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Practice report

Isle of Man TT 2024: Dunlop leads the way as practice week begins

Michael Dunlop kicked off the 2024 Isle of Man TT in which he could equal the all-time win record by setting the fastest lap of qualifying on Monday evening.

Michael Dunlop TT 24 Superstock Q1

The Ulsterman notched up his 25th win at the 2023 event, putting him one away from the all-time record of 26 set by his late uncle Joey Dunlop, which has stood since 2000 as the benchmark.

He led the timesheets outright with a 129.59mph lap aboard his Hawk Racing-run Honda Superbike and headed Davey Todd, embarking on his first TT as a BMW rider following a switch from Padgetts Racing to TAS Racing for 2024.

Outright lap record holder Peter Hickman completed the top three overall on his Superstock BMW run by FHO Racing.

The opening day of practice had been delayed due to the 37.75-mile being hit by rain overnight, with roads not closing until 2pm for the untimed practices in the afternoon.

The first timed qualifying of TT 2024 got underway at just after 6pm local time, with the first laps being set by the Supersport and Supertwin class.

Todd led the way in the Supersport class after putting in two laps on his V2 Ducati Panigale, with his best effort a 125.601mph.

That put him ahead of James Hillier, who has reunited with Bournemouth Kawasaki in the Supersport class, on a 125.483mph lap.

Michael Dunlop completed the top three in class on his MD Racing-run Triumph 675. Dunlop, who won both Supersport races at TT 2023, switches from Honda machinery for 2024 for those contests.

Peter Hickman, FHO Racing BWM, Superstock

Peter Hickman, FHO Racing BWM, Superstock

Photo by: Isle of Man TT

In Supertwin, Hickman led the way with a118.011mph lap aboard his Swan-liveried Yamaha R7, on which he was able to win at the North West 200 earlier this month having also won in class at the TT in 2023.

He completed just one lap on his Supertwin and Triumph Supersport bike, with Todd second on his Dafabet Racing Kawasaki. Dunlop didn’t set a time on his Paton, and appeared to have some issues with it in the untimed session earlier in the day.

Dunlop had no such issues on his Honda Fireblade in the Superbike class that concluded the solo running on Monday, with Todd and Hickman completing the top three.

John McGuinness was fourth on the works Honda in class ahead of team-mate Dean Harrison.

After apparent logistical and supply issues led to Harrison – who has switch to Honda from DAO Racing Kawasaki for 2024 – and McGuinness only having their Superstock bikes available at the North West 200, Honda has a full compliment of machinery at the TT.

Hickman led the Superstock class at 129.032mph from Dunlop and Dominic Herbertson.

Ben Birchall/Kevin Rousseau, Sidecar

Ben Birchall/Kevin Rousseau, Sidecar

Photo by: Isle of Man TT

The Sidecar class concluded Monday’s practice action, with the Ryan Crowe/Callum Crowe outfit leading the way with a best lap of 116.699mph.

The headlines were stolen by outright Sidecar TT lap record holder and 14-time winner Ben Birchall, as he kicked off his 2024 TT campaign with a new passenger. Kevin Rousseau takes over from Ben’s brother Tom Birchall, who announced his retirement from the TT earlier this year.

Birchall/Rousseau went second fastest on their second flying lap at 115.882mph, while Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley completed the top three.

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