TT blog Tuesday June 1: Fast laps despite the damp

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Any chance of real blisteringly fast laps were washed out tonight by the rain earlier in the day that left damp patches around the course and robbed the dry sections of the grip that had been building the previous night.

With that in mind, Ian Hutchinson’s 128.017mph lap on the Padgetts Honda was even more impressive.

He’s certainly set himself up as the pacesetter in the first couple of evenings but it really is early days in the 2010 TT.

But that’s not saying that Hutchy’s about to be toppled from the top spot. It’s just that there’s so many fast lads in the frame this year.

I’m surprised people haven’t been expecting this of Hutchy though. In my book his 2009 TT was enough to mark him down as joint favourite for this year along with John McGuinness, though I know not everyone felt that he was as competitive on a superbike as he was in the other classes.

I know a superbike is much stiffer than a stocker but c’mon, it’s still a 1000cc superbike at heart and you’re only talking two or three mph difference in lap records.

Guy Martin has shown in the two evenings of practice that he’s competitive on the Wilson Craig Hondas – something that might have been questionable after his trouble-torn NW200.

He wasn’t the only one coming into the TT with something to prove. I think some people had foolishly written Cameron Donald off after his disappointing NW200.

I heard rumours that the Aussie was struggling with his shoulder he injured last year – but while I know he’s been having massages on it, I don’t think that was the root cause of his NW200 problems.

I’m sure that was more a case of setting the bikes up and getting himself ready for the TT. After all, you don’t run 127mph laps at the TT if you’re not 100%. Donald is on it.

So is his Relentless by TAS Suzuki team-mate Bruce Anstey. He’s doing more with his superbike in practice than any other bike.

He’s spending more time with his crew to get it sorted and, from what I hear from his camp, he desperately wants to lock away a big bike TT win.

He was third quickest at 126.9 tonight and while you’d never rule Bruce out of any race, he really does look in a more determined mood than I’ve ever seen him.

Keith Amor’s approaching his ride on the HM Plant Honda in a cool, methodical way, somehow managing to control his excitement of having been gifted one of the best bikes in the race at the 11th hour.

He took it really steady on Monday night, easing himself into the TT and the new bike but tonight has shown his true pace at 126mph and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more from him in the evenings to come.

The other rider to really impress me tonight has been rookie David Johnson on the DP Coldplaning Honda.

The Aussie’s laid-back demeanour obviously belies just how much work he’s put into learning everything he can about the TT because he put in a lap of 116mph tonight – and each time he goes out he knocks more time off.

Stephen Thompson is also progressing well, lapping at 114mph but I know he was a little disappointed not to have gone faster after a really smooth ride (those are the laps when you pick up time) on the Suzuki.      

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin