Took the day off work today as I was absolutely beat
from yesterday and had too much to do anyway........
turned out that I had even more to do when my van wouldn't
start............ Jesus!!, I'm lucky me....... so after
I got it towed from a mate to get it started, it was
off to Douggie to get a new battery, then it was off
to the paddock to fit it.......
was only one timed practise tonight and then the Senior
Solo Founders Race (Race 1), which would be split into
two classes...... I could have opted for using the 1000
Bullock Suzuki, but I was going to run the Bullock 600
Honda. Didn't know what the weather was going to do,
so we put both the 600's through scrutineering, one
with the wet tyres on and one with the Supercorsa's
(Dry's) and the spare wheels had the intermediates fitted
to them, so that we had every eventuality covered......
weather was still completely dry, though a tad overcast,
and it wasn't long before I went out in the timed practise
session, in between all the big bikes........ I was
determined to get into the 2 min 28 sec bracket, the
ball park I wanted to be in last night..... knew I could
do it, and I needed to be as far up the grid as possible
anyway, because I knew I'd get slaughtered at the start
of the race, and all the way down to the Iron Gate,
where it is definitely big bike territory....... anyway,
off we popped and I managed to get out in the first
dozen, and as suspected, got passed by a few big bikes
on the run down to the Iron Gate..... got past a couple
and settled in behind Chris Palmer on his 1000 Suzuki.....
thought that I must be doing okay as I held on to him
for a couple of laps, and he was only leaving me on
the straights, but managed to catch him back up from
Ballawhetstone to Cross Four Ways and was right up his
hoop coming out of Church Bends......... was well pleased
to see my on board lap timer indicate 2'28.8...... good,
done it...... settled down after that and felt that
I had slowed quite a lot, for one reason and another,
but only by a second according to the lap timer......
then the chequered flag was out next time around and
that was that...... still, a 2'28 would do me. Target
turned out that I was the fastest 600 with an official
time of 2'28.9 then next up came Wee Bob Grant and Tim
Poole who had both circulated in the 2 min 30's, so
that was handy, Wee Bob telling me that he had recorded
his first ever lap in the 2 min 30's, so a PB for him.
Told the team that I was aiming for the class win, laps
& race records, (Class lap record held by Darren
Lindsay at 2min 30.0) so I was well on for it, my only
concern however was that I would have to get past as
many big bikes as I could from the Iron Gate to Ballawhetstone,
because there were going to be a few of them that would
pass me on the run down to the Iron Gate, and then they
would hold me up out round the back section, so had
to get past and pull away before we got to Church Bends
or they would just blast back past me and I would have
to do it all over again........... It wasn't going to
for nearly an hour before the race was called and would
you believe it...... there was rain in the air......
it was only the odd drop, but it looked like the clouds
were full of it....... Got interviewed by Chris Kinley
on Manx Radio and then it was off to the dummy grid
in the holding area........ I was allocated 9th spot
on the grid (3rd row), which was pretty good seeing
as how I was only on the 600, and I had Parrett and
Palmer on their 1000cc bikes alongside me...... We had
the warm up lap behind the pace car, and the spits of
rain started to get heavier and then it started to get
pretty bad when we formed on the grid........ all the
boys on the Superbikes had slick tyres on and as the
rain was coming down, Farquhar called for a stoppage,
he was waving his arms to tell them to delay it.......
and they did..... Well, he's the current Champion and
his input should be heeded and it was...... So it was
all back to the holding area to change tyres..... Was
interviewed again, and told them I was still undecided
on what to do, so they left me to it..... Martin Bullock
came to see me and told me that I was under no pressure
from him to compete if I didn't want to, and if things
weren't right, just to pull in........ good of him to
say it, but I was going to do what suited me anyway......
boys lashed the intermediates onto the Honda, and the
other one I had just 'run in' last night was sitting
there with the wets already on it........ had a bit
of a discussion with Juan and as it stopped raining,
and the track from where we could see it was only damp,
we reckoned that it was 'Inters all day long'......
most of the others were on full wets, so it was a gamble
and I was still pretty much undecided till I was told
by one of the officials that it was only damp with no
standing water all the way round.... If it stayed dry
we thought that there would be a dry line appearing
and Inters would still be the way to go, so I jumped
on that bike and went to the dummy grid in the holding
area......... had a looksee at what everyone else was
running and they were all on full wets apart from Farquhar
who was on a wet front and a 'cut' Intermediate rear......
(he had on what I had, but with loads of extra grooves
cut into it)...... first time I had seen one of those.
We soon took off behind the pace car again, and into
the first corner I decided that it would not be a good
idea to be out on these tyres..... thought that it would
be a really bad idea to be thundering into here on the
first lap with no grip............ most of the way round
the road looked like glass it was that wet, what happened
to the ';no standing water anywhere'........ there were
puddles alt over t'shop........ and I had a slide at
about 30-40mph at Williams Bend....... wobbled round
Cross Four Ways like I was in a shopping trolley......
then my hopes were raised for a second after rounding
Church Bends where it was only patchy, but as it was
raining again, thought that it wouldn't be long before
it was soaked...... passing Team PC Racing Manager,
Chris at Castletown Corner with my pit board, I indicated
that I would be pulling in....... but still felt reluctant
to do so, so took my place on the 3rd row of the grid........
as it assembled, I pulled out and headed for the paddock........
in and put the bike up against a wall and went to watch
the race........... was met by the team, including Martin
and told them that I had made the wrong choice.... We
had to look at the bigger picture as well, with the
MGP round the corner, its more about competing in that
event, than racing around here in the wet on the wrong
tyres...... was a bit disappointed, but what can you
do......... save it for another day........
tune in next time for hopefully, another very exciting