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manx grand prix 2007 - Days Nine & Ten

  08/27/07 14:49, by , Categories: MGP 2007

(Didn't get chance to write this yesterday)

Sunday:   Slick wanted the 600 back on the dyno to double check it, so we took it up there, and he fine-tuned the fuelling and ignition.  It still made 127bhp, but should be very safe now.  Then I took it to my workshop, and gave both bikes a full 'nut and bolt' check, and just made sure everything was just right.

In the evening we went to the TT Marshals Association supper, which is a big event put on for all the marshals running the course.  It takes a minimum of 575 people to man the course, and these people give their time completely freely; as racers we know that we wouldn't be out there riding without them.  After the meal there's a "rider's forum" where the marshals can ask us questions; I was quite proud to be invited into this.  It was all quite good fun and good-natured (questions like : "Do you have sex during race week?").

Monday:  We had an extra practice scheduled after the racing today, as we'd lost several sessions to the weather last week. I was pretty focused on this, because I wanted to put in a good time to try and justify getting bumped up the race order.  We had to be over to be scrut'd at 10am, so the whole day was spent in the paddock.  This was a little bit of a shame, because I like watching the races, and Monday is the only day I get chance; watching from the paddock means you just see people race down the start/finish straight.  But, it was a good race (on the radio), and a chap I know fairly well, Justin Croft, was third in the Newcomers race, so I was really pleased for him.

The Senior Classic (500cc) was run in the afternoon, and was also quite interesting.  The two Paton's were really fast, and Ryan Farquhar was pretty unbeatable, winning by around 40 seconds. 

Then it was time for our practice session.  Unlike the rest of the week, when the top 30 seeded riders get out first, today was a real melee to get onto the road.  I was pretty annoyed by this, as I wanted a clear track, but everybody else was thinking the same - this was the last chance to make an impression.  I ended up with at least 30 people in front of me, if not more, which certainly fired me up!  I beat my starting partner off the line, and set about going fast.  Which seemed to work, as I started catching people straight away.  While this was quite fun, I knew it was holding me up - on the run up Creg Willys Hill I was shouting "get out of the way!" at the guy in front of me.  I think I passed more than 10 people on the lap, including my mate Keith, just before Ramsey. 

I got back to the Grandstand with a big grin on my face - the bike was fast, handled pretty well, and I'd been having great fun.  Mike had timed me at well under 20 minutes, and we went and checked the official time in the race office (19:48; 114mph).  I know I'd lost a good 10 seconds with traffic, if not 20, which puts me on a decent 115/116 pace.  Also, my bike was the fastest 600 down Sulby Straight at 167.8mph!  And there were only two 750s faster!  I phoned Slick and congratulated him on building the fastest 600 in the field. 

And, to put the icing on the cake, I was 5th fastest overall.  Very, very pleased about this - I needed to make a case for getting my start number moved up, and I couldn't have done a better job.

[ The domain that used to have the timing results, www.iommgp.com is now defunct]

Food now, then perhaps a drink or two

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