Isle of Man TT: Michael Dunlop tops final Superbike practice

Michael Dunlop topped a fragmented final Superbike practice for the 2018 Isle of Man TT ahead of Tuesday pacesetter Dean Harrison

Isle of Man TT: Michael Dunlop tops final Superbike practice

Due to get underway at 1820, the combined Superbike/Superstock/Supersport session was delayed until 1855 due to part of the course needing to be cleaned following an earlier road traffic accident, with a drone illegally flying over Bray Hill also adding to the delay.

Lap times were someway off of the best from Tuesday's running, as the riders were cautioned to take it easy over the mountain due to the earlier clean-up operation.

Tyco BMW's Michael Dunlop set the initial Superbike pace with a lap of 17m06.429s at 132.331mph, with Harrison six seconds adrift in second on his Silicon Engineering Kawasaki.

Peter Hickman focused exclusively on his Superstock Smiths BMW, as he was happy with the work he did on his Superbike on Thursday, while his Trooper Beer Triumph Supersport bike developed a technical issue.

He put in a 17m24.133s lap at 130.087mph on his first lap to lead the Superstock times ahead of Gulf BMW's David Johnson.

The session was brought to another brief halt at 1915 due to an incident at Hailwood Heights. The rider involved was reported as uninjured, but a substantial amount of oil had been dumped on the road.

Once back underway, Dunlop improved on his earlier standing start lap with a 132.659mph in 17m03.888s, and carried on for his first flying lap of the week.

The 15-time TT winner fired in a 17min01.391s lap at 132.983mph, while Harrison went second on his final tour with a 17m10.107s at 131.858mph.

JG Speedfit Kawasaki's James Hillier completed the top three with his second flying lap, with Johnson and Padgetts' Conor Cummins on his Honda Fireblade rounding out the top five.

Hickman only planned on doing two laps on his Superstock machine on Friday night, and cemented top spot in the class on his final attempt with a 130.829mph tour in 17m18.212s.

Johnson headed double TT winner Gary Johnson on the RAF Regulars and Reserves ZX-10R and Bathams BMW's Michael Rutter, with last year's Superstock race winner Ian Hutchinson completing the top five on his Honda.

McAdoo Racing's James Cowton was the top runner in the Supersport class on his ZX-6R with a lap of 123.378mph in 18m20.911s. Gary Johnson and Adam McLean shadowed him on the timesheets.

John Holden and passenger Lee Cain topped the Sidecars timesheets with their one and only lap on Friday night of 19m33.790s at 115.717mph on their Honda-powered Silicone Engineering outfit.

Alan Founds and Jake Lowther were second quickest with a lap of 19m56.123s, while Founds' brother Peter and his passenger Jevan Walmsley completed the top three.

Thursday's fastest duo Ben and Tom Birchall did start the session, but never intended to complete a full lap and pulled out at Ballacraine having run through some changes to their EG Racing Honda machine.

Once again in practice for the Zero TT machines, it was a Mugen that led the way, though this time it belonged to Lee Johnston as team-mate Michael Rutter pulled out at the 13th Milestone having been fastest up to that point.

Johnston completed the lap in 19m30.468s at 116.046mph ahead of Supersport pacesetter Cowton on his Brunel BX-15, who managed an average speed of 96.516mph in 23m27.310s.

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Series TT
Author Lewis Duncan
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