Cummins Tops Classic TT Qualifying
ISLE OF MAN – After a short delay moving vehicles on the Mountain section of the Course, qualifying for the 2013 Classic TT presented by Bennetts duly got underway shortly before 6:40 p.m. local time.
A number of the leading contenders including Team Classic Suzuki riders Michael Dunlop and Conor Cummins elected to take their Formula One machines out in the earlier MGP practice with Dunlop posting an opening lap of 122.837, improving his 120mph lap from the previous evening, with Cummins’ clocking 117.824.
Cummins opted to go straight through on a second lap and improved his fastest lap of the week to 119.396mph, setting up Monday’s Motorsport Merchandise Formula One race for a dual between the two Team Classic Suzuki teammates.
The majority of the Classic riders went out in the later session, which started at 19.05 with John Barton, TT and Classic TT rider liaison officer, first away on the Kawasaki ZXR. Riders were given the opportunity to practice their 60kmh speed limit through pit lane, giving grandstand fans the chance to see the sights and sounds of these stunning bikes being put through their paces.
In the Bennetts 500cc Class Ian Lougher on the Flitwick Motorcycles Royal Enfield Seeley signalled his intent with a lap of 106.484 while William Dunlop on the Davies Motorsport Honda, with the number 11 plate, was well on the pace to Ramsey with 116.114 before dropping back on the Mountain section and cruising over the line to eventually post a lap of just over 100mph.
With Team Winfield reporting an electrical fault on John McGuinness’ Paton, which prevented him from going out, Olie Linsdell consolidated his position as one of the pre-race favourites with a lap of 109.438 on the Giovanni Cabassi Paton.
Kiwi Bruce Anstey confirmed his position as a race contender, powering his McIntosh Racing/Mobil 1 Norton to a lap of 107.277 ahead of Alan Oversby (105.981) riding the Davies Motorsport Honda, Chris Palmer on the Richard Shelton Racing Matchless (104.970) and Gary Johnson’s Lincs Lifting MV (104.195). Palmer would eventually go out on three different machines during the session and posted top five times on all of them.
Dunlop and Cummins topped the board in the Motorsport Merchandise Formula One class with the times they posted in the MGP session but Mistral Racing Kawasaki’s Jamie Coward (116.305) and Paul Owen (113.936) both threaten to break in to the top ten ahead of some of the seeded riders.
Seasoned campaigner Phil McGurk finished ahead of Chris Palmer in the Motorsport Merchandise Formula 2 Classic Qualifying with both posting 109mph laps while Dean Harrison, riding the Porter Racing BSA, was the fastest in the Motorsport Merchandise Formula Classic Class with 104.071 from Gavin Lupton (103.902) and Mark Parrett.
Palmer (100.962) on the Ripley Land Racing Honda was the only rider over 100mph in the Okells 350cc class, ahead of Northern Ireland rider Jamie Hamilton (98.868) while Ewan Hamilton topped the 250cc leaderboard with 95.441mph.
Doug Fairbrother was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital following an accident at Sarah’s Cottage with a reported shoulder injury.