Kiwi Bruce Anstey, riding for the Yorkshire based Padgetts Honda Racing team, showed his hand with the fastest time of the week in the third qualifying session at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy.
A cloudy day on the Isle of Man gave way to sunny intervals in time for Wednesday’s session but with a stiff breeze, competitors would have to take particular care, as expected, over the Mountain although the wind could be felt all the way round the 37 and ¾ mile course. There was also a lack of adhesion at Ballagarey reported ahead of the practice but with good visibility and dry roads, conditions were otherwise ideal for some high speed laps.
Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop who got the session underway slightly later than scheduled at 6.29pm, both on their Superbikes, and following them were Gary Johnson, Keith Amor, James Hillier, Bruce Anstey, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher, all also Superbike mounted with the exception of Farquhar and Lougher who were on their Superstock and Supersport machines respectively. Dan Kneen was slow to leave the line but after a few adjustments he was soon on his way.
Martin was the first to complete the lap at 128.35mph with Dunlop right on his tail at 128.269mph, the Ulsterman later nosing ahead on the road, although it didn’t last long as he soon retired at Ginger Hall. Johnson was the quickest though at 128.452mph whilst Amor, Anstey and Dan Stewart were all in the 127mph bracket with John McGuinness further back on 126.029mph, the Honda TT Legends rider immediately pulling in to make adjustments before getting back out on the course. Michael Rutter was going well on the Ducati at 125.69, only slightly slower than Cameron Donald on 125.76mph whilst Lougher was the quickest Supersport machine at 119.85mph.
Johnson and Amor were the quickest through the Sulby speed trap at 191.2mph but Davy Morgan again out of luck, this time getting as far as Quarry Bends, whilst Paul Owen, Jim Hodson and Brian McCormack were some of the other riders to experience technical problems.
Second time around and Martin upped his pace to 129.333mph but it was Anstey who went to the top of the leaderboard with a lap of 129.695mph, his best ever lap around the Mountain Course. Amor, who was trying a different tyre and suspension combination, dropped back to 126.42mph but Rutter was another to improve, this time to 126.811mph. William Dunlop was another to lap quicker than ever before at 125.872mph but McGuinness was slower still at 125.64mph whilst Ben Wylie got his first 120mph lap of the week in on his Supersport machine. Farquhar was again in trouble though, his second lap on the Superstock machine a lowly 95.99mph having stopped at Sulby before being able to proceed.
Martin, Johnson, Stewart and McGuinness all switched to their Supersport machines, the former initially quickest at 121.977mph but Donald, who was on his second lap on his 600, was going well at 125.110mph with William Dunlop later going second quickest at 123.959. Anstey, meanwhile, put in a speed of 124.396mph on his Superstock bike, the slightly lower speeds most likely due to the bright sun that was now shining, the clouds having completely dispersed to give way to clear blue skies.
Amor was later off at Quarterbridge on his Superstock bike, and was later reported to have a dislocated shoulder, whilst McGuinness stopped at the Mountain Box before proceeding with Lougher another high profile rider in trouble, this time retiring at Creg ny Baa.
The newcomers again continued to make good progress though and it was again Simon Andrews who was quickest at a highly impressive 119.465mph but Dean Harrison and Piotr Betlej were also going well at 114.83mph and 114.969mph respectively.
At 8pm, the sidecar session commenced with Klaus Klaffenbock and Daniel Sayle leading the field away from John Holden/Andy Winkle, Tim Reeves/Gregory Cluze and Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott. Klaffenbock’s first lap was 112.488mph with Holden and Reeves second and third at 111.066mph and 109.954mph but Elmer was a retirement at the Creg. Klaffenbock went quicker second time around at 113.754mph but Reeves was delighted with his lap of 111.379mph whilst Dougie Wright and Ben Birchall were both going well on their return to the Mountain, Wright lapping at 105.33mph and Birchall at 105.42mph.
Piotr Betlej was attended to by the red cross after an incident at Signpost but was confirmed as okay.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com