Saturday, 6 June 2015

TT Day 6 - The Hard Yards

Sorry for not doing more regular/daily posts... but, as in the title... we've been working those hard yards. Flat-out, non-stop.

Thursday we woke to a beautiful day on the Isle of Man. Forecast for the evening practice was perfect. We were looking forward to getting some good qualifying laps in on both bikes. we just had a small oil weep from the Triumph cam cover to sort out. JT donated a new cam cover gasket to the cause and we set to work.

Special ECU :-)

Not too difficult. Tank off, air-box off, stick-coils out, cam cover off. New gasket. Cam cover back on, stick coils on, air-box on, tank on. We had some metal filings in the tank from some tank mods so cleaned out the fuel tank while it was off too. Check everything... fuel in. Hit the stater to test. Chug-chug-chug-chug.

Long-time TT and Classic TT/Manx privateer - Mark Parrett

The bike wasn't starting. Damn! Must have left a plug off or something. Take everything off again. Check everything again. Put it all back together again. Chug-chug-chug-chug. Bugger! We check everything again. No life. We start trouble-shooting. It's getting fuel. It's getting spark. It's getting air, but no life. We figure it must be electric. An error code is flashing on the dash. We scour the net to find a translation. Can't find anything. Damn! We spend most of the day trying to solve this mystery.

We run out of time so sling both bikes on the trailer in the hope that JT can perhaps find the problem when we get to the paddock. We get to the paddock after skroots opens and it's a melee of people and bikes we fight through them only to be further aggravated to find a motorhome, a van and a big tent pitched in out paddock space. Actually - quite pissed-off.

Our new paddock-space... double-parked on a fire access road. Race paddock is now a camping ground. Miffed.

Backstage paddock space for the teams with huge trailers... space for a swimming pool...

We manage to get the wee bike skrootineered and JT comes to have a look at our stricken Triumph. We try a few different things... JT manages to get the engine to burble a bit... but nothing more. In between we try to get our paddock space back. We run out of time and soon I have to get my kit on and get out on the wee bike.

Assembly area on a perfect day for a few laps of the most incredible race track in the world

Crew Chief Nic - you've been amazing Dood!

Disappointing. I wasn't so worried about qualifying on the wee bike as we had already put in a few decent laps. The Supersport/Triumph was still way down the leader-board. With only 72 starters from 96 entrants... we had to make sure we were in the top 72. Perfect conditions to put in a good qualifying time and the bike doesn't want to start. Oh well, at least we have 2 bikes and we can have a run out on the wee bike and test a few changes we made.

Rhencullen - 200 bhp and some nutter called Dunlop

Rhencullen - 92 bhp and a more sensible rider... I think I got the wrong line through there...

Practice gets underway on time. I try put the Triumph disappointment out of my mind and am focusing on getting the wee bike around in a decent time. Soon I have the cables stretched down Bray Hill and my mind is 100% on the task at hand. I get 2 laps in... but they weren't as good as I'd liked. A few mistakes and a bit scrappy. 108 mph is my best lap... close to my personal best on a Supertwin :-)
Backstage - Nic and the Bimota trailer

With Brandon Cretu - stand-up guy and on a Bimota this year

Back in the paddock, we have another look at the Triumph. No joy. We pack up when it gets dark and wait for JT to finish his team's debrief before getting the stricken Triumph up the his awing for a closer look. We start going through it methodically and checking things. We take off the tank and JT notices the fuel spilling out the tank outlet. "It shouldn't do that.". "Let me find a spare fuel pump..." JT disappears into his team truck and appears five minutes later with a fuel pump in hand.

Triumph Factory team assistance :-)

Wit fit the pump, reassemble everything and hit the starter button. Vrooooom! She's alive!!! Brilliant!.Thanks for your help JT! We load the bikes, haul them back to the garage, unload them, plan for Friday and get back to our accommodation around midnight. Swallow some food, clean my helmet, shower, bed. Knackered.

2 laps in the Manx sunshine... a bugs life

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