Qualifying gained pace during this year's Isle of Man TT session as the first 133-mph (213.97 km/h) laps of the week were run.  Most impressive: Dean Harrison on his DAO Racing Kawasaki, who was the fastest rider in the Superbike class to reach an impressive 133.514 mph (214.86 km/h).

The top chasers

Harrison just barely held off Michael Dunlop on his Hawk Racing Honda with a speed of 133.367 mph (214.63 km/h).  Peter Hickman set a top speed of 133.284 mph (214.49 km/h) on his FHO Racing Monster Energy BMW in the Superstock class, also topping the 133-mph mark.


Top riders in other classes

In the Supersport session, Hickman was the fastest of the week on his K2 Trooper Beer by PHR Triumph with a speed of 127.206 mph (204.71 km/h).  Jamie Coward led the Supertwins on his KTS Racing Kawasaki with 120.970 mph (194.69 km/h).  In the Sidecars, Ben and Tom Birchall on their Steadplan/Hager LCR Honda were once again the fastest at 118.523 mph (190.74 km/h).


The course of the Superbike/Superstock session

Under the glorious sunshine on the island, the Superbike/Superstock session was the first.  Unlike previous sessions, Hickman started first, followed by Harrison and Davey Todd on his Milenco by Padgetts Honda.


First Laps

It wasn’t long before Josh Brookes, Michael Dunlop and David Johnson took to the race track, with Hickman, Brookes, Todd and Dunlop all riding their Superstock bikes.  But it was Harrison who completed the first lap fastest with a speed of 133.284 mph (214.49 km/h).

Hickman posted a speed of 131.92 mph (212.30 km/h) on his Superstock BMW, while Dunlop was even faster at 132.694 mph (213.55 km/h).  Todd posted a lap of 131.711 mph (212.17 km/h), just ahead of teammate Conor Cummins, who reached 129.825 mph (208.94 km/h).


Subsequent laps

On the second lap, Harrison increased his pace to 133.514 mph (214.86 km/h), while Hickman was not far behind on his Superstock BMW with a speed of 133.284 mph (214.49 km/h).  Dunlop switched to his Superbike and recorded a lap of 132.896 mph (213.87 km/h).  Coward set a new personal best – albeit unofficial – of 130.940 mph (210.72 km/h).  John McGuinness broke the 130-mph mark (209.21 km/h) for the first time this week with a speed of 130.035 mph (209.28 km/h).

Rutter also increased his speed with a lap of 129.147 mph (207.85 km/h).  Rob Hodson impressed with his SMT Racing machine and a speed of 127.38 mph (205.00 km/h), which like Coward’s was an unofficial high for the Wigan driver.  Newcomers Matthieu Lagrive and Ryan Cringle also improved accordingly with speeds of 117.088 mph (188.46 km/h) and 116.319 mph (187.22 km/h), respectively.


The ups and downs of lap times

On the third lap, Dunlop appeared to be on the verge of setting the new weekly record, but a short lap due to the Supersport/Supertwin race starting meant he was one second off Harrison’s lap with a speed of 133.367 mph (214.63 km/h).  Hickman stayed just under 132 mph (212.43 km/h), while Cummins posted the fifth-fastest time at 130.615 mph (210.20 km/h).


Surprises in the Supersport session

In the Supersport session, Dunlop opened with a lap of 124.973 mph (201.13 km/h), but Harrison was slightly faster at 124.99 mph (201.15 km/h).  However, Hickman put them second and third after a lap of 125.070 mph (201.24 km/h).  Harrison responded with 125.145 mph (201.34 km/h), but Hickman had the final say with an impressive lap of 127.206 mph (204.71 km/h).


Success in the Supertwin session

In the Supertwin session, Coward’s strong evening continued as he posted the second-fastest lap of the week at 120.912 mph (194.63 km/h).  That was the fastest lap of the evening, although Mike Browne was getting better with his Paton and after a first lap of 118.415 mph (190.55 km/h), reached 119.787 mph (192.78 km/h) on his second lap.


The Sidecar Session

At 8:25 p.m., it was time for the sidecars.  The Birchalls led 118.523 mph (190.74 km/h) on their first lap, seven seconds faster than Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley, who reached 117.786 mph (189.57 km/h).  Ryan and Callum Crowe were back on track after their accident at Laurel Bank on Monday and posted a solid lap of 114.128 mph (183.66 km/h).

Founds and Walmsley improved their time on their second lap to 118.159 mph (190.19 km/h).  However, the Birchalls, who had just changed a front tire, broke off at Ballacraine.


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Isle of Man TT 2023 - Qualifying 3
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