TT 2017: Anstey leads Superbike times but Hutchinson fastest overall
Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey set the fastest Superbike lap of TT practice so far on the Padgett's Honda RC213V-S, but it was Ian Hutchinson who clocked the quickest time overall on his Tyco BMW Superstock machine on Friday night.
Anstey made the most of the fine conditions around the Mountain Course as he completed three laps on the MotoGP machine, setting his best lap in17m 31.199s on his second lap to record an average speed of 129.212mph.
After Thursday’s practice was cancelled due to heavy rain, the sunshine and pleasant weather was a welcome sight on the Isle of Man, although some damp patches were reported around the course.
Yorkshireman Hutchinson had been on course for a fast Superbike lap on his Tyco BMW but was forced out with a problem at Governor's.
The 14-time TT winner later lapped at 129.535mph on his Superstock machine to set the quickest time in practice so far.
Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop was second fastest on the Bennetts Suzuki as the outright lap record holder went round at 128.576mph on his opening lap. However, the 28-year-old was slightly slower on his second lap at 127.627mph.
The evergreen Michael Rutter slotted into third after a lap of 127.390mph on the Bathams SMT BMW, followed by James Hillier on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki (127.308mph), Manx rider Conor Cummins (127.227mph) on the Padgett’s Honda and Bradford’s Dean Harrison, who clocked 127.203mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.
The TT’s fastest ever newcomer, Peter Hickman, was seventh quickest on the Smiths Racing BMW at 126.978mph followed by Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston (126.975mph), who is riding the East Coast BMW Superstock bike.
Hutchinson’s blistering lap put him well clear in the Superstock times as he led the way at 129.535mph, followed by Rutter (128.588mph) and Harrison (128.477mph).
Hickman dropped into fourth place on the Smiths BMW (128.028mph) ahead of Braddan man Dan Kneen, who lapped at 127.232mph on the DTR Penz13.com BMW.
Ulsterman Dunlop did a lap on his new Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 at 125.328mph to leave him in sixth place ahead of Dubliner Derek Sheils, who pumped in a solid lap at 125.097mph on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.
In the Supersport class, Dunlop briefly nudged Harrison off the top as he blazed round at 123.325mph on his MD Racing Yamaha.
However, he was knocked back to second place by the English rider, who upped his pace to 124.353mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki on his second lap.
Hutchinson, who has won the last four Supersport TT races, was third on his McAMS Yamaha (123.191mph) ahead of Hillier (122.930mph) and Cummins (122.190mph).
William Dunlop’s best lap on the IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha was 121.272mph as he ended the night in 11th place on the times, with Lee Johnston lapping at 121.858mph on the Padgett’s Honda to claim the eighth best lap.
Newcomer Adam McLean excelled on the MSS Kawasaki as the Tobermore lad clocked his best ever lap of the 37.73-mile course a 119.062mph. It was a brilliant effort by McLean, who is having a superb season so far after winning the Supersport race at the Cookstown 100 before finishing fourth in the class in the Saturday race at the North West 200.
Meanwhile, Italian rider Stefano Bonetti hit the top in the Lightweight session with a speed of 115.694mph ahead of Hickman on Ryan Farquhar’s KMR/IEG Kawasaki (114.858mph), with James Cowton completing the top three on the McAdoo Kawasaki at 114.836mph.
Lee Johnston, also riding for Dungannon man Farquhar’s team, was fifth fastest at 114.734mph behind Dan Cooper from Stroud (114.790mph).
Last year’ race winner Anstey was quickest in the TT Zero session on the Mugen machine at 109.52mph with team-mate Guy Martin lapping at 108.41mph. Only three machines finished the one-lap session.
Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki rider Steve Mercer crashed at the 11th Milestone and was taken to Nobles hospital. Mercer was said to have escaped serious injury in the incident and was conscious.
Frank Gallagher came off at the Gooseneck but was reported to be okay.