Saturday, 27 August 2011

ManxGP 2011 - Day 7 - Up a Gear

Got straight to the bikes to try sort Suzy V's one-cylinder running issue. I think it's just because of low voltage. Been cranking the bike many time since getting here and done 2 3/4 laps on a total loss system. Initial Voltage was 13.3v... now down to 12.7v. I didn't charge the battery to see how long it would last... I expected it to give notice with slow cranking... but now we know.

Suzy V at the Gooseneck
With bikes both prepped and gearing changed on Suzy, I got back to the house in the late morning and had a few presents waiting for me. 2 sets of tyres from Mike at MD Racing and calling cards for me to go pickup Candy's new race clutch (thanks to the guys at AF1racing) and a new tacho/dash for Suzy V. Spent the rest of the day running around and fitting Suzy's dash.

A good cuppa and fantastic homemade chocolate brownies.... mmmmmm-mmmmmm
Suzy V's tacho went on the blink so I was just guessing what rpm we were pulling in top. Gotta be more scientific and get the gearing right. This new unit is from the You-Ess-of-Aye is tiny and does everything. Tacho, speedo, engine hours, air temp, engine temp, time, trip metres, two shift lights and a whole bunch of other stuff. I wired it in for the tacho and engine temp. Best part... it was cheaper than replacing my old-skool dial tacho!

Wiring the dash in
I got to skrootineerting quite late, but that was okay because the classic boys were out first tonight. I get Suzy V through and go get Candy as a backup - intention is to get 2 good laps in on Suzy. I start Candy up: "Phrrrrrt-phrrrrt-phrrrrrt". What the hell? Sounds like a hole in the exhaust. I have a look and turns out the grub screw on the exhaust header has been blown out. Great! I remember her unusually back-firing on the way into Governer's Dip on Wednesday night... must have been why. Bollocks! I leave candy on the trailer for the session.

Despite afternoon showers, it's dry and sunny all round the Isle - just a few damp patches under the trees in the usual places. At about 20h20 I have Suzy V pinned all the way down Bray Hill. I normally roll through St Ninians... but tonight I was determined to do it flat the fook out! "Brrrrraaaaaaaaaappppp...."

Super-tiny dash saves mega weight!
"Whooo-hoooo!" - I try make the yoop but no sound comes out because of the crushing g forces at the bottomm of the hill. Now that was fun! Slow and easy into Quarterbridge and Braddan on cold tyres and full load of fuel. Now... flat out through the ultra-fast left hander just before The Crosby. Yeah! First time I've been able to do that through there this week. Now... try another first... flat out over Wagon and Horse leap... "Wheee-heeee!" - the little bike sails over the crest and drives down the hill. My wee tacho is working a treat and I'm pulling 9250rpm past the Highlander. Gearing is good.

Fast... and smooth. Doing a lot of sections absolutely flat-out for the first time this year. Behind a newcomer on a 600... approaching the super-fast, blind and scary (there are a whole lot of those here...) corners through Bishops Court. I just know he's going to roll. I position my self on his outside and keep the throttle on the stops. He rolls. I shoot past him like he's in reverse and sweep through on the right line. I remember this being done to me many times when I was a Newcomer shitting myself around the course. I frightens the bejeesus out of one. Because he has a lot more power, if I lose momentum, it'll take another mile before I can get close enough to pass him again. Got to keep it lit!

Not amused
Too soon, lap 1 turns to lap 2. I have never done Bray Hill flat-out on a flying lap. Since the Cregg, for last 3 miles I've been goading myself into it. After the race last year Ken Minns (father of one of my mates here: Mike) said to me in his thick Geordie accent: "We thought you had a fookin problem with the bike... why the fook did you roll through St Ninians!". Not today!

A cool green machine in the Classic Superbike class

From Governer's dip, the throttle hits the stops and stays there. I get butterflies all the way down Glencrutchery Road... brush the hedge on the right and tip her in. Flat out. Cranked over we blast through the crossroads, doing a jump over the change in camber. I keep it pinned. Now the descent down Bray Hill is just soooo much faster. Absolutely exhilarating! Hell yeah!

Suzy V at the Gooseneck - Catching the sunshine as we turn up the mountain
I learn a lot and things click. I almost get the end of Cronk Y Voddy flat out too. With a fully charged battery, Suzy V is as good as gold and for most of the lap I don't see another rider. Just me, the bike, the hedges, walls and the track. Many times during that lap, I think how privileged I am to be able to do this. It is a surreal experience.

Lap time 101 and 103 mph. Speed through Sulby Speed trap 141mph - Suzy has never been faster! Science works.

1 comment:

  1. the cool green un came in 3rd i saw them taking the pipes off it those wankers hav'nt got a decent tool kit just a miss match of farmers tools in a plastic box fuckers