Thursday, 30 August 2012

ManxGP 2012 - Day 11 - The Right Direction

Haven't had much time to blog... so a bit of a catch-up...

After Monday's washout, Tuesday was a beautiful, sunny day. Monday's cancelled programme was to be run, Junior Classic followed by the Junior and then a lap of practice in the evening. I wanted to get out on the wee bike seeing as I had only done 2 laps on it in dodgy conditions. But, with the race on Wednesday, the bike had to be ready and through skrootineering by 09h00 on Wednesday. That didn't give me enough time to get the tyres changed and prep it for the race.

This year I'm getting air over Ballaugh Bridge
So, with the help of my good friend Mike (MD Racing) and Dennis Booth, I made a load of changes to the big bike. I didn't have laps to test different changes, so the best practice of making one change at at time went out the window. I changed the front ride height, rear compression, rebound, gearing, wheelbase and tyre pressure.

Mike Minns giving it some down Bray Hill
The races went as per schedule on the dry, sunny circuit. My mate Mike Minns getting his second podium in the Junior race. Bloody well done Dood!

At 18h30 we lined up for a lap of practrice. Before I reached St Ninian's cross-roads, I sure felt the changes. The bike was trying to wheelie at every little bump and undulation on the road. Very nible through the turns, but also very flighty. I was off the pwer a lot just to try get her to keep the front wheel on the ground and to settle.

Prepping the wee bike... with a mind-boggling view of the Junior race just metres away.
With bike passing at over 130mph, this was a lucky shot!

She was turning in beutifully and holding a line. No more sliding either. So we are headed in the right direction - but mabe too far in that direction.

I got my head down and started really enjoying the lap. Besides a few sketchy places where there was water flowing across the track, it was all dry. At the end of Cronk Y Voddy straight I saw a shadow on the track to my right. I sat up early to let the rider through. It was Dennis Booth. He's got many years experience and is super-fast around the Isle.

A family effort - the Minns fanily celebrate Mike's second ManxGP podium

I hung onto the back of Dennis all the way to Ginger Hall. It felt fast! I kept the big bike pinned as much as I dared... she was wheelying and shaking her head everywhere. But with the new handling, she was awesome over the mountain. Huuuuge fun!

In the end I did a lap of 106mph - my fastest ever from a standing start. The bike was going well and I definitely got pulled along by Dennis. We're headed in the right diection and the bike can be improved :-)

Things are always falling off and breaking around the Isle - it's tough on machinery

I got back to the house grinning and carried on prepping the wee bike. By 23h00 It was done and  ready to race. I headed down to the ferry port to pickup Ian - my longstanding ManxGP pit Crew. Then hit the hay to rest the body for the Supertwins race on Wednesday.

Some new rubber for the wee bike. With variable conditions forecast, and not having a spare set of wheels or help to be able to change them fast, I went for the safe option of intermediates. They'll work in the dry and the wet. One less thing to think and hassle about.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul ! Lookin'good. Impressive movies. Keep safe and good luck !