A great report from Guzzi 1100 sport rider Peter Hindley in the newcomers class in the manx, being a huge Guzzi fan found this great, We Guzzi riders (I have A dukey too, so dont roast me to bad) dont have much fun at your expense.
But the best of luck to Pete and Piet in a see of a zillion CBR600's. Ride safe boys, take it easy.
Greetings from the sunny Isle of Man !!.
Tuesday nights practice got underway more or less on time despite a few communication problems between riders and organisers regarding the splitting of classes for the session, and the resulting panic to get into parc ferme before the gate was locked. Scrutineers examined a record 389 machines, most of which had been done the night before, but as the session was cancelled it proved to be a waste of everyones time. As it must, safety takes priority, and every machine must be checked before every session.
The Police closed the roads promptly at 6.00pm, and we were led out onto Glencrutchery Road to await the start.
The session was for mixed classes consisting of junior (600cc), ultra lightweight (400/125cc), junior classic (pre-1971 250cc) and senior classic (pre-1971 500cc) as well as my own class, newcomers.
I sat in a queue of around 200 machines as we warmed up, and shuffled down towards the start line. Riders are released in pairs at around 5 sec. intervals, and I soon found myself alongside and immaculately prepared 1965 Manx Norton which made so much noise my chest shook !!.
Just before the start we were shown a board saying "damp patches through Glen Helen, mud in road after Ballacraine, Rain in Ramsey, Mist on Mountain". Nice !!.
As I have already qualified as far is speed is concerned, my aims for the session were to learn some more about the cuircuit, sort out a couple of corners that had caused me problems on Saturday, and try to follow a few classic riders to pick up tips. The classic riders are some of the best out there, and hold amazing corner speed, and as a newcomer, you can learn volumes following them for a while.
I set off briskly down Bray Hill, short-shifting into top gear just before the compression at the bottom which knocks the air out of your chest.
I settled into a nice pace, and got as far as Ballig Bridge before a classic came past me !!. I tried to hang on as long as I could, and managed about 3 miles before he dropped me !!. I learnt lots about corner speed, and how to hold it. Even though I could have passed him easily on the straights, he left me for dead through the twisties. And I had my knee on the deck !!!. That's experiance for you !!.
The bumpiest section of the course is now the approach to Ramsey, and due to the damp patches I knocked it right off through here only to be passed by more of those bloody classics !!.
Once on the mountain, the mist decended and visability was down to about 50ft. Everyone seemed to back off until it cleared on the decent into Douglas. As I was hammering down the mountain in top gear a classic shat it'self and pulled right across my line. That was exciting !!.
I took the grandstand section flat out, and commenced my second lap. The approach to Bray Hill looks like a dead end from a distance, and then the road falls away underneath you as you try to find the courage to keep the throttle open. It is like threading a needle at 140mph.
A few miles later, I caught up, with Piet Potgieter (South African Battle of the Twins Champion) on his 998 Ducati.
As god is my witness. I passed him on the back wheel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
This is not the whole story (as you might have guessed) Poor old Piet was a bit lost, and as a result I caught him and got in his slipstream on the approach to the top gear wagon and horses jump. I guessed he would bottle it (who would'nt ?) and as he shut off, I nipped alongside and passed him right on the crest. It would have made a brilliant photograph. Hooraahh for the Guzzi !!
The rest of the lap went well apart from the mist tightening it's grip on the mountain.
The final (unofficial) times were 94.4mph for the first lap, and 95.13mph for the second lap. Considering all the places I had to shut off, I am pleased with that and the magic 100mph may be possible with a clear run......
A full report is available on www.iommgp.com
and photos are at eddysphotos.com
I am out again tonight (wednesday) so wish me luck.