Random thoughts on this year...
- Sending riders out in numbered groups for practice is great. Really great. You're in traffic of a similar speed, and there's NO scramble through scrutineering. Applause.
- The paddock is a disgrace! Sure the weather was awful, but you just can't operate a top spec racing motorcycle out of, let's be frank, a swamp. Had this happened at the TT, you'd have had 200 tons of gravel chippings in there toot sweet.
- The lack of practice was tough on everybody. I'd encourage the organisers and the TTMA to look at returning the Thursday afternoon, and/or one or two morning practices. We lost these some years ago due to lack of marshals, but the support from the TTMA this year as been incredible... they signed on over *300* new marshals on Friday! With this level of support we might get some of the missing practices back.
- There was a lot of talk about new classes at the Manx. Forgotten Era, Formula 750 or TT Formula One?? I say, combined grid, F750 and TTF1. Oh yes. I'll be there, oh yes, Harris Laverda or similar and I *will* deafen the entire island. Close the roads on the middle Saturday as they do for the TT Superbike day; run a long practice session and the Big Hairy Old Bikes race. Oh yeah, Superstock 1000's for the Senior too, please!!
- Yesterday, I cleaned my helmet (HJC "Braveheart") by soaking it in a warm bath and scrubbing the inside with shampoo. It was truly rank; turned the bath water into a grey soup with a slurry of dead insects. Bleurgh. Leathers next, they smell like a goat's died in 'em.
- Next year, back again on the Kawa. Due to all the missed practice it we only got the set up there or thereabouts on Senior race day... still, I've got copious notes so we'll be out of the blocks with a bang in 09! Still one thing left to try; I want to run Supercorsa Pro tyres which quicken the steering I hear. It was hard to get the bike to turn at high speed this year. In addition, there's the TTF1 possibility, I have half an SV650 in the garage waiting to be turned into a Formula 400 bike and there's a sniff of a Drixon Honda for the classics.
- Thanks to... Sidecar Mel, Becca and Ginny for crewing. Extra thanks to Becca for going out marshaling on Senior race day, I know you really wanted to be in the pits mate! Mike for marshaling, Henk and Dirk for marshaling and lots of garage fettling! Bedankt, jongens! Jane for massages! Mega thanks to Slick for immaculate race engineering as ever and of course giga thanks to Janice for crewing, marshaling, cooking, cleaning, driving and generally being the superstar that she is.
- And of course HUGE thanks and appreciation to the Manx Motorcycle Club and the TTMA for running such a fantastic event - with a new Clerk of the Course and the worst MGP weather in memory, this must have pushed past "challenge" into "nightmare" territory. You all did an amazing job under the most difficult of circumstances... THANKS GUYS!