TT 2017: Hutchinson fastest from Dunlop as practice roars into life

Ian Hutchinson at Ballaugh Bridge during TT practice on Tuesday.
Ian Hutchinson at Ballaugh Bridge during TT practice on Tuesday.

Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson narrowly topped the Superbike times from Michael Dunlop as Isle of Man TT practice finally commenced on Tuesday evening.

Hutchinson, who was also fastest in the Supersport session, clocked 125.839mph on his second lap on the S1000RR after making some tweaks in the pits. The Bingley Bullet set an opening lap of 122.704mph and was quickest through the Sulby speed trap at 190.1mph.

Michael Dunlop completed his first laps of the TT course on his new Bennetts Suzuki on Tuesday evening.

Michael Dunlop completed his first laps of the TT course on his new Bennetts Suzuki on Tuesday evening.

Ulsterman Dunlop posted his fastest time on his first lap from a standing start of 125.680mph on the new Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000, leaving him around 1.4 seconds back on Hutchinson. Last year’s Superbike and Senior TT winner was slightly slower on his second lap after making some adjustments in the pits, lapping the Mountain Course at 125.174mph. Dunlop topped 188mph through the speed trap.

Riders were warned of damp patches around the course by Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson as practice got the green light for the first time in 2017 after Saturday’s and Monday’s scheduled sessions were cancelled due to a combination of rain, mist and fog.

Manx rider Dan Kneen was third fastest in the Superbike session on the Penz13.com BMW after a lap of 124.642mph, with Peter Hickman on the Smiths BMW (124.093mph) and Steve Mercer (Dafabet Devitt RC Express Kawasaki) completing the top five (123.870mph).

Lee Johnston, who is riding his BMW Superstock machine, was sixth fastest after a lap of 123.008mph, which put him ahead of his good friend Dean Harrison, who managed an opening speed of 122.853mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki. Bradford man Harrison was on a fast second lap when he was forced out at the Mountain Box with a problem.

Honda Racing’s Guy Martin set his fastest lap of the evening on the Fireblade SP2 at 120.081mph. Honda is understood to have switched to the same Motec electronics used by the team’s British Superbike riders after initially running the kit system. The decision was taken in the wake of John McGuinness’s crash at the North West 200, which has forced the 23-time TT winner to miss the event.

William Dunlop lapped at 121.616mph on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha while Derek Sheils nudged 120.965mph on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.

In the Supersport session, Hutchinson led the way on the McAMS Yamaha at 121.147mph from Dunlop, who lapped at 121.020mph on his MD Racing Yamaha.

Gary Johnson was third fastest on his Triumph machine at 120.311mph ahead of Flying Kiwi Bruce Anstey (119.794mph) on the Padgetts Honda. JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s James Hillier (119.76mph) and Jamie Coward (Radcliffe’s Honda) were the top six.

William Dunlop was seventh fastest on the IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha (118.781mph) ahead of Dan Kneen (Jackson Honda).

Several riders opted to go out on their Superstock machines and it was Michael Rutter who topped the time sheets on his Bathams SMT BMW at 124.17mph. Bruce Anstey lapped at 123.722mph with his Padgetts Honda team-mate Conor Cummins third fastest at 121.181mph.

Rutter was also quickest in the Lightweight class at 113.946mph on the Paton from last year’s winner Ivan Lintin (Dafabet Devitt RC Express Kawasaki) by only nine tenths of a second. Dan Cooper was third quickest (111.833mph) ahead of Peter Hickman, who lapped at 111.605mph on the KMR Kawasaki.

The newcomers kicked off the action on a speed controlled lap, with Adam McLean and Paul Jordan getting their first laps done in anger on their respective Kawasaki machines. McLean proved quickest of the debutants as the Tobermore rider lapped at 112.89mph.

In the Sidecar session, Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle were fastest at 114.090mph from Ben and Tom Birchall (113.641mph). Peter Founds/Jevan Walmsley were third quickest (110.427mph) ahead of Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes (109.719mph).

SUPERBIKE

1. Ian Hutchinson (Tyco BMW) 125.839mph

2. Michael Dunlop (Bennetts Suzuki) 125.680mph

3. Dan Kneen (Penz13.com BMW) 124.642mph

4. Peter Hickman (Smiths BMW) 124.093mph

5. Steve Mercer (Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki) 123.870mph

6. Lee Johnston (East Coast BMW) 132.008mph

7. Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) 122.853mph

8. Daniel Hegarty (Top Gun Honda) 122.585mph

9. Gary Johnson (Gary Johnson Suzuki) 122.085mph

10. Ivan Lintin (Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki) 121.824mph

SUPERSPORT

1. Ian Hutchinson (McAMS Yamaha) 121.147mph

2. Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha) 121.020mph

3. Gary Johnson (Gary Johnson Racing Triumph) 120.311mph

4. Bruce Anstey (Padgetts Honda) 119.794mph

5. James Hillier (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 119.776mph

6. Jamie Coward (Radcliffe’s Honda) 118.979mph

7. William Dunlop (IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha) 118.781mph

8. Dan Kneen (Jackson Racing Honda) 118.731mph

9. Lee Johnston (Padgetts Honda) 118.386mph

10. Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) 118.356mph

SUPERSTOCK

1. Michael Rutter (Bathams BMW) 124.117mph

2. Bruce Anstey (Padgetts Honda) 123.722mph

3. Conor Cummins (Padgetts Honda) 121.181mph

4. David Johnson (Fleetwood Grab Services BMW) 120.445mph

5. Horst Saiger (Swiss Moto Kawasaki) 118.869mph

6. Sam West (PRL/Worthington BMW) 117.840mph

LIGHTWEIGHT

1. Michael Rutter (Paton) 113.946mph

2. Ivan Lintin (Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki) 113.856mph

3. Dan Cooper (Dan Cooper Racing Kawasaki) 111.833mph

4. Peter Hickman (KMR/IEG Kawasaki) 111.605mph

5. Stefano Bonetti (Paton) 111.347mph

6. Martin Jessopp (Riders Motorcycles Kawasaki) 110.828mph