Archibald dominates TT practice

Published: 27 May 2003

The practice sessions at the Isle of Man TT kicked off in their usual unpredictable style with a car crash and mud on the road causing delays to the start on Saturday and a glitch in the new timing system presenting some interesting results.

TAS Suzuki riders David Jefferies and Adrian Archibald dominated the time sheets over the first three practices with only Ryan Farquhar and Martin Finnegan, both in only their second year at the TT, coming close to their 118mph laps. Archibald has clocked the best time so far with a 19:09.6 at 118mph in Monday morning’s session.

With the track still very slippery from the afternoon’s downpours the riders went out for their first taste of the circuit on Saturday evening. Archibald topped the 600cc Production class on his GSX-R600 at 111mph, while eight-times TT winner Jim Moodie topped the Junior class on the Triumph Daytona 600 with a lap speed of 113mph.

Outright lap record holder Jefferies didn’t shine until Monday. He was ordered to take it easy on his new GSX-R600 on Saturday finishing on a 100mph lap. Then when he went out on his GSX-R1000 he broke down before he’d even got half way round the circuit.

Farquhar took his Suzuki GSX-R1000 to the fastest laps in both the Formula One and Production 1000cc classes with an average speed of 117mph.

Conditions had cleared on Monday but the roads were still damp in places. Jefferies was first out in the morning completing a lap on his on his 1000cc production machine. But it was the turn of his GSX-R600 to break down, leaving him stranded at Greba with no way of getting back to the paddock.

Archibald and Farquhar were the two to watch in the early morning session. Archibald beat Farquhar to the top time on his Suzuki GSX-R600 with a 118mph lap, while Farquhar on a Kawasaki ZX-6RR finished ten seconds down on 117mph. Third fastest was Kiwi Bruce Anstey with a 116mph lap on the Triumph Daytona, seven seconds behind Farquhar.

The evening session saw Jefferies put in another 118 lap on his F1 GSX-R1000, but Archibald beat him by four seconds on his GSX-R600. When they went out on the Production 1000cc bikes Archibald bettered his team-mate again with a 116mph lap, while Jefferies finished 10 seconds behind on 115mph.

The most surprising event of the weeknd came in the first practice on Saturday night. People were amazed to see that the David Jefferies’ 127mph lap record had been smashed and now stood at 132.33. But when they looked at the rider details to see who had managed the feat they found that it was in fact ‘TX1186495’ - a bug in the new transponder timing system that set random times throughout the evening!

Check back regularly for all the latest news, results and reports from the Island over the next two weeks.

Click the link on the right to get the latest update from our first time TT rider Chris McGovern as he prepares for his race in the Lightweight class. Or go to our TT discussion board to find out what others are saying about this story.