Monday Practice Report
After sitting at the docks for 2 hours panicking that we wouldn’t get onto the boat, we eventually were allowed on. We spent most of the crossing asleep in the kid’s play area – there’s some soft cushions in there! Jo and I got to the paddock about 7.30 am on Friday morning. My old racing mate Ron Fry and his son Gary met us there for awning setup/mechanical support for practice week. Their help has been very welcome.
Saturday night’s practice was just for Newcomers and Supertwins so we went to Bray Hill to spectate as a busman’s holiday! Blimey, does it look dangerous from the sidelines!!! After Saturday’s session getting run in perfect conditions we had another great day weather wise on Sunday, travelling to the north of the island to watch some club motocross. Typically the weather turned on Sunday night, most of which I spent jumping out of bed to make sure the awning wasn’t taking off and dragging my van through the paddock. The wind was so strong all night and the rain started at about 5 am and continuing all day until just before scrutineering. I didn’t think the session was going to be able to go ahead but it cleared up to a degree, but had a very cold wind blowing in. I decided that even though conditions weren’t perfect that I’d have a run out and check the course/bike out at an easy pace.
I got underway feeling at home on the ZX6. The bike was running well and seemed fast enough. I just took it easy to be honest; the session had already been called as a non-qualifier due to the conditions. There would be nothing to gain from going all out. As always Glen Helen and Ramsay hairpin were the wettest but it was reasonably patchy for the whole lap. Going up onto the mountain the fog came down around the Bungalow and lasted until the drop down to the Creg. Now I commute by bike all seasons and I’ve rarely ridden in such heavy fog. Visibility must’ve been down to about 30 metres (I wouldn’t trust my measurements though – remember the ferry problem I had!). Just as I was crawling my way through the 32nd, another rider – who I think must’ve been Luke Skywalker as he was obviously using “the force” to sense where he was going – flew past and disappeared into the mist! With nothing to be gained from going all out I decided “you can have that buddy” and took things steady for the remains of the lap. I stayed on track and got another lap in. Now knowing where the wet bits were it sped things up, I just sat back and enjoyed it.
A successful night really, the bike ran faultlessly and a good check over this morning revealed no problems. I sit now awaiting scrutineering for tonight’s practice. I’m due out on the Norton first and then again on the 600 in a seperate lightweight session. Rumour has it that the weather is due to turn bad again tonight, fingers crossed that practice gets away ok.
I’ll keep you posted.