Sports

Anderson smashes TT lap record

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Anderson smashes TT lap record thumbnail Shaun Anderson receives his bronze replica at the Isle of Man TT, from Phillip McCallen. Photograph: Philip Magowan/PressEye.

FOLLOWING some storming results in Horice, including smashing a lap record, Banbridge racer Shaun Anderson made some history at the Isle of Man TT earlier this month when he was the first man to complete a competitive lap on the brand new L7 Suzuki.

The bike, which Shaun had only had the chance to race previously at the Tandragee 100, was very much a stock machine in comparison to his rivals.

It was never going to be a case of jump on and go fast for Shaun and the new Anderson Race Developments Suzuki, as little race time on the 2017 machine would mean some trial and error would be the only way to improve.

With weather hampering practice and qualifying sessions, the situation Shaun found himself in was far from ideal. Though all competitors were in the same boat, most had time on their respective machines - some racing weekly.

First up was the RST Superbike race. It was steady for the 32-yearold with a first lap average of 125.322mph, which would be a good marker for what to aim towards.

On the fourth lap of the race, he clipped a kerb on the right-hand side, bending a footpeg of the bike.

At the end of that lap as Shaun pitted, the pit scrutineer insisted the peg be straightened and retightened before being allowed to rejoin the race.

The cost of this for Shaun in terms of time could have been almost a minute, which sadly dropped him back down to 22nd place by the end of the final lap.

The Superstock got off to a slightly faster start, lapping at 125.411mph from a standing start, finishing the first lap in an impressive 10th place.

With slowing down for a planned pitstop the following lap, that speed dropped to 123.282mph.

Unfortunately for Shaun, that would be as fast as he would get in the Superstock event, as a hole in the exhaust on lap three would leave the powerful Japanese machine unrideable.

With time of the essence as it usually is in the paddock, Shaun, along with father, Howard got to work repairing the bike.

The only race left was the blue riband event - the PokerStars Senior TT. With some changes made to the bike for the feature race, including a replacement exhaust system, Shaun headed down Bray Hill for the start of a six-lap race.

On the second lap, favourite Ian Hutchinson crashed and broke his femur in his left leg, causing a red flag. This meant a four-lap restart, the first lap of which saw Shaun record a 125.938mph lap.

The pitstop in the Senior TT was more efficient than the previous and Shaun set off in a good time.

His final lap would be the fastest of his 2017 TT, recording a 126.823mph average, finishing 19th overall, being the third Irish man home, only behind the Dunlop duo, Michael and William.

Less than 40 seconds split the 11th to 19th places after the 150- mile race, and with more race time on the bike before TT 2018, Shaun looks forward to next year.

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