Thursday, 26 August 2010

ManxGP 2010 - Fourth Practice - Faster

My new clutch arrived by special delivery yesterday morning... but of course Murphy was involved. It was a lot earlier than expected and I had just nipped out to get some oil and a filter. Doh! Spent the rest of the morning doing all the other prep and trying to hunt the delivery down.

Cranking the BAMF over through the Bungalow... blue skies, Mountain Course, Vee Twin growling away... doesn't get much better than this!

Finally, at 16h15 I tracked it down and got out in rush hour traffic to pick it up. I was only back at the house at 16h45. So I drained the oil and whipped the clutch cover off only to discover that I needed an air-wrench to get the main nut off. Double Doh!

Thing of beauty - STM slipper clutch. For me, on the BAMF it's worth a second a lap around short circuits... but should only slip on downshifts! These Barnett race clutch plates have lasted 6 seasons of racing including 2 ManxGPs - good stuff!

So I put everything back together and arrived at the day-paddock at 17h50... only 25 mins before practice. With 2 bike to get scrootered and filling up etc. to do I was never going to make it. Pete and Ken Minns were fantastic and came to the rescue.

Both bikes through scrootineering, topped up, changed and I was back at the pits as the first riders were getting away. I was only planning 1 lap on the BAMF - just to test the new aerodynamics. With a slipping clutch, not much use risking further damage or breaking down half-way through a lap. As Colin Edwards said: "If you ain't riding at 110%, you're just wearing out the machinery."

The BAMF was looking just so gaddamn pretty in the sunshine... I don't answer the "Where's the fairing?" question anymore. Some folks however do get the idea and say "Cool".

It was a beautiful day, warm (for the Isle) and sunny. The new aerodynamics on the BAMF are a treat! I can get on and keep on the power. On the run past the Crosby, over Wagon-horse Leap and down towards Greeba Castle she was flying! For the first time I saw my shift light flickering in top gear. :-) Now we got some speed back! Whooooo-hoooo!

No time for paddock stands... the BAMF waits patiently for practice to get underway

I caught and passed quite a few riders, but was always braking way too early for the corners... the brakes are just so much better than the SV's. When you drop anchors from 150mph, she wants to do a stoppie... the SV just reluctantly slows down. As a result my corner-speed is way down. My straight speed or acceleration also wasn't what it should be because of teh slipping clutch... but despite this I still managed to clock a lap of 103.7mph from a standing start on cold tyres :-)

The SV through the Bungalow - thanks Dave Kneen for the soon to be bought pics...

A short break in the pits and then out on the SV for 2 laps. I haven't touched a thing on the bike so it was just a case of learning more of the circuit on that little machine. A great first lap of 98.2mph from a standing start on cold tyres. Got the hammer down for the second but there was an incident after the Cronk-y-voddy  Straight (just love that name!) and I slowed right up for about 6 marshal posts under waved yellow flags. Despite this... I still bagged a 97.7mph lap. Speed through the Sulby Straight trap was 138.9mph - 9th fastest out of all 110 Ultra Lightweights! And this is a stock engined bike that is within British Minitwins rules - there are a lot of SV's in the paddock with more horsepower... let's see if we can maintain it. My 98.2mph is 32nd fastest. Very happy with that too.

A Rotary Norton - this guy's mate is racing one in the Post Classic class - it sounds very different. Will try get some pics...

A great day on the Isle!

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