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Road racing Isle of Man TT

Isle of Man TT 2023: Harrison ups the pace at midway point of practice week

Dean Harrison upped the pace to a 133.514mph on Wednesday night at the 2023 Isle of Man TT as practice week reaches its midway point.

Dean Harrison Superbike

After Peter Hickman notched up a 132mph lap on his FHO Racing BMW Superbike on Tuesday evening, Harrison raised the game for practice week in 2023 on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s running began with the Superbike and Superstock class session, with Hickman leading the pack away on his Superstock machine for two laps.

Harrison set off behind him on his DAO Racing Kawasaki Superbike, and set the initial pace from a standing start of 133.284mph for the first sub-17-minute lap of TT 2023 at 16m59.089s.

Hickman let Harrison through as they thundered along the start/finish straight on the Glencrutchery Road, with the Kawasaki rider released to put in a stunning final flying lap on his Superbike.

Harrison completed the lap at 133.514mph, which would keep him top overall as the evening’s running continued.

Michael Dunlop was second-quickest on his Hawk Racing Honda with a 133.367mph, set on his second lap on his Superbike having started on his Superstock Honda.

Hickman completed the top three having only gotten one lap in on his Superbike at 131.862mph, with Jamie Coward (KTS Racing) fourth and John McGuinness fifth – the TT legend setting his first 130mph lap since 2016 on his Honda at 130.035mph.

Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop

Photo by: Isle of Man TT

In the Superstock class, Hickman led the way with a 133.284mph (which was the third-fastest time overall of the evening) from Dunlop at 132.694mph.

Both Padgetts Honda riders, Davey Todd and Conor Cummins, stopped briefly on their Superbike laps, and thus didn’t register representative times.

But in the Superstock class, Todd was third with a 131.711mph lap ahead of Cummins at 129.825mph, while Harrison was fifth at 129.148mph.

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Hickman led the way in the Supersport class on his Trooper Beer Triumph at 127.206mph ahead of the Russell Racing Yamaha of Harrison with a 125.145mph lap.

Dunlop completed the top three on his MD Racing Yamaha at 124.973mph, with Todd and Coward rounding out the top five.

Coward topped the Supertwins times at 120.912mph, while Hickman was forced to stop his Yamaha early into his very first lap on the bike at TT 2023 after it wasn’t ready for night one and night two’s session was cancelled.

The Birchall brothers continued to lead the Sidecar class, topping the session with a 118.523mph lap.

The outfit, piloted by Ben Birchall with brother Tom as passenger, set this on their only lap of the evening after they were forced to pull off at Ballacraine of their second effort.

They headed Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley at 118.159mph, while Ryan and Callum Crowe were back in action in third after missing Tuesday’s practice following an incident on Monday.

The Crowe brothers were third at 114.128mph.

Alan Founds was able to take part in Wednesday’s running after his passenger Jake Lowther was banned from TT 2023 on Tuesday for failing a drugs test.

Founds rode with Colin Smyth – who was meant to be Maria Costello’s passenger this year, though the FHO rider was absent from Wednesday’s running – and cracked the top 20.

Picture credit: @ttracesofficial/Pacemaker Press

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