THE TT record book was smashed to smithereens on Wednesday evening with two stunning laps by the HM Plant Honda trio of solo ace John McGuinness and the formidable sidecar duo of Dave Molyneux and Craig Hallam.

Never before have the outright solo and sidecar lap records been broken in the same practice session, albeit unofficially, setting the 2006 TT up for a marvellous week of high speed racing.

McGuinness had been complaining all week that high winds were hampering his progress on the mountain section of the 37.7-mile course, but despite cross winds in certain areas on Wednesday his extra weight and upper body strength enabled him to wrestle the 1000cc Fireblade superbike to an electrifying lap of 17 minutes 42.7 seconds — a speed of 127.810mph.

‘Conditions were a lot better this evening,’ admitted the eight-times winner from Morecambe.

‘The Fireblade is well set up now and I’m happy with the way it is handling. It felt good out there.’

Barely one hour later, Dave Molyneux and Craig Hallam fired the 600 Honda round the same piece of tarmac at a speed of 116.224mph, a time of 19m 28.67s — 1.8 seconds inside the record set by Moly and Dan Sayle in last year’s sidecar B race.

‘Everything was spot on tonight,’ admitted Moly.

‘The sun wasn’t really a problem and we weren’t bothered by the wind. Craig is a very good passenger with an excellent understanding for the bike, he’s also a good solo rider so he knows exactly where I need him. He gives me a lot of confidence.

‘To be honest, Craig and I should have cracked 20 minutes back in 1999, but we had a few mechanical problems and after that I lost interest for a while. But I’m right back on it now.’


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