TT Practice: Brookes sets fastest ever new comer lap on first night of practice
Perfect conditions greeted competitors as the 2013Isle of Man TT Races, powered by Monster Energy, got underway with bright sun, light winds and dry roads all around the 37 and ¾-mile course. As has become the norm in recent years, the newcomers were given their speed controlled lap and it was Richard Quayle who left the line first closely followed by Josh Brookes, Jonathan Howarth and Gavin Hunt. John McGuinness, Bruce Anstey, Keith Amor and John Barton were the other experience riders escorting the batch of circuit debutantes around.
Upon completion of his first ever closed roads lap, BSB star Brookes said, "It was a really enjoyable lap but it's easy when you have someone to follow round. You brake when they brake, turn left when they turn left etc! It was a good guideline on how to ride the course but the hard work starts now."
However, the Tyco Suzuki rider proved how much he'd been doing his homework with three laps later on in the session of 109.980, 110.100 and, the best of all, 114.620, which officially made him the fastest ever newcomer on the opening night of practice. Mind you, it was close with Dutchman Branko Srdanov impressing greatly on the Ice Valley BMW with a lap of 113.800.
At 6.50pm it was the turn of the first official session, for Lightweight machines, and the field was led away by Michael Dunlop and Ben Wylie, followed in turn by the returning Chris Palmer and Russ Mountford, Ivan Lintin and James Hillier, and Gary Johnson and Dean Harrison. Expected front runners Michael Rutter, Conor Cummins, Jamie Hamilton and Cameron Donald were also well to the fore taking full advantage of the perfect weather.
First to complete a lap was Dunlop at 111.85mph with Hillier, Lintin and Donald all over 11mph. However, as the session wore on the times quickened and the final leaderboard saw Dunlop quickest at 113.560 followed by Lintin (113.420), Rutter (113.100), Cummins (112.590), Donald (112.510) and Harrison (112.100).
Later on it was the turn of the sidecars and they were led by Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance 111.28.