Isle of Man Race Report
Sorry it has been a while since my last update but my site was down during the TT and there was not much spare time for me to get it sorted !
To leave the Isle Of Man with two TT wins and a second in the senior is something that will take just a little while longer to sink in as it is by far my greatest achievement in racing.
From the day I arrived at the Isle Of Man this year the team took all pressure off me with no talk of results and just a plan to set up the three bikes and give me some time to learn my way around the course before race week.
In the final practice night I was well in the grove of the course and looking forward to the six lap Superbike TT the following morning.
Going into the race I knew a podium was possible but at the TT your main aim is to just finish the 405km long event as it is so hard on the bike.
At the end of six laps and two very fast pit stops by my crew I took my first TT win and it was more than I could have imagined.
After a rest day it was head down for the four lap superstock TT but with damp patches and heavy fog it wouldn’t be easy as I knew that would play into the hands of the riders that had more experience around the course.
But after the first lap I was leading by three seconds and with another perfect pit stop my GSXR1000 superstocker didn’t miss a beat as I took win number two by over fifteen seconds !
Straight out on the GSXR600 for the four lap supersport TT but due to a lack of practice time with poor weather I had not spent enough time on the bike to get a suitable race set up.
My result was ninth place and after two wins this was not where I wanted to be but that’s racing!
Supersport race two and I wanted to improve on my ninth place in race one but it was not to be as on lap three while in seventh position my little GSXR600 stopped with a broken cam chain on the mountain section so it was into the Mountain box marshal station for a cup of tea.
Friday was the final race of the TT with the six lap senior event open to the fastest qualifying riders from the event so far.
From the start it was a close race as John, Martin,Ainstey and myself were only seconds apart but then the TT course began to take its toll when Martin dropped out followed by Ainstey who was leading at the time.
So it was down to myself and John to settle the battle for the top step and I was ready to rumble!
As I was about to get the last lap board having broken John and opened the gap to almost eight seconds when my foot slipped off the left footrest?
On closer inspection I could see that I had an oil leak but as the engine was still running strong I continued on my final lap at a slower pace with the fear that I could get oil on my rear tire.
Half way around the course the leak was getting worse but the engine was still fine and I had almost two minutes over third placed Ian Hutchinson and did not want to stop with less than fifteen miles to ride.
With just a few miles to the flag the engine began to vibrate and I was holding my breath but the trusty GSXR1000 carried me across the line to take second place and the overall win for the 2008 TT event and the Joey Dunlop trophy that goes with it!
Overall a mega TT and thanks to each and every person that has helped me achieve my proudest motorcycle racing moment if not the greatest moment of my life!!
BSB Round one Brands Hatch GP circuit april 4/5/6
My first race of the 2008 BSB championship and my first time at the Brands Hatch circuit ad to that my first ride on the new 2008 model GSXR1000 Super Stock bike and I was looking at a big weekend of learning!
Arriving at the circuit and it was the first time any of the team had seen the new Relentless pit bay set up and talk about mega! Each year the BSB paddock takes a step up in presentation and this year is no different with all the top super bike teams looking as impressive as any current moto gp set up.
After my first lap of the circuit on the bicycle I could see this was my type of racetrack with some fast turns and plenty of up and down hill sections…
Friday morning and my first run out on the new bike to learn my way around with 30min of untimed practice.
The new bike felt great as I began to build up to speed quickly and end the session in 11th position and considering this would have to be one of the more technical circuits in the UK to learn I was happy to be well up in the 42 bike field.
For my class I have one timed qualifying session friday and one saturday so with the sun shining and the weather forecast ahead doubtful I wanted to make the most of my first timed session friday afternoon.
Working away at learning the circuit and some small set up changes to the bike I was pleased to record the 9th fastest time considering there was one second covering ten bikes and I had ridden the circuit for less than an hour since first seeing the place!
After raining in the morning it was drying out for my second and final timed session saturday afternoon and I was confident of improving my time.
The session was going well as I put in more laps to learn the track and improve my set up so with just minutes left I fitted a new rear tire and went out to set my final time.
As per usual so does every other rider in the field and trying to get a clear lap without being slowed by traffic around the 3.7km circuit is a mission.
Although I never got a perfect lap I was more than happy to improve my time and set the 8th fastest time to secure a second row start for sundays 16lap race.
I could not believe my eyes when I looked out my motel window to see the snow flakes falling sunday morning! All the same we headed out to the circuit positive that the weather may clear to let us race but no such luck as the weather continued to worsen and for the first time a BSB round was cancelled due to snow!
To say I was gutted would be an understatement as all was going so well but next week we are off to the Thruxton circuit for round two so hopefully the weather will be kind and I can put some points on the board!