Michael Dunlop lay down an early marker to his rivals as he dominated the first qualifying session of TT 2023.

In perfect conditions, with little wind and glorious sunshine, the 21-time TT winner topped the charts in all four solo classes, setting an unofficial lap record in the Supertwins of 122.907mph (18m 25.127s) astride his 650 Paton. As it is wasn't set in a race it won't officially lower his previous record of 122.750mph (18.26.543s).

Dunlop then got on his Supersport machine, going fastest on his MD Racing Yamaha with a lap of 17m 49.355s (127.019mph).

By the time the big bike qualifying sessions began, the Ballymoney man had well and truly got his eye in. After setting the quickest Superstock time, with a lap of 130.426 on his return to Honda machinery, he rocketed his Hawk Racing Superbike to the top of the timing charts with a lap of 131.782mph, the quickest of the opening day's action.

Dean Harrison and Peter Hickman were Dunlop's closest challengers in the Superbike class, both clocking laps of more than 131mph.

John McGuinness was fourth quickest and Ramsey's Conor Cummins fifth.

Sidecar Free Practice. Isle of Man TT Races 2023. Photo by Callum Staley (CJS Photography)
Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley (Callum Staley)

In the Superstock, Josh Brookes made an impressive return to the Mountain Course after a five-year absence, with a lap of 17 minutes 54.558 (126.404mph) on the FHO Racing BMW. This was the class's second quickest lap of the day.

In the Supersport, Hickman and Harrison traded places behind Dunlop with Milenco by Padgett's Racing team-mates Davey Todd and Cummins fourth and fifth respectively. Mike Browne completed the top six. Brothers Jamie and Ryan Cringle were 26th and 30th respectively, with Glen Vine newcomer Jorge Halliday 34th.

In the Twins, Jamie Coward was Dunlop's closest rival, with Brian McCormack third. Santon's Mikey Evans was 10th.

Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley were quickest sidecar, ahead of perennial winners Ben and Tom Birchall. Both pairs clocked laps in excess of 117.431mph.

Alan Founds and Jake Lowther were third fastest on day one ahead of Manxies Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle.

Full round up in issue two of TT News, free in the Isle of Man Examiner. To subscribe to all the latest TT news direct to your inbox every morning, click here.