Michael Dunlop set the pace in the opening qualifying session at the Isle of Man TT Races, lapping at 129.590mph on the Hawk Racing Honda in the Superbike category.

Peter Hickman was quickest in the Superstock class on the Monster Energy by FHO Racing BMW (129.032mph) as well as topping the leaderboard in the Supertwin class on his Swan Racing Yamaha (118.011mph) whilst Davey Todd was fastest in the Supersport class on the Powertoolmate Ducati (125.601mp). In the Sidecar class, it was local stars Ryan and Callum Crowe who were quickest at 116.699mph.
Overnight rain and morning mist pushed the schedule back to the afternoon with the Newcomers’ speed controlled lap kickstarting proceedings at 14.40. Untimed sessions then followed starting with the Supersport and Supertwin classes, where Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Paton) and Josh Brookes (BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha) were first away, then the Superbikes/Superstocks and finally the Sidecars.
Unsurprisingly, a few riders ran into issues, including Dunlop who stopped at Greeba as well as Sam West and Marcus Simpson who both tipped off at Governor’s, but after a short delay, the first qualifying session of TT2024 got underway at 6.05pm, the Supertwin/Supersport the first to leave the line again.

tt2024, Michael Dunlop

Brookes and Dean Harrison (Honda Racing UK) were the first to head down Glencrutchery Road followed by Michael Rutter (Bathams Racing Yamaha), Jamie Coward (KTS Racing powered by Stanley Stewart Racing Triumph), James Hillier (Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing), Todd and Paul Jordan (Jackson Racing powered by Prosper2 Honda) – all were Supersport-mounted except for Rutter out on his Supertwin.

Harrison soon overhauled Brookes on the road and, indeed, he was the first to complete the lap at 123.869mph followed by Coward (123.381mph) and Brookes (120.170mph) but they were soon overhauled by Todd who lapped at 124.162mph. Hickman and Dunlop were well in the mix at 123.783mph and 123.666mph respectively but they were all upstaged by surprise package James Hind (North Lincs Components Suzuki) who went to the top of the leaderboard with a lap of 124.190mph, 0.242 seconds quicker than Todd.

Michael Evans Suzuki/Michael Evans Racing) at Guthrie’s during a free practice session for the Isle of Man TT. PICTURE BY DAVE KNEEN.

Second time around and Todd upped the pace to 125.601mph with Hillier second quickest at 125.483mph followed by Dunlop (125.048mph), Hind (124.488mph), Harrison (123.980mph) and Coward (123.833mph). Brookes and Conor Cummins also broke the 123mph barrier.

In the Supertwins, Rutter was an early retirement at Crosby, and it was Barry Furber (114.958mph) who was quickest on the opening lap from Mike Browne (114.910mph) and Stefano Bonetti (114.372m[h). However, Hickman soon went into the number one spot with a lap of 118.011mph after switching from his Supersport machine. Todd also managed to get out on his Dafabet Kawasaki lapping at 116.063mph.

Next up was the Superbike/Superstock session with the majority opting for the latter; the Honda pairing of Dean Harrison and John McGuinness were two of the few riders that opted to be Superbike-mounted along with Craig Neve (Bathams Racing Honda) and Hind.

Quickest on the opening lap was Hickman at 129.032mph, which put him 1.322 seconds ahead of Dunlop (MD Racing Honda) who lapped at 128.870mph. They were followed by WTF Racing’s Hillier (127.535mph), Dominic Herbertson on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing BMW (127.503mph), Phil Crowe (127.032mph) and Coward (126.510mph). Mike Browne was also going well on the IN Competition Aprilia, setting the fastest ever lap around the Mountain Course for the Italian manufacturer at 125.632mph albeit unofficially.

Herbertson (127.540mph), David Johnson (127.240mph) and Rob Hodson (126.266mph) all improved on their second lap and although McGuinness was quickest initially in the Superbike class at 127.126mph from team-mate Harrison (125.790mph), Todd (128.871mph) upstaged them both on the Milwaukee BMW.

The main contenders soon switched to their Superbikes, which shuffled the leaderboard as Dunlop moved to the top at 129.590mph – setting the fastest lap of the opening session. Hickman slotted into third at 128.271mph with both McGuinness (127.646) and Harrison (125.909) improving as did Todd at 129.575mph, his lap just 0.114 seconds adrift of Dunlop.

The final session of a busy day was the Sidecars with the Crowes setting the initial pace on their Kelproperties Honda at 116.261mph, which was 7.6 seconds quicker than Founds/Walmsley’s lap of 115.505mph. Birchall/Rousseau slotted into third (114.862mph) ahead of Reeves/Wilkes (112.039mph) and Founds/Gibbons (110.467mph).

Both the Crowes and Birchall/Rousseau upped their pace on lap two with the former coming out on top by 8.2 scondswith a lap of 116.699mph compared to 115.882mph. Reeves/Wilkes also increased their speed to 113.597mph with World Champion newcomers Todd Ellis/Emmanuelle Clement impressing with a quickest lap of 109.554mph.

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