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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Anstey takes over at Isle of Man

From the Isle of Man TT

Kiwi Bruce Anstey, riding for the 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 on Wednesday.

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.

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, 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.

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 while Amor, Anstey and Dan Stewart were all in the 127mph bracket with John McGuinness further back on 126.029mph. Michael Rutter was going well on the Ducati at 125.69, only slightly slower than Cameron Donald on 125.76mph while Lougher was the quickest Supersport machine at 119.85mph.

Johnson and Amor were the quickest through the Sulby speed trap at 191.2mph.

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 tire 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.

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, while McGuinness stopped at the Mountain Box before proceeding with Lougher another high profile rider in trouble, this time retiring at Creg ny Baa.

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. Klaffenbock went quicker second time around at 113.754mph.

Earlier on Wednesday, ACU Events Ltd announced that sidecar competitor Bill Currie, 67, and his passenger Kevin Morgan, 59, were both killed during the second sidecar qualifying session following an incident at Ballacrye in the North of the Island.

Currie was an experienced racer who first competed at the TT Races in 1969, when he recorded a third place finish. He finished eighth in last year's TT sidecar race in his fastest ever race time of 107.944. Morgan made his TT debut in 1984. This was the first year that the pair had competed together.


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