John McGuinness sets pace as Superbikes finally get chance


Lexelle-sponsored rider John McGuinness set the Superbike benchmark as the premier class machines finally gained some dry qualifying laps at the Isle of Man TT.

The Honda TT Legends rider completed four laps of the Mountain Course on his 1000cc Fireblade, claiming the top spot with the best lap of the evening in perfect, sunny conditions at 129.32mph.

Kiwi Anstey was second fastest at 129.14mph, with both Honda riders setting their fastest times on their fourth and final Superbike laps.

Michael Rutter (Honda TT Legends) was next at 128.00mph with Guy Martin on the Tyco Suzuki fourth at 127.93mph.

Michael Dunlop retired at Glen Darragh on his first lap of the TT circuit on the Honda Legends Superbike, but returned to the paddock and went back out on his Supersport CBR600RR, setting the quickest time for the class at 122.67mph.

The Northern Ireland rider then switched back to his Superbike machine and rattled off three laps, with his best speed for the 37.73-mile circuit of 127.66mph putting him fifth on the time sheets.

McGuinness, whose fastest lap left him almost 1.5s ahead of Anstey, starts Saturday’s Dainese Superbike race as the hot favourite.

The 41-year-old said: “I had a bit of a weird feeling at the beginning of the first lap so I stopped at Ballacraine and had a little look around the front end of the bike.

“But it was just a bit of a psychological thing and I got back down to business.

“I passed a couple of riders and settled in. It was a bit windy on the Mountain but conditions are good,” he added.

“You don’t know how fast you are going sometimes and there was a little bit of traffic out there, but it’s not too bad.”