The third qualifying session for the Centenary Manx Grand Prix took got underway on Wednesday afternoon with and it was Michael Dunlop who once again set the pace in the RST Classic Superbike class as well as the Sure Lightweight class.
Meanwhile John McGuinness (Team Winfield Paton) was the first rider to surpass the 110mph this week posting a lap of 110.848mph in the Carole Nash Classic Senior MGP class. Daniel Ingham (Mylchreest Group Senior) and Andrea Majola (MGP Supporters Club Junior), topped the leaderboard in other classes.
With good conditions all around the Mountain Course, the Junior, Classic Senior and Lightweight classes got underway at 1pm with Ian Lougher (Laylaw Racing Yamaha) and James Hillier (KTS Racing Power by Steadplan Sales Kawasaki) first away. The pairing was followed by Marc Colvin (RC Racing Kawasaki), Jamie Williams (NCE Racing) and Dean Harrison (Key Racing Ducati).
It was Michael Dunlop on the MD Racing Honda that set the pace on the opening lap of the session, posting the fastest lap of the week so far in the Lightweight class at 115.96mph. Dunlop was followed by Lougher, Paul Jordan (Faraldo Racing Yamaha) and Shaun Anderson (ARD Racing Kramer), who topped the leaderboard on lap 1. However, by the close of session it was Lougher (115.25mph), Dan Sayle (113.33mph) and Gareth Arnold (112.77mph) who completed the top four along with Dunlop.
Paul Cassidy (Island Fuels Kawasaki) impressed, setting the fastest time of the week on an Ultra Lightweight machine completing his second lap at a pace of 109.281mph, a stand time for the 400cc machine. Cassidy was well ahead of fellow UItra Lightweight competitors Daniel Ingham (106.622mph), Jonathan Perry (106.177mph) and Michael Rees (105.44mph).
Meanwhile, it was the Newcomers that continue to impress in the Junior MGP class as Marcus Simpson (LMR Powered by Jon Cuff Electrical Kawasaki) lapped at 113.60mph, shaving an incredible 3mph off his lap time since his first qualifying session. Debutante Joe Yeardsley (114.891mph) was also on top form as he finished fourth in the Junior as well as finishing 3rd in the Senior MGP class later on in the afternoon.
Having lead the session away, Manxman Marc Colvin found himself 2nd fastest at 115.872mph, but there were tenths of a second between him and leader Andrea Majola (Manici Racing Team by Vas Engine) who finished with a final lap time of 116.102mph. The leading pair producing the fastest laps of the Junior class so far this week, along with Victor Lopez (115.579mph) who completed the top three, all surpassing the 115mph mark.
John McGuinness MBE (Winfield Team Racing Paton), Dean Harrison (Craven Classic Racing Norton) and James Hillier (CSC Racing Yamaha) were the ones to beat on the opening lap in the Classic Senior session. And, in the end it was McGuinness who took the spotlight in the Classic Senior as he pushed on during his second lap to become the first of the week to surpass the 110mph mark, taking 21 seconds off his time with a final lap time of 110.85mph. Harrison (107.722mph), Shaun Anderson (107.331mph), and McClean completed the top four in this class.
Starting at 14:25, the RST Classic Superbike and Mylchreest Group Senior classes set off. Michael Dunlop (Team Classic Suzuki Kawasaki) was first away again with Craig Neve (Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki), David Johnson (Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki) and Julian Trummer (TC Racing/DP Cold Planing Kawasaki) who were also amongst the early starters in the Classic Superbike along with Dom Herbertson (BHR Racing Kawasaki), Dean Harrison (Key Racing Ducation), Nathan Harrison (Ashcourt Racing Honda) and Paul Jordan (Mistrel Racing Kawasaki).
Dunlop set the pace again followed by Neve, Johnson and Trummer reaching Ballaugh 8 seconds quicker than his pace from yesterday and he completed his lap with a clear gap ahead of others at 125.699mph. Dunlop along with Johnson (124.433mph), Dean Harrison (124.256mph) and Rob Hodson (124.127mph) completed the top four.
All eyes were on Tom Robinson again in the Senior Class after topping the leaderboard in yesterday’s qualifying session. Although, Robinson appeared to lead the way, it was Daniel Ingham on the Russell Brook Yamaha that was quickest this afternoon with a final lap of 120.251mph. Robinson slotted in to second (120.128mph) with Yeardsley (119.318mph), Marizio Bottalico (119.318mph), Sam Mousley (119.037mph) and Chris Cook (118.949mph) making up the top six of the Senior Class.
A second qualifying session was due to take place on Wednesday evening, however due to deteriorating weather conditions the Clerk of The Course made the decision to cancel. Thursday’s contingency session will be utilised, meaning there are two scheduled qualifying sessions today.