The TT was held in glorious conditions and the 4 members of RetroMoto Racing who attended all hit their straps in their respective classes.
In the P6 250 and 500 Derek Jemerson on his CBR250R set a full race finishing time 3.9 seconds faster than before over the 5 laps and took 0.3 of a second off his best qualifying time. The improved mid-range of his bike compensating for the fact that his tyres were past their best. Derek came home in 11th place in both classes. With new tyres going on for the next meeting Simon and Nick will need to really be on their game to match him.
Nic Wallis-Smith made his race debut at the age of 66 on 119 (or was it the other way round?) It was great to see him ride steadily on the track and really enjoy the experience with consistent lap times. His target next meet is to get into the 1:39 second bracket. You are never too old to have fun.
At the other end of the age continuum Paul Joshua romped home on David Manson's R6 for Pole Position in the Moderns and 3 wins from 3 starts with times in the low 13's or high 12's - this consistency resulting in a Collie TT win. Well done.
The race schedule had been changed from the previous meeting so I no longer had 3 races back to back - only 2 back to back followed by a 1 race break before the third. This really helped me deal with the inevitable cumulative load of riding 3 different bikes in 3 lots of qualifying and 9 races.
First up the MuZ660 went well on the Saturday and Tony Hynes from BRAT Racing kindly lent me his roller starter when a cool Collie Sunday morning made for a bike that didn't want to get out of bed. Dan Barson blitzed the field on his ZXR600 in Pre-Moderns with a 1:16 but the MuZ ended up with an overall second place and times in the 1:20-1:21 bracket.
The KZ500 was running without any electrical issues and got to the point where its suspension was cryin, "No more" as tyre patter in Turn 1 had me for once err on the side of discretion in pursuit of Derek Richardson on his LC350. Still it was enough for 3 first places in the P5 500 Class and a TT Trophy.
The continuing apprenticeship on the GP125 provided to me by the ever generous David Manson is beginning to bear results. Having racked up a lifelong total of about 60 minutes riding time trying to work out how to ride the little jigger with 1 half practice day band 1 race meet under my belt it was time to get serious, I mean, it was the TT for Heaven's sake!
This time there were 4 other GP125s to race and I felt a little more confident in my ability. In qualifying I took 4 seconds off my previous best so the penny was starting to drop. David Manson still sailed off into the distance with Mark Laing-Hughes, the latter had a day to forget with mechanical issues, however the distance was not as distant as previously. By the end of the day I got close to one of David's lap times which was very satisfying. David won the TT with 3 first places and I got second so whilst the battle is not yet joined I at least I have now got something to build on for next time.
The other change for the TT was using my new race transporter, camping at the track was a lot of fun and felt more authentic than staying in the pub. My recently acquired ancient (1998) L300 Mitsubishi passed its shakedown trip with flying colours.
The wash up, Team RetroMoto scored 2 TT wins and 2 TT second places. The next round in April will see more team members returning - watch this space!
#67 Yours in racing