Padgett’s Honda rider Bruce Anstey fired in a stunning 130mph lap to top the Superbike charts for the second night in succession during practice for the Isle of Man TT on Tuesday.
Anstey made the most of perfect conditions around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course on the Valvoline-backed CBR1000RR Fireblade to clock a blistering speed of 130.86mph.
There may have been a different outcome, however, had Michael Dunlop not stopped on his second lap after running out of fuel at Governor’s Dip.
Dunlop had opened up with a lap of 129.032mph on his BMW Motorrad S1000RR and would certainly have cracked the 130mph barrier on his flying lap at least, and may even have nudged 131mph if the 25-year-old had made it to the finishing line.
Morecambe’s John McGuinness was credited with the second best time on the Honda Racing Fireblade at 129.395mph with Guy Martin on the Tyco Suzuki next at 129.164mph.
Anstey said: “The bike feels really good, we’ve a new engine this year and it’s strong. My bike was just as fast as Michael Dunlop’s BMW so I’m pleased with it at the moment.”
Dunlop’s opening lap on the BMW was still good enough to leave him fourth on the Superbike leaderboard.
“We’ve still got a lot of problems but that’s what practice is for, to get them ironed out and then away we go. We’ll see what happens,” he said.
“Everything is new – new tyres, new team and a new bike, but we’re not too far away.”
The top riders’ incredible pace so early in practice week suggests that the first ever 132mph of the Mountain Course could well be on the cards.
Outright lap record holder McGuinness, seeking his 21st TT victory this year, continues to improve his pace despite a question mark hanging over his fitness after he injured his wrist in March.
“It’s getting there and I never even thought I’d be competing,” McGuinness said.
“It’s tiring for me to be honest because I’m not bike fit, but with more time on the bike we’ll get a little bit better.”
Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston, fresh from a double in the Supertwin races at the North West 200, headed the Supersport times on his East Coast Honda at 123.803mph.
Gary Johnson on the Smiths Triumph (123.576mph) and his team-mate Michael Rutter (123.402mph) were next, followed by William Dunlop on the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600 at 123.036mph and Mar-Train Racing’s Dean Harrison (122.858mph).
Johnston said: “We’re getting there and still learning, so I’m just taking it steady.”
In the Superstock class, James Hillier was fastest on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki with a speed of 126.243mph to lead Michael Dunlop (125.840mph) and Rutter (125.325mph).
Ivan Lintin topped the Lightweight times at 117.297mph from Keith Amor on the KMR Kawasaki (115.595mph). Ryan Farquhar was sixth fastest with a speed of 114.452mph.
The Sidecar practice session was red-flagged at 8.30pm after an incident at Kerrowmoar, bringing the schedule to a premature end.
Superbike – 1 B Anstey 130.86mph; 2 J McGuinness 129.395mph; 3 G Martin 129.164mph; 4 M Dunlop 129.032mph; 5 M Rutter 128.728mph; 6 C Cummins 128.719mph.
Supersport – 1 L Johnston 123.803mph; 2 G Johnson 123.576mph; 3 M Rutter 123.402mph; 4 W Dunlop 123.063mph; 5 D Harrison 122.858mph; 6 G Martin 122.803mph.
Superstock – 1 J Hillier 126. 243mph; 2 M Dunlop 125.840mph; 3 M Rutter 125.325mph; 4 B Anstey 125.086mph; 5 J McGuinness 124.529mph; 6 D Kneen 124.111mph.
Lightweight – 1 I Lintin 117.297mph; 2 K Amor 115.595mph; 3 J Cowton 115.036mph; 4 O Linsdell 114.950mph; 5 J Hillier 114.743mph; 6 R Farquhar 114.452mph.