Classic TT: Dean Harrison makes early impression with 122mph lap

Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) leaves the start line on the opening night of practice for the Classic TT.
Dean Harrison (Silicone Engineering Kawasaki) leaves the start line on the opening night of practice for the Classic TT.

Dean Harrison made an early impression as the reigning Classic TT Superbike champion posted the fastest lap of opening practice at the Festival of Motorcycling on the Isle of Man on Saturday evening.

Harrison clocked 122.266mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ZXR750 on his first lap, although the Supersport TT winner was denied the chance to improve on his second lap when he was reported as a retirement at Glen Duff, missing the rest of the session.

John McGuinness (Team Winfield Paton) and Lee Johnston (Davies Motorsport Honda) set off from Glencrutchery Road on the opening night of practice for the Classic TT.

John McGuinness (Team Winfield Paton) and Lee Johnston (Davies Motorsport Honda) set off from Glencrutchery Road on the opening night of practice for the Classic TT.

Tobermore’s Adam McLean, making his Classic TT debut this year, topped the times in the concurrently run Lightweight class on the Binch Racing Yamaha TZ250, following up his opening lap of 112.328mph with a speed of 114.740mph on his second lap. Manx rider Dan Sayle lapped at 109.671mph on the Steelcote Solutions Yamaha.

Andrew Dudgeon (ZXR750 Kawasaki), the 2016 Junior Manx Grand Prix winner, Michael Rutter (Team Winfield) and Horst Saiger (Greenall Racing Kawasaki) all posted laps in excess of 115mph, with Dudgeon ending the session second fastest behind Harrison with a lap of 118.93mph, putting him narrowly ahead of Saiger (118.92mph).

John McGuinness, making his competitive return for the first time since a crash in practice at the North West 200 in 2017, lapped at 104.95mph on the Winfield Paton, while Maria Costello (Team Beugger Racing/Paton) and Olie Linsdell on the Flitwick Motorcycles Enfield also lapped at over 100mph in the Senior class.

In the Junior session, Honda machines dominated with the Davies Motorsport pair of Dominic Herbertson (99.71mph) and Michael Rutter (99.19mph) topping the board.

The session began with a controlled lap for Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix newcomers at around 5:20pm.

With conditions beginning to deteriorate later in the evening, the session was eventually flagged off with mist rolling in ahead of the second session.

Monday’s session is due to get underway at 6:20pm.