With perfect conditions yet again all the way round the Mountain Course, Thursday evening’s qualifying session at the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races saw Michael Dunlop set the island alight with the first 132mph+ lap of the week.
The Ulsterman lapped at 132.36mph on his Hawk Racing BMW and also made the headlines in the Superstock class with his lap of 131.34mph an unofficial lap record.
Early in the evening, the idyllic conditions only hinted at the explosive action that was to follow. Ivan Lintin and Steve Mercer were first to leave the line at exactly 6.20pm with Michael Rutter and James Hillier and Martin Jessopp and Bruce Anstey next to go, the latter on his more familiar Honda Fireblade after focussing his efforts in recent nights on the Honda RC213V-S.
Ian Hutchinson and Gary Johnson were also early away with John McGuinness setting off, as normal, slightly further back in the seventh pairing and Michael Dunlop starting ten seconds ahead of him.