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Manx Grand Prix 2007 - Day Thirteen »

Manx Grand Prix 2007 - Days Fourteen & Fifteen

  09/01/07 15:06, by , Categories: MGP 2007

A sour end to a great fortnight...

Friday: Senior Race Day
The morning dawned overcast with low cloud, hanging across the mountain.   We all knew a prompt start would be unlikely. Still, we had to get to scrutineering at our alloted time (9am), so we were up and away as usual. The first race of the day was the Lightweight (250 two strokes) and the Ultra-Lightweight (400 four strokes and 125 two strokes) - the two classes run together, with the 250s going off first.  The start was scheduled for 10:15, but the race office announced that roads would not be closing on time, and a further announcement would be made at 11am, so there was a fair amount of sitting around to be done.  Unlike Wednesday, I felt much more relaxed, as did most riders - having one race under our belt had made us all much less tense. 

At 11am the tannoy fired up, announcing that the roads would close at midday, and the first race would start at 12:45 - it at least looked as if we might race later in the afternoon.  But, more delays were called, and the Lightweight/UltraLightweight eventually got away at 1:45pm.   Conditions were good in Douglas, but the cloud looked very low over the mountain.  The leaders and midfield men managed to get their 4 laps in, but a dozen or so tailenders were caught by descending cloud and completed their last run over the mountain under waved yellow flags.  All reported difficult conditions, with mixed wet patches, slippery white lines and swirling fog.

So, the Senior runners all set about putting intermediate tyres in their bikes, but with a nagging doubt that we'd not get to race. Another 30 minute delay was called, and then the Clerk of the Course came on the tannoy to say that conditions had deteriorated badly, and the race would be cancelled.

In such circumstances, the race would normally have been scheduled for the next day, but this was the last day of race week, and many marshals were booked on ferries home that night and the next day, meaning there were not enough marshals to man the course on Saturday.  So, for the first time in the history of the Manx Grand Prix, a race was abandoned.

In the evening, the presentations were to run at the Villa Marina in Douglas.  This is usually an ejoyable nigth out, with everyone in a good mood after a week's racing, but this time felt a little flat.  Still, I went on stage and got my replica for 9th place in the Junior, and had my photo taken, and then we returned to Ramsey, went in the Traff and had quite a few drinks.

Saturday
Hangover. Then I had to return the bikes to the spec which I got them from Slick (including lots of tyre swapping), and drive them up to his workshop.  This was quite fun for my dad and Ginny, as they got to see a bike being run on the dyno.  Then it was Ginny's turn to go to the airport, and little more to be done except tidy the workshop, eat, and go back down the pub.

And so, another Manx Grand Prix is over.  I had two ambitions for this year - a top ten finish, and 115mph lap.  I managed both, but secretly I had hoped for a little more.  I was on the best bikes in the paddock, I think, so I'm not sure where much extra speed will come from next year.  But, I'll think about that later. For now I'll enjoy the results I got.

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