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2023 Isle of Man TT Q3 | Harrison, Hickman, Dunlop closely matched as pace increases

Tim Keeton/Impact Images

Dean Harrison took over at the head of the timesheets on the third day of qualifying practice for the 203 Isle of Man TT as he, Peter Hickman and Michael Dunlop all cracked the 133mph marker on The Mountain.

With Harrison and Dunlop focusing on their Superbike preparations, it was the former who set a new benchmark of 133.514mph on the DAO Racing Kawasaki ZX-10RR, with Dunlop just a second behind with a 133.367mph on the Hawk Honda.

Hickman joined them in the upper bracket with a 133.284mph lap, albeit on the Superstock-spec Monster Energy FHO Racing BMW M 1000 RR.

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In sun-kissed conditions,  Harrison was in fine form on both Superbike and Supersport machinery, the Cumbria man topping the timesheets in the former and moving to second in the latter, with a 127.206mph on the Kawasaki ZX-6R.

It means he now holds a minor advantage in both classes, but with Hickman only a couple of second back on the stock BMW and Dunlop’s last effort curtailed by an early finish, the performance remains evenly matched between the three favourites.

The pack behind the top trio remains close too with Jamie Coward impressing to hit a new personal best of 130.940mph on the KTS Honda CBR1000RR-R, while John McGuinness also ramped up into the 130mph bracket too on the factory Honda with a 130.035mph effort.

In Supersport, Hickman established a new lead time with a 127.206mph on the K2 Trooper Triumph STR765RS, giving him a minor advantage over Harrison and Hickman.

Behind Hickman in the Superstock class, Dunlop and Davey Todd were the pace setters on Wednesday evening, with both comfortably above 130mph with the former on a 132.694mph on the Hawk Honda and the latter posting a 131.711mph effort.

Meanwhile, Josh Brookes made his first appearance of the week on the SBK-spec BMW M 1000 RR, turning in the 12th best lap of the week with a 126.754mph lap.

In the Supertwins class, Jamie Coward was the quickest on the night aboard his KTS Kawasaki, ahead of Mike Browne and Josh Brookes.

CLICK HERE for full results from the 2023 Isle of Man TT after Qualifying 2

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