After a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TT came back to life last Sunday with the first official training session since May 2019.
Padgetts Racing rider Davey Todd set the pace on opening night on his Honda Superbike with a 127.492mph speed from 2019 Senior TT race winner Dean Harrison and 23-time TT winner John McGuinness on the official Honda.
In the second Superbike practice session on Monday, five-time TT winner and lap record holder Hickman guided his Gas Monkey Garage-backed FHO BMW M1000RR to the first 130mph laps of the week.
Harrison picked up the pace on night three on his DAO Racing Kawasaki with a lap of 131.767mph, before Hickman hit the 133mph barrier with a 133.22mph effort on Thursday night.
Friday’s final day of training was scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m. local time, but rain forced the return to 6:20 p.m.
Another seven-minute delay followed before the Supersport and Supertwin machines were sent out in a review of the original running order.
Michael Dunlop topped the session with a 125.040mph on his MD Racing Honda, although that was slower than the best of the 19-time TT winner in the class on Thursday at 126.662mph.
Michael Dunlop, MD Racing
Photo by: Dave Kneen
Dunlop was also the fastest in the Supertwins class, setting a 120.303mph lap on his Patton, but Hickman set the fastest lap on his Aprilia from Thursday with a 120.994mph.
There was drama at the start of the session when Todd’s Padgetts Honda expired at Mountain Mile, with the Englishman forced to borrow a marshal’s enduro bike to return to Douglas’ paddock.
Due to wet spots on sections of the 37.75-mile circuit from previous rain, no one overturned the best times in each solo class.
Hickman led the Superbike times with a 132.876mph on his second lap on the new M1000RR after changing his package setup and leads the class overall after his Thursday effort.
Dunlop set Friday’s fastest Superstock lap with a 129.29 mph on his MD Racing Honda, but Hickman topped the class for the week with a 129.91 mph.
Hickman opted not to do any laps on his Superstock motorcycle before Saturday’s opening Superbike race during Friday’s race, while Harrison split his time between his Kawasaki Superbike and his Superstock machine.
TT legend McGuinness will make his 100th race start on Saturday aboard his Honda Superbike and finish the week of practice in the top eight overall with a record 129.278 mph.
John McGuinness, Honda Racing UK
Photo by: Dave Kneen
His teammate and TT rookie Glenn Irwin had an impressive evening on his Honda Superbike after experiencing technical issues with it on Thursday.
The British Superbike leader clocked a lap of 128.28mph, just under 1mph from Hickman’s new fastest lap ever in 2014, ahead of his TT race debut on Saturday.
The Sidecars headed into their final practice session a week after the solo race ended, with 10-time TT winner Ben and passenger Tom Birchall setting the best pace of the week with a lap of 117.516mph.
The training week was marred by the tragic death of 29-year-old Welsh rider Mark Purslow, who tragically passed away after an accident on Wednesday night on the Ballagarey section of the track.