads Lightweight times during Wednesday practice at Classic TT after completing first laps this week on RS250 Honda, Michael Dunlop clocks 123mph to top Superbike leaderboard.
New Zealand's Bruce Anstey finally completed his first laps during practice this week for the Classic TT to top the times in the Lightweight session.

Anstey, forced to retire early in the opening two sessions on Monday and Tuesday, clocked 113.776mph on the Padgetts RS250 Honda in perfect conditions on Wednesday evening.

However, he failed to get a lap in on the YZR500 Yamaha, returning to pit lane after the GP bike developed a problem.

Michael Dunlop again reminded everyone that he will be the man to beat in Monday's Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Race with a lap of 123.263mph – the fastest to date in qualifying.

Dunlop later went out on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta he will race in Monday's Okells Junior race and promptly posted the fastest time in that class to date as well at 102.082mph.

The improved conditions were reflected in the lap times throughout the field with many of the riders now clearly dialled in and taking advantage of the dry roads to post their best times of the week.

Michael Rutter (Harris Yamaha), Ivan Lintin (Devitt RC Express Kawasaki), Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) and James Hillier (Greenall Kawasaki) all posted 122mph laps in the Superbike class.

In the concurrently-run Lightweight session, Ian Lougher – who has topped the leaderboard for the first two qualifying sessions – was reported as a retirement at Braddan Bridge on his opening lap on the LayLaw Yamaha while Dan Cooper was also a retirement at Ballacraine.

However, there was no such misfortune for Anstey, who was able to complete his first lap of the meeting at 113.776mph – just over a second off Ian Lougher's fastest qualifying time to date for the class set in the previous evening's session. Anstey followed this up with a second lap of 113.571mph.

With a number of competitors in both the Superbike and Lightweight classes still circulating a red flag incident at Creg-ny-Baa curtailed the session and after a short delay, the bikes that remained on the course returned under yellow flags and were short-lapped.

This meant that the second session, for Senior and Junior Classic TT machines, was delayed by over 20 minutes before the session finally got underway just before 7.40pm. Morecambe based duo John McGuinness and Alan Oversby had already set off on the Winfield Paton and Davies Motorsport Honda respectively before completing laps under waved yellow flags.

Dean Harrison was an early retirement on the Black Eagle Racing MV in the Junior session at Ballacraine while Oversby also returned shortly after setting off on his second attempt at a competitive lap.

McGuinness also retired on his second lap but the Team Winfield Paton mantle was picked up by his team-mate Conor Cummins, who posted the fastest time of the session with 107.199mph while Maria Costello, also riding a Paton, was second fastest on the night at 105.044mph.

Michael Dunlop's first completed lap on the Black Eagle Racing MV Agusta topped the qualifying leaderboard for the Junior class, beating Rutter's time from the previous evening.

Jamie Coward (101.640mph) riding the Ted Woof Honda and William Dunlop (100.977mph) on the Davies Motorsport Honda were also both inside Rutter's previous fastest time for the class.

Ben Wylie was reported as off but unhurt at Laurel Bank in the Superbike session while Tom Snow was also uninjured after coming off at the Nook.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts RS250 Honda at the Classic TT.
Bruce Anstey on his way to victory in the TT Zero race.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgett`s Honda RC213V-S during Isle of Man TT practice.
Bruce Anstey on the Padgett`s Honda RCV213V-S during practice for the Isle of Man TT.
Bruce Anstey on the Mugen machine at TT 2016.
Honda Racing riders John McGuinness and Guy Martin
Bruce Anstey on the Padgetts Honda FIreblade.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Michael Rutter and John McGuinness during the pre-event press conference ahead of the 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.
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.
Bruce Anstey on the YZR500 Yamaha at the Classic TT.
Senior TT race winner Michael Dunlop, runner-up Ian Hutchinson and John McGuinness
Bruce Anstey, William Dunlop and Daley Mathison were the top three in the SES TT Zero race.
Bruce Anstey won the SES TT Zero race on the Mugen.
John McGuinness on the Honda Racing Fireblade at Ballacrye

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