Tuesday, 1 September 2009

See this? That's a leaderboard, that is, featuring #78 which is me. I think most everyone else broke down, fell off or got waterlogged. Conditions were less than perfect to put it mildly... I've never seen rain like it in a race. Waved yellows absolutely everywhere, inches deep standing water in places.

Commiserations to the breakdowns, get well soons to the fallers and alas condolences to the family and friends of Richard Bartlett, Newcomer #18. It's hard to lose any fellow racer, but it's especially tough when it's a newcomer.

Still an' all, that's a leaderboard, that is. 600cc Junior race tomorrow, weather permitting. I suggest y'all take a good look at this photo, as I doubt very much whether #57 will feature here!

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Monday, 31 August 2009

Racing rained off today; the announcement was at 7am by the organisers. Again, the right call, it absolutely hosed down all day.

So we went to Slick's to play on the dyno; we got the Jota's power curve nicely smoothed out. Top end is a rampaging 82 bhp!!

Here's an MGP's worth of tyres!! Rears on the left from the top, Pirelli Supercorsa Pro (dry conditions), old intermediate (wet conditions), new intermediate, old Supercorsa. Middle heap is the new front Supercorsa Pro and the old Supercorsa. Left heap is a front full wet, another old Supercorsa, a new intermediate and an old intermediate.

The Jota's final power curve!

The Mighty Jota on the dyno.
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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Last practice done & dusted; had a run round on the Jota and the Kawa in streaming wet conditions. The Jota's running great guns now so hyoowge thanks to Steve, Henk, the Phils and Ralph at Motalia!!

Just a check over and a polish today and then tomorrow... we race!

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Friday, 28 August 2009

Another good day!

The parts sent from Motalia in deepest Norfolk at 1pm yesterday arrived at 11am today, so a biiig up to Parcel Force! The boys (Phil, Steve & Henk) got straight to work fitting them to the Jota. Dyno tomorrow morning, and then a practice tomorrow evening.

I packed the Kawasaki in the van and hooned over to the paddock... of course as soon as we left Ramsey the rain came down in stair rods.

It was pretty much rain on and off for the rest of the day; and once out wet roads everywhere.

We were second session out, the classics and 400's were first off. I snapped a few pics of me mates leaving the start.

Once we got the start I took it fairly easy but the Pirelli inters were working really well so I could get a wee bit of a move on... only a couple of scary moments, I *always* seem to hit a slippy patch at the 11th! And then after a dry run down Sulby Straight I came round the kink at the distillery to find an absolute *cloudburst* in the braking area!! Huge thanks to the marshal there who saved my bacon with some expressive body language on the adhesion flag!

Fozzy on the TS//2C Benelli

Clacker off to get wet!!

The lovely XR69 replica that Ryan Farquar's riding
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Thursday, 27 August 2009

To Slick's with the the Jota to try to clear the fluffy upper midrange, after sorting a few minor issues we found that it's electrical; either the pickups, coils or the ignition box. Lovely lovely Ralph Allen at Motalia is sending us a complete Moto Witt digital system by courier, which should be here 1pm tomorrow.

We then loaded the Kawasaki (cleaned by our team masseuse Jane!) and ran over to the paddock but almmost as soon as we arrived it was announced that practice was cancelled. Spot on decision, the weather is foul! Better forecast for tomorrow though.

We spent the late afternoon dropping the motor out of my top mate Emma's Honda 400, which blew up at the last Jurby event. We'll put the spare motor in the next time there's a break in MGP activities.

The Jota on the dyno.

Team TS//2c's Benelli
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I got in one lap in the untimed session on the 600 yesterday; conditions were pretty foul. Wet pretty much everywhere.

Huge thanks to the marshals who turned out and stood around for ages waiting for the conditions to improve enough for us to run; you're superstars, the lot of ya!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Another good 'un! Henk played a blinder this morning; sorted the gearbox problem that stopped us at Ballig, *and* diagnosed 90% of the Jota's running problems as being down to a duff plug cap. Paul Dedman down the road just happened to have the right cap in stock... how lucky is that?

