TT 2010 Part 2 Race Week

Race week started with a delay on Saturday with sea mist blowing in and shrouding the start line and stopping the helicopter from flying. After several hours waiting around the race got underway in the afternoon. I got off to a good start catching and passing the rider in front of me on the road by Ramsey. I only had one scare in the whole race, trying a bit too hard through Gorse Lea on the first lap. With a full tank of fuel and the tyre not quite up to full temp the front wheel started to wash out mid-corner. This happened approaching 150mph, the tyre lost grip, that sickening feeling of the bars twisting to the inside of the corner, but suddenly it found the grip again. The bars firmed up and I was still on! Smooth pit stops after laps 2 and 4, beating my personal best lap time to hit 124.5mph two laps running. I felt that I’d put a good race together to finish in 13th place. Given that I was riding a Superstock bike with slicks on I was happy with that.

 

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The first Supersport race got underway on Monday morning. The Graham Eyton GSXR600 had served me well during practice week and I’d slowly been improving on my lap times. Riding the smaller capacity bike always helps my big bike lap times too. You really have to work the 600 to make the times and that helps you to understand where time can be found on the big bike too. I lapped just under 120mph for the whole race and felt good about the bike and how I was riding. I did manage to get a 30 second penalty for speeding in the pitlane (by 1.3kmh), this was a bit strange as I’d used the pitlane speed limiter on the bike which was set at 55kmh. But rules are rules this dropped my back to 26th position.

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The Superstock race was on Monday afternoon. With my great result in the Superbike race on saturday I felt that now my bike was on a more level playing field with the others and that this race was my best chance of a result. I think maybe I put a bit too much pressure on myself, trying too hard, I struggled to break the 124mph barrier that I’d managed on Saturday for the whole race. I came home in, for me, a disappointing 18th place. The bike was great, the pit stop went well but it just didn’t work for me on the day. Nevermind.

Supersport 2 was due to run on Wednesday, with heavy rain in the morning a delayed start eventually led to a postponement until Thursday. I can honestly say that I’d already decided not to run, even if the race had started, in the wet. Having raced previously at the TT on a patchy damp track I wasn’t prepared to take the risk. Once again, I was mindful that the bike wasn’t mine and I didn’t fancy having to buy the bits of  it from the owner after I’d thrown it at the scenery! Postponing the race, in my opinion, was the  right choice. After all the public came to see a race, not a bunch of  riders wobbling round on the wrong tyres in the wet. The race got going in good conditions on Thursday, again I put a race together of just under 120mph. I think, without waved yellows I would’ve beaten my goal of 120 but safety is paramount around the TT course. The pitstop went well but when I came to start the bike after the fill up it wouldn’t go, it sounded as if the battery was weak. Just as I was shouting for a push start, my mechanic, James was already pushing  with Wife Jo 2 paces behind!! The bike fired and I was away for another 2 laps. Eventually finishing in 22nd place. We traced the battery fault to a broken wire to the regulator/rectifier after the race. A big thanks to Graham Eyton for the use of the bike for the event at such short notice, it did me proud.

The final race of the fortnight was the blue riband Senior on Friday. Again I caught and passed the rider in front of me on the road at Ramsey on lap one. After my pitstop at the end of lap two I came across waved yellows on the approach to Ballagarey. To be honest I saw the smoke before the yellow flags, slowing to virtually walking pace through the crash involving Guy Martin. I’m pleased to say that Guy is ok and recovering from injury well. We were stopped by red flag a Ballacraine, shortly after we following the travelling marshall back to the paddock. The restart was over a shortened 4 lap distance. I again set a good pace early on lapping at 124.2mph, just under my personal best, on the first lap. The wind over the mountain was really strong, making several turn in points, especially at the top of Hailwood Rise, a real struggle. 

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The final race of the fortnight was the blue riband Senior on Friday. Again I caught and passed the rider in front of me on the road at Ramsey on lap one. After my pitstop at the end of lap two I came across waved yellows on the approach to Ballagarey. To be honest I saw the smoke before the yellow flags, slowing to virtually walking pace through the crash involving Guy Martin. I’m pleased to say that Guy is ok and recovering from injury well. We were stopped by red flag a Ballacraine, shortly after we following the travelling marshall back to the paddock. The restart was over a shortened 4 lap distance. I again set a good pace early on lapping at 124.2mph, just under my personal best, on the first lap. The wind over the mountain was really strong, making several turn in points, especially at the top of Hailwood Rise, a real struggle. 

Also with the wind on my back for the Creg, I had to brake earlier than usual to make sure I made the corner, it would’ve been really easy to get dragged into running wide here in particular. I was happy with how I was riding, another smooth pit stop by James, Jo and my Dad. I finished a pleasing 13th. I’m really happy with this finish against the big names and teams and all on my own Superstock bike as well.

 Photo courtesy of Jude

Photo courtesy of Jude

Overall this years TT has been a great event for me with 5 strong finishes, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze replicas. I improved my personal best time too. Although I had aimed slightly higher, given my lack of preparation time with the bike etc, I was happy with my haul of replicas and faster lap times too.

I’ll be back for at least one more year.

Many Thanks to all of my sponsors who made this happen at very short notice.

Quill Exhausts/JB Racing,

RLR Motorsport,

Maxton Suspension,

Bob Beese,

Tom Jones,

A&S Transport,

Carl Roberts,

Tony Mackman,

Goodridge,

NGK,

Castrol,

Motul,

RST Leathers,

R&G Racing,

Hein Gerike (Chester)

roadracingsupporters.com

Bill Smith Motors (Chester)

Brian Woolgar,

Posted: July 6, 2010

Ian Mackman