Old blogs from the MGP - re-hosted from MySpace

Category: "MGP 2006"

Manx Grand Prix 2006 - post-Senior Race Day

  09/02/06 14:07, by , Categories: MGP 2006

I'm writing this on the Saturday after the Senior race.

Yesterday's racing was severly delayed because of a road accident just before the roads closed.  It was a fatality, so the Police had to do several hours clearing up before the first race, the Lightweight/Ultra-lightweigh, got under way.  Which meant that the Senior didn't get away until 3:30pm.

Conditions were good, sunny and dry, tho it was quite windy, especially over the mountain.  Once again my start number had been bumped up, this time to 23 (from 49) because of my pace in practice and the Junior.  I lined up next to Tim Devlin on an SP1, but was confident I'd soon lose him because he'd only managed 105 in practice.  Ten seconds ahead of us, starting alone, was Mike Minns, on 1000cc MZ twin (yes, really).  I'd checked his practice times too, and with a best of 107 I was confident I'd soon be past him too...

Starting 23 means that you're soon away, and as predicted I dropped Tim on the line, and never saw him again.  I set my sights on Mike, and he came into view on the long run up to Ballahutchin.  But, try as I might, and despite my bike being very fast in a straight line, it took me ages to wind him in.  It wasn't until the mountain climb, some 20 miles later, that I got on his tail, and made my move past on the way up Hailwood Rise.  As expected, he stayed on my tail, and was right behind me going into Governors Bridge (where you get chance to see who's following).  I kept my head down and went as fast as I could.  I'd been hoping to wind in some other people who started ahead of me, but the road was very empty.

I was riding my own ride, and was suprised when Mike Minns came past me into Miln Town - one of the bumpiest, hairiest parts of the course.  He must have his bike working really well on the bumps.  Once again I caught him back across the mountain, this time passing on the way into Bungalow Bridge.  There was a hint of rain, and my rear tyre slid slowly but surely as I exited the corner, which I took as a warning that there was no more speed to be found on that particular corner.

My pit stop went very well, as in the Junior - my crew Mike and Andy were completely in control and assured, and I got a drink and a energy gel pack while the fuel went in.  I can only assume that Mike Minns pit stop was a bit slower, because I didn't see him again.  The next two laps were a little more lonely, tho I was caught and passed by a couple of riders further down the order, and tried to hang on to them for a while.  The last lap was lots of fun - the bike was flying, and I was more and more confident about slinging it through the fast sections.  At the end of Cronky-y-voddy, and through the top of Barragarrow, I was stood on the pegs and moto-crossing it across the bumps, and it felt great.  However, I wasn't sure if I was going to make my sub-20 min target.

At the end I was just as tired as on Wednesday.  As usual, we had to wait a little while for the full results, so we spent the time productively in the beer tent.  Final result was another 22nd place, a replica, and a fastest lap of 20:12 - six seconds slower than Wednesday.  My overall race time was 24 seconds slower, tho half the field went slower too, so maybe conditions weren't quite as good.

In the evening we all went to the prize giving and Keith and I collected our replicas (it should have been two each, but they ran out!  Second one to follow in the post apparently).  And we drank quite a lot. 

Today (Saturday) has been spent dealing with hangovers, and emptying the van.  And not much else.

So that's the 2006 Manx Grand Prix.  I've got results which are far, far better than I could ever have hoped, and pretty much loved every minute of it.

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Manx Grand Prix 2006 - post-Junior Race Day

  08/31/06 14:03, by , Categories: MGP 2006

At last I've got chance to catch up...

The race yesterday was incredibly intense.  Starting near the front meant the level of competition was high, so I was riding with people who were quick.  This drew me on a bit, but the level of concentration required was quite amazing.  Apparently my opening lap was 111mph, which is pretty good from a standing start.  I didn't beat anyone who started in front of me, although two didn't finish, so my start position was pretty much right.

The pit stop came around very quickly, and went really smoothly - in fact, comparing the lap 2 vs lap 3 times (the pit stop time is added to lap 3), we had a faster stop than some of the top riders.  The extra weight of fuel almost caught me out at Quarter Bridge - I took such a wide line the spectators must have wondered if I was going to Castletown. 

The last lap was quite fun - I was in the company of number 32 (Scott Wilson), and we had a good dice.  We both knew that he was a minute in front because of his later start number, so neither of us did anything silly - we just had some fun.  He made a mistake going into the Bungalow, and was slow out, enabling me to get past him on the way up Hailwood Rise, and I kept a small advantage to the end.

My fastest lap was 20:06 - so my next target is to do a sub-20 minute lap.  Dunno if I'll do that on Friday - I feel pretty chilled out and relaxed now, but I'll probably be fired up again in the morning.

Today we put some new brake pads in, and bedded them in at Jurby.  Keith and I both have new rear tyres fitted, and we've changed the oil, mostly to check the condition of the stuff that was in there - no metal or clutch, so that's all good.

A quiet night tonight, and another early start in the morning

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Manx Grand Prix 2006 - Junior Race

  08/30/06 14:00, by , Categories: MGP 2006

This will be quite a short entry...

Junior race today. I was as nervous as a kitten all morning, but as usual, was fine once the flag dropped.  Result was I finished 22nd, got a replica, a race average of 110mph and a best lap of 112mph.  Wow.

Going down the pub soon.

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Manx Grand Prix 2006 - Day 11 - Eve of Junior Race

  08/29/06 13:58, by , Categories: MGP 2006

I got a call from the Race Office offering me start number 20 (instead of my previous 68).  Of course, I grabbed it! 

The bike is ready, the van is loaded, time for bed.  Big day tomorrow.

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Manx Grand Prix 2006 - Day ten

  08/28/06 13:57, by , Categories: MGP 2006

Easy day today - just watched some racing. The guy who won the Newcomer's race was bloody fast (117mph!), but the most amazing thing was that he "only" did 111mph in practice.  How on earth did he find 60~70 seconds?

In other news, Slick had the bike today to try and fix a fuelling problem when accelerating at around 8k revs.  There's only about 3 places on the course where the revs fall that low, but if it can be fixed it'll be good.  When I picked the bike up, Slick said he'd improved it, but not been able to completely eliminate it, and advised me to roll, rather than crack, the throttle at those revs.  But, he'd also improved the fuelling throughout and it now has 121bhp (well, 120.9), and more peak torque than any other 600 he's seen!

Not much to do tomorrow except fit new tyres and brake pads, and clean the bike and give it a full nut and bolt check.  And then ready for the race on Wednesday...

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