DAO Kawasaki’s Dean Harrison closed in on the 132mph mark on Tuesday night practice at TT 2022, putting in a 131.767 to top the evening session and the overall leaderboard.
Harrison set his time on a flying lap but was pushed hard by Davey Todd on the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda, who set a 131.655 from a standinjg start for second place with Peter Hickman in third.
With good conditions all around the course, the session kicked off at 6.31pm with Michael Rutter (Bathams Ales) again the first rider to set off towards Bray Hill and he was swiftly followed by Harrison, Ian Hutchinson (Milwaukee BMW Motorrad), James Hillier (RICH Energy OMG Racing), and the FHO Racing pairing of Brian McCormack and Hickman, the latter again in the Gas Monkey Garage colours. All were Superbike-mounted but Lee Johnston (Ashcourt Racing) had again opted for his Supersport machine.
Harrison quickly caught Rutter on the road and it was soon apparent that the Kawasaki man, Hickman and Davey Todd were the ones to watch and the ones setting the pace. Harrison was the first to complete the lap at 130.369mph, whilst Hickman’s pace slowed slightly to 128.972mph as the lap progressed, although it was Todd who was tearing up the Mountain Course and a lap of 131.655mph sent him quickest.
Michael Dunlop (129.119mph) slotted into third and that pushed Hickman down to fourth with Conor Cummins on the second Milenco by Padgett’s Honda placing fifth at 128.721mph and ahead of sixth placed Hutchinson (127.716mph).
Nathan Harrison (125.367mph) was the quickest rider in the Superstock class whilst Johnston was comfortably fastest in the Supersport category at 124.168mph. Meanwhile, all the newcomers were going well on their first lap including Glenn Irwin (121.418mph), Milo Ward (117.638mph), Joe Loughlin (116.822mph) and Rennie Scaysbrook (112.501mph).
At the head of the field, Dean Harrison was the man setting the pace on lap two and he crossed the line at 131.767mph to move to the top of the leaderboard but Todd’s hopes of responding were dashed as he was reported as having stopped at Casey’s.
John McGuinness MBE (Honda Racing UK) moved into sixth quickest with a speed of 128.644mph and that put him one place ahead of Jamie Coward who was again going well on the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan Yamaha with a lap of 127.936mph. Their laps pushed Hutchinson back to eighth whilst Mike Browne, in his first year at the TT on a Superbike, had lapped at 124.224mph
Hickman was back out on track on his Superstock machine and he made it count with a first lap of 130.032mph and then a second at 130.695mph which put him quickest in that particular class. Equally impressive was Irwin’s second lap, a stunning 124.377mph but late in the session he increased that to 124.947mph and Ward also upped his pace to 119.555mph.
Unfortunately, a non-racing medical urgency brought the session to an end at 7.12pm with an ambulance needing to get onto the course to attend to the patient. The session resumed just before 7.30pm for the Supersport and Supertwin classes.
Dunlop was the rider setting the pace in the 600s and his lap of 125.386mph was more than eight seconds quicker than Johnston’s second lap speed of 124.444mph. Dean Harrison (123.942mph) placed third ahead of Coward (123.838mph) Hillier (122.501mph) and James Hind (121.493mph). Newcomers Loughlin (119.077mph), Jamie Cringle (114.457mph) and Scaysbrook (113.548mph) were all continuing to go well.
Dunlop’s second lap saw him increase his speed to 125.938mph with Dean Harrison moving up to second after lapping at 124.817mph. Johnston, Coward and Hillier stayed as they were but Conor Cummins slotted into sixth at 121.885mph.
The Supertwin class saw Hickman, out for the first time on the VAS Engine Racing Paton, put in a fine lap of 118.424mph which was almost twenty seconds quicker than second placed Johnston (Ashcourt Racing), Gary Johnson (Dafabet Racing) and the second VAS Paton of Pierre Yves Bian, the trio lapping at 116.438mph, 116.375mph and 116.067mph respectively.
Hickman went quicker on his second lap, 118.983mph, but he was upstaged by Coward who just missed out on a 120mph lap with a speed of 119.775mph. Rob Hodson, on the second Dafabet machine, moved up to third, at 117.732mph, ahead of Johnston (116.917mph), Johnson (116.843mph) and Dominic Herbertson (116.652mph).
After a delay of almost 30 minutes due to an incident in the Supersport and Supertwin classes, the Sidecars were able to get out onto the Mountain Course for the first time since Sunday afternoon but with both time and light disappearing, it was only for one lap.
As expected, the Birchalls, on the Haith Honda, set the pace through all the sectors but Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (FHO Racing) were staying in touch but both Dave Molyneux/Darryl Gibson (DMR) and John Holden/Jason Pitt (Barnes Racin) stopped, at Cronk-y-Voddy and Sulby respectively.
The latter got going but leading the way on the road were the Birchalls and they completed their solitary lap at 115.663mph, not surprisingly the quickest of the week so far. Founds/Walmsley slotted into second, 13.7s adrift at 114.326mph but ahead of Ryan and Callum Crowe (112.545mph), Lewis Blackstock/Patrick Rosney (111.164mph) and Tim Reeves/Kevin Rousseau (110.768mph).
Newcomers Harry Payne/Mark Wilkes and Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie were next up at 109.733mph and 109.709mph respectively.