TT 2018: Michael Dunlop unofficially breaks Lightweight lap record in qualifying

By Sports desk   |   Sports reporter   |
Sunday 27th May 2018 10:37 am
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Michael Dunlop unofficially broke the Lightweight lap record on his Paton as TT 2018 got under way on Saturday night (Photo: Dave Kneen) ()

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Michael Dunlop made a flying start to TT 2018 as he unofficially broke the Lightweight lap record on Saturday night.

On a very impressive first outting on the Paton, Dunlop lapped at 120.875mph, which was just inside James Hillier’s lap record from 2015.

Although records can only be set in races, Dunlop’s lap sets down an early marker for the Bennetts Lightweight TT Race on Wednesday, June 6.

With the big bikes not out until Monday evening’s qualifying session, Dean Harrison went quickest in the Supersport session.

The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki man flashed across the line at 125.797mph to go to the top of the leaderboard although Michael Dunlop was only half a second slower at 125.741mph on his MD Racing Honda.

Ian Hutchinson eased his way back into acton eventually lapping at 121.327mph on the Padgetts Racing 600cc Honda.

Dan Kneen was another rider to post an impressive fourth lap as he improved to 124.703mph, while fellow Manxie Conor Cummins clocked an impressive 125.152mph.

The session was slightly delayed due to oil being cleared between Cronk ny Mona and Signpost and it was 6.25pm when rider liaison officer Richard Quayle set off with newcomers Adam Lyon, David Jackson and Davey Todd for their escorted lap although Jackson only got as far as Ballig Bridge before stopping with a machine that was reported to be smoking.

The sidecar newcomers also had their speed controlled lap at the head of the field with John Holden, Tony Baker and Dave Molyneux leading Francois Leblond/Marlene Couillard, John Saunders/James Saunders, Darryl Rayner/Wendy Campbell, Brian Alflatt/Aaron Gorman, Paul Leglise/Ben McBride, John Shipley/Andrew Haynes and Mike Roscher/Shaun Parker around.

Japan’s Masayuki Yamanaka was reported to be off in the Supersport session at Whitegates but after being assessed at Ramsey Cottage Hospital and transferred by airmed to Nobles, he was reported to have sustained a minor ankle injury.

Monday’s schedule will open up with the first appearance of the Superbikes and Superstock machines at 6.20pm with Supersport and Newcomers except Lightweight also part of the session.

At 7.25pm it will be the turn of the Supersport, Lightweight and Newcomers all classes before the sidecars open their qualifying programme at 8pm.

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