Qualifying has begun for the Isle of Man TT, and so far, Ian Hutchinson is the man to beat.
For a comprehensive review of what to watch for at this year’s IOMTT, check out Jensen Beeler’s heads-up on Asphalt & Rubber. This year, Canadians will be rooting for Darren James, who’s entered in the Supersport race, for Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki team. Dan Kruger’s 2014 appearance was the last time a Canadian raced the IOMTT.
Going into the Mountain Course will certainly mean James has a lot to learn, and fast, but he did manage to get sixth at the North West 200 Super Twins event in mid-May, so he’s already proved he can be competitive in those circles.
In qualifying so far, Ian Hutchinson has been the man to beat, with a 130.63 mph lap in Superbike qualifying last night. He was fastest in both Superbike and Superstock, with John McGuinness, then Peter Hickman on his heels in Superbike. Michael Rutter, then Hickman again, filled out the top three slots in Superstock.
One of the most impressive performances so far has come from Bruce Anstey, who’s piloting the Honda RCV213S “street-legal MotoGP bike” at the Isle of Man. Anstey managed a 127.071 mph pace after only one sighting lap aboard the machine. Not bad at all …