Bruce Anstey began his pursuit of a maiden victory in the Superbike class at the Isle of Man TT by powering to the top of the time sheets on Monday night on the Valvoline Padgett’s Honda.
Anstey focused on his Superbike machine and pushed his fastest speed of the evening up to 127.473mph on his fourth and final lap to take the top spot from John McGuinness.
Morecambe star McGuinness, who is recovering from a broken scaphoid, fired an early warning that his chances are far from over as the 42-year-old outright lap record holder notched a best speed of 126.513mph as he fired in two laps on his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP.
Michael Dunlop was the first rider to complete a lap as the 25-year-old averaged 125.285mph on his BMW Motorrad S1000RR from a standing start.
Dunlop then went out on his Superstock machine and set the quickest time of the evening for the class at 123.239mph from his brother William on the Tyco Suzuki (122.461mph).
Dunlop took the chance to rattle off another two laps on his BMW Superbike, increasing his best speed of the evening to 125.335mph to end day one fifth fastest.
Lincolnshire’s Gary Johnson was third on the Superbike leaderboard on the Lincs Lifting Ltd Honda at 125.686mph followed by William Dunlop (125.400mph).
Guy Martin quickly returned to the pits after encountering a problem with his Superbike and switched to his GSX-R1000 Superstock bike, lapping at 120mph.
Johnson was one of few leading riders to opt for a lap on their Supersport machines and went comfortably fastest in the class on the Smiths Triumph at 122.619mph from McGuinness at 118.672mph and Lee Johnston, who was third fastest on the East Coast Honda at 118.183mph.
Peter Hickman set the fastest ever opening night practice lap by a newcomer with a speed of 115.103mph, with fellow British Superbike rider Martin Jessopp managing 113.293mph on the Riders Motorcycles BMW.
Dave Molyneux and Patrick Farrance were quickest in the Sidecar session at 114.350mph from Ben and Tom Birchall.
Sidecar crew Tony Thirkell/Nigel Barlow were reported to have been involved in an incident at Sulby Bridge and while Thirkell was unhurt, Barlow was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital with reported ankle injuries.
Practice is scheduled to continue this evening from 6.20pm.
Superbikes – 1 B Anstey 127.473mph; 2 J McGuinness 126.513; 3 G Johnson 125.686mph; 4 W Dunlop 125.400mph; 5 M Dunlop 125.335mph; 6 M Rutter 124.740mph.
Superstock – 1 M Dunlop 123.239mph; 2 W Dunlop 122.461mph; 3 D Johnson 122.289mph; 4 H Saiger 121.216mph; 5 J Hillier 121.167mph; 6 J Hamilton 120.207mph.
Supersport – 1 G Johnson 122.619mph; 2 J McGuinness 118.672mph; 3 L Johnston 118.183mph; 4 D Kneen 118.102mph.