TT 2016: Harrison leads way on opening night

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Dean Harrison opened the 2016 Isle of Man TT with the fastest time in tonight’s Supersport qualifying session.

This year’s event got underway in near perfect conditions as the solo newcomers were led down Bray Hill in twos for their first ever closed roads laps of the course in the untimed session, followed by sidecar newcomers and then a timed Lightweight and Supersport session. 

Harrison set the fastest time of the night, recording a 124.218mph average speed on his Silicone Engineering Kawasaki to top the timesheets ahead of pre-race favourite Ian Hutchinson.

The CAME BPT Yamaha man’s time of 124.156mph placed him ahead of Michael Dunlop, the only other man to record a 124mph in the session.

John McGuinness got his 20th TT off to a strong start with the fourth fastest time (123.422mph) ahead of Conor Cummins, who made his debut on the Padgetts CBR600RR this evening. Cummins’ team-mate Bruce Anstey was sixth ahead of the Kawasaki of Peter Hickman in seventh.

Steve Mercer clocked the eighth fastest time of the night ahead of T3 Racing Triumph’s Gary Johnson with James Hillier rounding out the top ten on the Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki.

Ivan Lintin got off to a strong start in the Lightweight class to set the fastest time of the evening. His time of 116.773mph placed him ahead of James Hillier and James Cowton.

William Dunlop and newcomer Forrest Dunn were both fallers in the evening’s sessions but both were reported to be OK.

Practice resumes on Monday evening.

Supersport Times – Saturday (All times unofficial)

1)      Dean Harrison – Silicone Engineering Kawasaki – 124.218

2)      Ian Hutchinson – CAME BPT Yamaha – 124.156

3)      Michael Dunlop – MD Racing Yamaha – 124.053

4)      John McGuinness – Jackson Honda – 123.422

5)      Conor Cummins – Padgetts Honda – 123.345

6)      Bruce Anstey – Padgetts Honda – 122.653

7)      Peter Hickman – Trooper Kawasaki – 121.486

8)      Steve Mercer – Jackson Honda – 121.473

9)      Gary Johnson – T3 Racing Triumph – 120.681

10)   James Hillier – Quattro Plant Muc-Off Kawasaki -119.474

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing