SOUTHERN 100: Michael Dunlop’s on the pace in practice

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop

The Opening Practice Session of the 2017 Isle of Man Steam Packet International Southern 100 Road Races saw Michael Dunlop and Dave Molyneux set the pace.

On the Hawk Racing Suzuki Superbike Michael Dunlop lapped at 2m 17.963s, representing a speed of 110.899mph. Half a second behind was local rider Dan Kneen on the DTR BMW at 110.488mph with Yorkshire’s Dean Harrison third quickest at 110.233mph.

Fellow Yorskireman, James Cowton headed both 600cc Supersport machine sessions, firstly at 107.280mph, then improving to 108.365mph. Dean Harrison and Jamie Coward shared second and third spots in both sessions, with Coward lapping at 108.212mph and Harrison at 108.110mph in the latter session. Michael Dunlop was fourth quickest in both with a best at 107.922mph.

James Cowton was also quickest in the 650cc Supertwin class at 101.747mph with long-time rival Ivan Lintin a mere 0.019 of a second down at 101.724mph. Third overall and top 250 was another Yorkshireman Joe Thompson at 98.349mph who made his debut at the June Post TT Road Races.

Stockport’s Adrian Kershaw was fastest in the first 400/125 session on his 400 Kawasaki he put in a 2.42.268 lap at 94.288mph. Top of the Moto3 class was Dan Sayle at 92.367mph and the 125’s were headed by Gary Dunlop at 88.583mph followed by ‘team-mate’ Derek McGee at 88.549mph.

The second sesssion saw both of the 2017 race winners Darryl Tweed and Seamus Elliott take first and second spots with laps of 96.801mph and 94.302mph. Dan Sayle bettered his lap to 94.047mph, whilst Derek McGee improved to 89.789mph.

Manx Sidecar pairing, Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle set the bench-mark in the Sidecar session with a 100mph lap in 2.32.561 equal to 100.288mph Last year’s winner Tim Reeves was second at 99.189mph with John Holden and Lee Cain third at 98.671mph.

There was one incident in the first Supeerbike Practice involving one rider who was airmed to Nobles Hospital with possible fractures.

Practice continues on Tuesday evening 6.00pm to 7.27pm, followed by the first three races of the 2017 Isle of Man Steam Packet International Southern 100 Road Races with the roads opening no later than 9.40pm.