Classic TT: Dunlop goes second fastest with near 125mph lap

Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki on Friday evening.
Michael Dunlop on the Team Classic Suzuki on Friday evening.

Michael Dunlop made up for lost time as he posted the second fastest lap overall during Classic TT practice on the Team Classic Suzuki on Friday evening.

The Ballymoney man has been plagued by issues during the week with the big Suzuki, retiring on his opening lap on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with engine failures.

Michael Dunlop leaves the line on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 on Friday evening at the Classic TT.

Michael Dunlop leaves the line on the Team Classic Suzuki XR69 on Friday evening at the Classic TT.

However, Dunlop completed his opening lap of the 2017 meeting on the 1216cc XR69 at 124.920mph. The 28-year-old is riding Lee Johnston’s machine after he was ruled out of Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Superbike race after sustaining hand injuries in a sidecar crash at Jurby, when he was the passenger in an F2 Yamaha driven by Dean Harrison.

Bruce Anstey’s lap from Thursday of 125.486mph on the Padgetts Yamaha YZR500 remains the quickest overall lap of practice week.

Behind Dunlop, Jamie Coward was second fastest on Friday evening on the Mistral Kawasaki (124.012mph) with team-mate Dan Kneen lapping at 122.792mph in third.

Racing commences on the Isle of Man on Saturday with the Bennetts Senior race (11.30am) and the Dunlop Lightweight race (3.30pm), both over four laps.

Michael and William Dunlop share a word before practice at the Classic TT on the Isle of Man.

Michael and William Dunlop share a word before practice at the Classic TT on the Isle of Man.

Aussie Josh Brookes is among the favourites in the Senior race on the Winfield Paton after setting the fastest lap in practice at 109.509mph. Brookes was called into the team to make his Classic TT bow after last year’s winner John McGuinness was ruled out through injury.

In the Lightweight race, last year’s winner Anstey is the clear favourite after unofficially setting a new lap record on Wednesday on the Padgetts Honda RS250 at 118.812mph.

Ian Lougher (LayLaw Yamaha), Dan Sayle (Steelcote Solutions Yamaha), Michael Rutter (Grinta Racing Ducati) and Michael Dunlop on the Turner Racing Yamaha will all be gunning for the podium.

Meanwhile, Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed was fastest again in the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers A class on his Triumph, lapping at 115.317mph.

A full course red flag was declared after Scunthorpe rider Mark Foster crashed at Hailwood Heights on his Kawasaki ZX-6R. He was taken by ambulance to Noble’s Hospital with leg injuries.

The session was then called off due to debris on the course at the scene and deteriorating visibility.