The weather was perfect, there were only damp patches reported at Quarry Bends and everyone was tipping McGuinness for some hot laps in tonight’s practice (Wednesday). He didn’t disappoint.
His standing start lap on the HM Plant Honda was 129.265mph. And his flying lap yielded a 130.242. It was the first 130mph lap of this year’s TT and in doing so McGuinness hammered out a warning to all his rivals that he’s going to take some beating this year.
At his first attempt tonight, Monday and Tuesday’s pacesetter Ian Hutchinson was unhappy with his Padgetts Honda handling after some overnight changes but after reverting back to Tuesday’s settings, he banged in a 129.14mph, second fastest of the night.
Guy Martin was on fire straight off, aboard the Wilson Craig Honda with a 129.14mph standing start lap but he pulled off at Quarterbridge, robbing him any chance of toppling McGuinness. He still finished third overall.
Adrian Archibald was again impressive on his three-year old AMA Racing GSX-R1000 with a lap of 128.618 – to make him the top Suzuki on the night. Cameron Donald clocked fifth quickest time on the Relentless by TAS Suzuki with a 128.011mph lap while Bruce Anstey clocked 127.915mph for seventh – both Suzuki riders pulling off after the first lap to make changes to their machines. The team had lengthened their wheelbase to improve stability but upset the machine in other areas.
Sandwiched between the Suzukis in sixth place was Keith Amor on the HM Plant Honda with a lap of 127.915mph.
Amor also clocked 127.525mph on his superstock BMW but just failed to pip Ryan Farquhar was flying on the KMR Kawasaki with a lap of 128.076mph.
Martin was right up on the leaderboard in this class with a 127.503mph lap. Ian Lougher was fourth with 126.216mph on his Black Horse Finance Kawasaki, from Donald (1226.012mph and Michael Rutter who clocked 125.495mph on the HM Plant Honda but had to pit after a bolt holding the gear lever in place had come adrift.
Michael Dunlop continues to set the pace in Supersport with his Street Sweep Yamaha. He clocked 125.087mph tonight but Hutchinson was hounding him with 125.020mph – after his first two laps on the bike this week.
McGuinness was third with a 123.128mph, despite not being 100% comfortable on the smaller stature machine. William Dunlop was fourth overall on the CD Racing Yamaha at 122.639mph, 0.1mph faster than Conor Cummins on the McAdoo Kawasaki.
Dave Molyneux and Patrick Farrance topped the Sidecar practice with a lap of 114.748 on their DMR Kawasaki.
Klaus Klaffenbock, aiming for his first TT win, and this year teamed with Dan Sayle, was second quickest with a lap of 113.576mph on the LCR Honda. Third were John Holden and Andrew Winkle on an LCR Suzuki at 112.017mph.
There were a number of incidents tonight but no one serious injuries in the solo classes. Three riders, Brian McCormack, Scott Wilson and Paul Shoesmith all came off at Waterworks. Jenny Tinmouth was off at Sulby Bridge. Takahiro Itami came off a Braddan.
Brandon Cretu crashed at the Nook and Stephen McIlvenna was off at Governors. Carl Fenwick and Keir Padley crashed their outfit and Cruickshanks and Pedley was taken to hospital by air-med with leg injuries.