A frustrating few days have followed since my last blog update. Tuesday practice was abandoned due to poor weather, but Wednesday looked all set to go. With the bikes all through scrutineering and set up on the road I was ready for a couple of laps on the Norton. A delay was called, Chinese whispers came through the line that there was rain/puddles in Ramsey. Eventually it was called that practice would go ahead but due to the conditions would be untimed.
I got a look at the webcam footage from Ramsey to see puddles on the road and a generally rough looking scene. Taking the Norton out for its first laps in these conditions on slicks wasn’t an option so I jumped onto the 600. To be honest the lap was a bit wasted really. The roads were damp from Ballacraine and really wet from Ginger Hall pretty much until the Creg. I wobbled around, like most, for a lap.
Thursday came with finally some sunshine, just the way it should be. I took the Norton out it was decided that if I was happy then I’d do two laps as we were really short of track time. The bike was working really well, a few minor mods logged into my mind for the next practice, but the gearing was a bit too short meaning that I was rolling the throttle on the straights to keep off the limiter. I carried on through to do two laps so we could assess fuel usage and how the bike felt with a lighter fuel load. I changed the gearing and made a minor fork change at the end of the two laps.
Out again for another two laps the gearing was a big improvement and the bike was holding a line much better with the changes made. I was still clipping the limiter so straight line speed was held back, getting held up behind other riders through the bumpy sections. The final lap of the night saw a lap speed of 119.5mph, both myself and the guys at Norton were really pleased; 4 laps without fault and with some changes/clear track the bike is capable of so much more. I’d go as far as to say that the chassis is the most stable I’ve ridden especially through the bumpy section to Ramsey. Some changes to improve the way the bike holds a line and some more power are set for tonight’s practice so fingers crossed for some more good weather. The TT barely feels like its got going yet and we are racing tomorrow!!!!
I’ll keep you posted.