I've not been able to log on until today, but thought I would stick this on here for anybody that is interested. lots of nice dukes out on the Island already and some very nice ones in the race paddock, Monster Mob have Shakey's bike here which McGuiness was really flying on, on Tuesday evening, they also have a 999R here for him in the proddy race, I was talking to A German rider earlier who is struggling to qualify his 998R after crashing it on Tuesday in Parliment square.
Now the bit relating to My bike that my mate is racing.2003 TT practice week so far
Adrian and I arrived on the IOM on Friday morning following a night time ferry crossing and after a few hours sleep we took his riding gear up to the grandstand for scruitineering after which we attended the riders briefing and signing on.
On Saturday we arrived at the Grandstand around 3 in the afternoon with one of the R6s after previously checking the bike over in the garage back at base in Union Mills. One concern Adrian had about the bike was how stiff the Ohlins felt, I had previously told him that its meant to be like that but he wasn’t convinced. So in the end we got Jim Moodie to take a look at it and he told Adrian “they’re all like that”.
The bike went through scruitineering with out any problems but as we entered the collecting area we found all was not well with the transponder system as it came up with a different rider and race number. Once we got Adrian’s name and race number associated with our transponder number we parked the bike in the collecting area and awaited the first practice session of this years TT, which was going to be a wet/damp one.
To Qualify for the races Adrian has to do a minimum of 5 laps, (at least 2 on each bike entered) and achieve the minimum speed for the class, which for the Junior and 1000cc production is just over 103 mph, the 600 production time is lower but as we are using the same R6 for the Junior the times set on it will count for both.
Practice was running a bit late but finally got under way about 20 minutes late, by this time Adrian was a bit tense as the last time he raced was at last years Manx GP where he crashed out of 4th place in the Junior race at around 140 mph, now he was about to set off on a bike he had never ridden around the course before on a new rear tyre and 17 litres of fuel in the tank, hoping we had got the suspension somewhere near right.
As conditions were far from ideal we were not expecting to high a lap speed, it was agreed that if conditions were bad then Adrian would only do one lap. Soon it was Adrian’s turn to start and I watched as he disappeared down Bray Hill, just over 24 minutes later he was back and going for a 2nd lap, which he did at a speed of just over 98 mph. At least we had two laps in the bag.
Afterwards we checked over the bike, all was OK and we still had 5 litres of fuel in the tank.
Next practices was Monday morning so it was an early rise at 4am and arrive at the Grandstand before 5am, conditions were better than Saturday although nobody was sure about what it was like up on the mountain. Put bike through the usual inspection and placed it in the collecting area waiting for the off.
It soon came to Adrian’s turn to start and down Bray Hill he went. 21mins 41secs later he was onto his second lap after doing a touch over 104mph on his standing start lap, which was now the qualifier in the bag, 2nd lap was even faster with a speed of 107 mph in a time of 21mins 02secs.
After checking the bike over after the morning session we found the belly-pan had been scraping so decided to increase the rear ride height by a few millimetres before going out in the Monday evening session. This followed the same procedure as the previous sessions except for us being nearer the front of the cue. Again Adrian did two laps, the standing start lap at 106.9 mph in 21mins 11secs and the flying lap in 20mins 45secs at a speed of 109 mph. So that was us into both the 600 Proddy and Junior races.
For Tuesday Evenings practice Adrian decided it was time to qualify the R1 for the 1000cc production as course conditions were looking favourable. Again scruitineering went with out a hitch other than Adrian getting called upon for a random breath test. This time we were even closer to the front with only the big teams and big names in front of us. This proved a good place to be as Adrian wouldn’t get held up by slower riders, After he did a standing start lap of almost 110 mph I was expecting a 114 to 115 mph lap for the 2nd lap, so when he came around the second time in 20mins 19 secs I was a bit disappointed as this only gave a lap speed of 111 mph, Adrian was even more disappointed as he reported the bike was no longer pulling strongly at the top end, but at least he had qualified it and maybe it can be sorted in time for next Monday’s race.
For Wednesday evening practice (morning session was cancelled due to poor weather conditions) it was back on the R6 now with maximum rear ride height available to us. Conditions were excellent both dry and warm, this resulted in a standing start lap speed of 110.8 mph and a flying lap of 112.7mph. Which I think put Adrian 19th fastest in the Junior class in that session and if we had run the bike on the Proddy plates it would have been good enough for around 13th place in class. Now the belly-pan has a even bigger hole in it.
Next practice session is Thursday Afternoon where Adrian hopes to put in a even quicker lap on the R6, which is a bog standard R6 with a fibreglass body kit, a Ohlins shock, Ohlins fork internals and a Ohlins steering damper. This year Race cans, K&Ns and Dynojet kits are banned in the Production class.
All times can be found on www.iomtt.com