ISLE OF MAN – After the trials of tribulations of recent evenings, conditions were perfect for the final qualifying session of the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races, fueled by Monster Energy, and it proved to be a rapid night of action on the Mountain Course as Michael Dunlop threw down the gauntlet with a lap of 131.501 mph.
That lap was not only his personal best, but also just 1.3 seconds shy of the outright lap record.
Gary Johnson set the pace on the opening lap on his Superstock bike and he was the only rider to break the 130mph barrier first time around with a lap of 130.207 mph, although Guy Martin wasn’t far behind on his Superbike with 129.992 mph.
Second time around and Bruce Anstey went quickest at 130.642 mph on his Superbike with John McGuinness lapping at 129.790 which saw him end up fourth overall. Dan Kneen slotted into a superb fifth place at 129.107, comfortably his best ever lap of the 37 and three-quarter-mile course while Michael Rutter placed sixth (128.883) with William Dunlop, Josh Brookes, James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson and Dean Harrison the other riders to lap in excess of 127mph.
However, Dunlop waited until the closing stages to really set the track alight as he ripped round the course at 131.501mph to end the week top of the Superbike leaderboard and surely heading into tomorrow’s Dainese Superbike race as favourite. Anstey remained in second overall with Guy Martin the third Superbike rider over 130mph with a lap of 130.102mph.
Cameron Donald had his best night of the week on the Norton with a speed of 123.095 with strong performances also coming from Jimmy Storrar (124.286), James Cowton (123.247) and Michael Sweeney (121.039).
Johnson’s superb 130 mph lap saw him top the Superstock class although Harrison was also flying on his Superstock Kawasaki with a speed of 128.662 mph, which was his best ever lap of the course. Michael Dunlop went slightly quicker at 129.333 to place third with Hillier in fourth and Rutter putting in a late quick lap to go fifth.