TT 2017: Hutchinson on top as practice cancelled again

Ian Hutchinson lapped at almost 129mph from a standing start on the Tyco BMW.
Ian Hutchinson lapped at almost 129mph from a standing start on the Tyco BMW.
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Wednesday’s practice session at the Isle of Man TT was cancelled after only one full lap as the weather closed in.

With the air ambulance helicopters unable to take off, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson was left with no alternative other than to cancel the session.

Michael Dunlop at Ballagarey on the Bennetts Suzuki.

Michael Dunlop at Ballagarey on the Bennetts Suzuki.

Practice on Saturday and Monday was also called off due to the weather, with one full session taking place so far on Tuesday evening.

Tyco BMW’s Ian Hutchinson set the fastest lap overall on his Superbike machine on his sole lap from a standing start at 128.987mph. The English rider was pursued once again by Michael Dunlop, who clocked 127.228mph on his Bennetts Suzuki.

As conditions deteriorated, the session was flagged off at the end of the lap. A contingency plan announced earlier in the day was put in place, giving competitors the chance to compete at racing speeds from the Grandstand to Ramsey, before being escorted over the Mountain under controlled speed by a travelling marshal.

Dunlop and Hutchinson again set off on their Superbike machines and the Ulster rider increased his speed on the GSX-R1000, arriving at Ballaugh 1.4 seconds up on Hutchinson.

However, with visibility decreasing, the decision was taken to cancel the session and the riders made their way back to the Grandstand.

With rain forecast for Thursday evening, it now seems likely that Saturday’s race schedule, which features the RST Superbike race, will be switched to Mad Sunday to free up additional practice time. The Superbike race was previously held on a Sunday in 2013, when Dunlop clinched victory on the Honda Legends machine.

Dean Harrison was third fastest on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki at 126.157mph followed by Manx rider Dan Kneen, who did 125.188mph on his Superstock machine.

Lee Johnston went out on the Padgetts Honda Supersport machine and lapped at 122.160mph, while newcomers Adam McLean and Paul Jordan did 106.170mph and 104.719mph respectively.

Dave Sellers crashed at the Gooseneck and was later taken to Nobles hospital with a rib injury.