Dean Harrison gave a warning to Michael Dunlop that he won’t have it all his own way in the RST Classic Superbike Race as he topped the leaderboard of Thursday evening’s qualifying session for the centenary Manx Grand Prix.

Harrison lapped at an impressive 125.597mph on the Key Racing Ducati which compared favourably to Dunlop’s lap of 126.046mph set earlier in the day. Harrison also topped the Carole Nash Classic Senior leaderboard with a lap of 110.248mph on the Craven Manx Norton.

There were also impressive speeds from Marcus Simpson (Mylchreests Group Senior) and Maurizio Bottalico (Manx Grand Prix Supporters Club Junior) with laps of 120.813mph and 115.239mph respectively, Simpson’s lap making him the fastest Senior rider of the week so far.

After the busy afternoon session, a reduced number of Classic Superbike riders were out this evening, but it was Harrison who set off towards Bray Hill first followed by Brian McCormack (Greenall Racing Kawasaki), James Hillier (KTS Racing Power by Steadplan Sales Kawasaki), Michael Rutter (Bathams Ales Suzuki) and Derek Sheils on the second Greenall machine.

Mike Browne was also away early, and hoping to complete a lap on the Davies Motorsport Yamaha, with Simpson (JPS Racing powered by Atherstone Yamaha), Chris Cook (Alasdair Cowan Racing Kawasaki), Victor Lopez (Team ILR Yamaha) and Maurizio Bottalico (Younix/Virus)

Power/Imuoto Yamaha) the first Senior class runners out on the course.

Conditions were again ideal, and Harrison was back at the Grandstand first with a lap of 125.597mph, his quickest of the week, and that put him ahead of Rutter (122.287mph), McCormack (121.814mph), Sheils (120.989mph) and Michael Evans (118.319mph). Browne’s bad luck continued though as he stopped at the Railway, Union Mills.

There were no such problems for Simpson though and the first timer lapped at 120.211mph, with Joe Yeardsley (118.589mph), Cook (117.446mph), Samuel Mousley (117.394mph), Bottalico (117.312mph) and David Rigby (117.035mph) slotting in behind.

Harrison pulled in after his 125mph+ lap but the two Greenall Racing machines of McCormack and Sheils continued for a second lap and increased their speeds to 122.735mph and 121.746mph respectively. Evans also upped his pace to 118.783mph with Tom Weeden not far behind at 118.26mph.

Speeds increased in the Senior class too with Simpson lapping at 120.813mph, which bettered Dan Ingham’s previous class topping lap from Wednesday evening. Yeardsley (120.116mph) joined him in the 120s with Mousley (118.366mph), Rigby (118.041mph) and Michael Rees (116.941mph) also improving.

Just after 7.15pm, the Classic Senior, Lightweight and Junior machines got their session underway and Yeardsley, Simpson and Bottalico matched each other through the majority of the sectors in the latter. It was Bottalico who was quickest though with a lap of 115.239mph followed by Yeardsley and Andrea Majola (both 114.532mph), Marc Colvin (113.733mph) and Jamie Williams (113.654mph) although the latter increased his speed to 113.956mph on his second lap.

In the Lightweights, the running order was Daniel Sayle (112.264mph), Stuart Hall (111.389mph), Gareth Arnold (111.303mph) and Michal Dokoupil (110.542mph) whilst Harrison lapped at 108.384mph on his opening lap on the Craven Manx Norton before upping his speed to 110.248mph second time around.

Rutter (106.597mph) was second quickest whilst Daniel Ingham was fastest in the Ultra-Lightweight class with a lap of 104.937mph followed by Andy McAllister (102.301mph) and Leon Murphy (101.037mph).