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Manx Grand Prix 2007 - Day Seven

  08/25/07 14:44, by , Categories: MGP 2007

(this being written the morning after)

File under: "That's Racing"

As we didn't practice at all last night, there should have been nothing to do to the bikes.  Slick wanted to run them on the dyno to check the fuelling, so we popped up there, and he ran them up, and said they were fine (more later...).  But, one of the paddock stand bobbins on the 600 was at a jaunty angle, and Slick just reached down and broke it off with his hand!  So, back to the workshop, swingarm out, off to the welder (Phil Wall, who's the best welder/fabricator I've ever met) to fix, back in, job done.

We pushed the bikes thru scruting in bright sunshine, and it was going to be a good session.  The classics and ultra-lightweights (400s/125s) had the first session, so we didn't go until 7:30pm.  I set off alongside Phil McGurk, who's been doing 114mph all week - I fluffed it off the line, and he had 50 yards on me, but I was behind him before the braking zone for Quarterbridge; we both had to negotiate another slow starter, and then I easily passed him on the run up Ballahutchin.

The sun was directly in our eyes through the Greeba and Appledene section, but on the run out of Greeba Bridge down to Ballacraine I felt the engine just hold back a bit.  On arriving at Ballacraine there were oil flags out, and lots of cement dust down, and I got a bit of a slide on the way out, but then my foot slipped off the peg.  I was a bit cautious through the next couple of corners, and then looked down, and there was oil smoke coming up from the engine.  I slowed and stopped at Laurel Bank.  The bike sat in a puddle of oil.

Once roads opened, Mike came and picked me up in the van.  I'd already phoned Slick, and he said to bring the bike straight to the workshop, which we did.  Initially he thought maybe crankcase pressure had just caused the cam cover gasket to pop, but further investigation revealed a wrecked plug, which meant a melted piston.  So he dropped a new motor in (it took him about 2 hours, and that was working slowly for him!).  We ran the new engine up on the dyno a little after midnight (his workshop is a long way from any neighbours), with the ignition retarded a bit, and the fuelling set on the rich side for safety.  It still made 127bhp in the cool night air.

To bed at 1am.  Up at 8am this morning, cos there's lots to do...

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