I watched the ITV4 TT programme 135
last night, if you haven't seen it try and get it on catch up. It is
all about last year's phenomenal Senior TT, based around Dean
Harrison and Peter Hickman,and that astonishing final lap of
135.452mph by Peter. The race was remarkable, not only for their
performances but also that of Connor Cummins who averaged over 129
mph in finishing third. Harrison and Hickman eloquently explain
their strategy throughout the race explaining how it changed
throughout the race.It is fascinating to watch.
Radio TT, 'The Best Biking Station in the World' is no more, it is
now called 'Isle of Man TT Radio'. The traditional morning chat show
that Charlie Williams once hosted and then latterly Chris Kinley has
been axed and replaced by a late afternoon show. Time will tell if
this is a good move.
Tuesday morning is spent up at the Grandstand where I met up with
Graham Bean (ex editor of the TTSC Magazine), Kevin Quirk from the
Hailwood Foundation and Des Connor ex MGP rider. Des has just signed
up the parade lap at the Festival of Motorcycling in August, the
ride is primarily only for ex racers. Last year it cost £250 to
enter and this year it is £300, it is not cheap to do! Kevin had a
serious operation at the back end of last year and is still on the
road to recovery. You cannot keep a good man down, he has walked to
the Grandstand to check that the cafe is running smoothly.
Later in the afternoon I am delighted to bump into Ivan Linten who
was in the paddock. He looked really well but is still suffering the
after effects of last years S100 crash. He has no desire to race
again even if he does recover completely.
I meet up with Graham and we watch
the practices from the pit wall. It is interesting watching the
build up and how the seeded riders line their bikes up on the
Glencrutchery Road. Some of the riders are chatting and engaging,
others are in the zone and stay in their own little bubbles.
Practice is delayed by 16 minutes to let an ambulance onto the
course in Ramsey.
Unlike the race where riders are set off singularly, in practice
they are set off in pairs. First away are James Hillier on his
Superstock Kawasaki and Michael Rutter on his Superbike, then came
the Honda pair of Davo Johnson (Superstock) and Ian Hutchinson
(Superbike). The rest of the field stream off in pairs, the two
Chris's Kinley and Palmer are describing the action to the radio
Gary Johnsone and Michel Rutter
sharing a joke just before heading down the Glencrutchery Road
Iven Linten watches from the pit wall
before going up into the Control Tower to watch the rest of the
You can hear the roar of the bikes as they exit Governors Bridge and
scream along the
Glencrutchery road. Some go straight through, others stick a leg out
denoting that they are pulling in. The speed is venominal as they go
passed, those taking an inside line create a draft that blows onto
the watching crowd on the pit wall, it is exhilarating.
Peter Hickman's superbike encounters some problems so he is quickly
back to the Grandstand to take out his supersport machine. It is a
precarious business entering the course whilst the session is
running. The riders are released at the top end of the pits, an
official holds the rider until he gets a signal that the road is
clear and then he lets the rider go, A mistake here could be
disastrous with bikes passing at over 150 mph.
The solo session comes to an end with Dean Harrison topping the
Superbike times with a lap of 17 minutes 28.6 seconds, 129.53 mph.
He was also top of the Superstocks with a speed of 129.33 mph, Peter
Hickman was ahead in the Supersport class at 123.91 mph which was
shy of Harrisons 126.09 mph rom Sunday. Newcomer Lukas Maurer was
56th fastest in the Superbikes lapping at 114.50 mph .
Dean Harrison, Silicone Enginee`ring
Kawasaki, starting practice.
In the Supersport, fellow mph,
newcomers were 30th Raymond Casey at 114.74mph, David Datzer at
106.88 mph and Jonathan Goetschy at 106.58 mph. There were a few
spills reported including Hutchy who was apparently off at the 11th
milestone but thankfully okay.
The sidecar practice was delayed by 7 minutes due to the clearing up
process after one of the accidents. John Holden and Lee Cain were
the fastest of the night, taking their Silicone Engineering / Barnes
Racing Honda round at 114.99 mph.The performance of the evening,
however, was from the newcomer all manx crew of Ryan and Callum
Crowe (Haven Homes Triumph). Completing their first ever timed lap
around the Mountain Course they lapped in a time 20 minutes 37.53
seconds, an average speed of 109.76 mph, a fantastic performance.
Maria Costello and Julie Canipa (Frog Property Development Ltd LCR)
were delighted with their fastest lap of 99.37 mph.
John Hardie / Scott Hardie, AWB
Engineering Honda, completing their 105.14 mph lap
It was an excellent practice session and with the poor weather
prospects over the next couple of days it will have been invaluable
for all concerned. A speedy recovery to all who were involved in
Photographs by Mike Hammonds