Isle of Man TT: Fastest Ever Superbike Qualifier, 131MPH
Dean Harrison topped the Superbike running for the 2018 Isle of Man TT, his impressive 131.376mph the quickest ever lap recorded on the opening night of qualifying
Reporting by Lewis Duncan, Journalist
The opening Superbike and Superstock session of the week was delayed by 20 minutes, after a spectator made their way onto the course at Crosby section, and eventually got underway at 18:40 local time.
Michael Rutter [Bathams BMW] and Manxman Dan Kneen [Tyco BMW] were the first down the road at the start of the session, with soon-to-be pacesetter Dean Harrison not far behind.
Harrison—who was fastest on Saturday in the Supersport session—led the way on his Silicone Engineering Kawasaki Superbike at the first timing section at Glen Helen, and remained unchallenged as he completed his opening lap, setting an initial pace of 17m22.970s at 130.232mph ahead of Tyco BMW's Michael Dunlop.
Dunlop pulled into the pits at the end of his opening lap to switch to his spare Superbike, but bailed out of the lap Quarterbridge and made his way back to the paddock via the public roads.
Conor Cummins started the session on his Superstock Padgetts Honda, and led the class timings at the end of his first lap with a 17m39.670s lap at 128.180mph, which put him third overall.
Harrison lit up the timing screens again on his second lap, guiding his ZX-10RR to a 131.376mph in a time of 17m13.886s, while Cummins moved up to second on the overall timings and remained top in the Superstock class with a 17m28.181s at 129.584mph.
Cummins switched to his Superbike for the final 20 minutes of the session, but stopped at Ballacraine.
Harrison's 131.376mph lap stood as the best in the Superbike class and overall through to the end of the session, with Dunlop—who was able to re-join the action—second ahead of Smiths Racing BMW rider Peter Hickman.
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Kneen completed the top five in Superbikes ahead of Quattro Plant Kawasaki's James Hillier, Gulf BMW's David Johnson, Penz13 BMW's Jamie Coward, Norton's Josh Brookes – who stopped late in the session at Sulby Bridge – and Honda's Lee Johnston, while 16-time TT winner teammate Ian Hutchinson was 16th on his first Superbike session on the Island since the leg-breaking crash he suffered in the Senior TT last year.
Cummins looked to hold onto Superstock top spot, but a final lap of 130.219mph for Hickman saw the British Superbike regular snatch first place. Kneen, David Johnson and Harrison completed the top five.
Devitt Racing's Ivan Lintin was comfortably fastest in the Supersport timings on his Kawasaki with a 123.563mph lap at 18m19.264s.