So; over to the paddock, unload a scroot bikes and then we were away with only a very slight delay. I got 2 uneventful laps in on the 600 at a decent pace, 107 ish, which is fine by me, then in and on to the Jota.

It pulled away nicely, it's still got a lean patch 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 but (look away now, Jota fans) it was fine up beyond that. I really hope my rev counter is over reading! Handling is, um, interesting but the wobbles and weaves seem to even out after a while... brakes are actually right good!

Second lap was about 87 mph which is well inside the qualifying time for the class. It absolutely made my day when I caught me bestest mate Chris "Fozzy" Foster on the mountain (he's on a 250 Benelli, on anything like equivalent bikes I wouldn't see him for a cloud of dust and small pebbles), and gave him a bit of a tow in my slipstream!

I'm slightly circumspect about 4 laps on that orange animal... feel like I've been beaten with steak tenderisers now.

I've now done 9 laps of practice, more than I managed the *whole* of practice week last year!

That slot headed eccentric adjuster in the middle of the pic above is what slipped and stopped us at Ballig yesterday.

Here's Young Woody, polishing his Kawa 400. He's the Manx entry for the 2012 Nicest Bloke in the Paddock Olympics.

The Team! L to R, Ray Knight, TT racer (and winner) extraordinaire and basking in his reflected magnificence, me, Becca and Janice.
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Monday, 24 August 2009

It all started so well! After yesterday's downpour, bright blue sunshine all day! We packed up and rolled over to the paddock, unloaded and gave the bikes a final check over.

I got the Kawa scrutineered first, and got right in the front row in the pit lane! The Jota also sailed through, and we parked that up in the classic parc ferme.

Into me leathers and after a short delay the seeded riders (first 30 numbers in each class) roared off, and then off we go! I went steady through the bottom of Bray as I was trying a different rear sag setting.. but it was bob on! So head down, arse up and gas open. I got in 2 good laps, not rocket fast but 104 and some loose change is fine for Monday.

I pitted after that, got me helmet scrubbed (fnaar) by Janice, quick drink and a power gel thing and off on the Jota. As far as Ballig Bridge that is... there's a little eccentric screw that limits the gearbox travel, and it worked loose, leaving me with a choice of 1st or neutral. It's a 10 minute job in the workshop to sort it, but nowt you can do by the roadside!

Hey ho. Still, I FINALLY GOT TO SEE AND HEAR THE MV!!! Woo! I had a cracking view of the entry to Doran's, ace spot to watch!

The Kawa and the Jota in the paddock

The Jota being collected from Ballig bridge, along with Janice, Becca & Ray.
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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Well, what a great first practice! Both bikes rolled through scrutineering with no probles, other than a comment that we have to extend the oil catch tray on the Jota for Monday. No probs there, a bit of glassfibre magic from Henk and we're sorted.

I got out on the Kawa first, after a short delay and it was flying!! We've done the engine in "safe mode" as the pistons don't like the long straights and tend to object by melting! So the compression (and therefore bmep and therefore bhp) are down on last year. However the
bike seems easier to ride fast because of that; although the practice was untimed the team had me at 103 average which is fine for a first run out. 2 good laps in, happy!

I took the Jota out after that, not so brilliant here.. the lean spot at 7500 was hard to ride through and as you can imagine a couple of bits managed to shake loose - primarily the rev counter! However, I found a bigger set of jets (160, it had 150's fitted previously and we put them in today, in addition to tighening and checking the rest of the bike.

It's been hosing down all day today, but the forecast sounds better for tomorrow. Off to the pub now for a lime & soda in company with my pals Sal & Miche who probably won't be drinking lime & soda!!

This is the lads waiting for the technical briefing

The Mighty Jota!

My mate Dave "Clacker" Clarke had a grreat run too... well done Dave!

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Friday, 21 August 2009

Signing On

Over to the paddock today to sign on, the Manx Motorcycle Club as ever ran this as slick as you like, all computer logged and controlled by a bar code on my TT course license.

Here's a bunch of disreputables getting lectured by Deputy Clerk of the Course Andy MacKay.

New for this year we have to put the numbers on the belly pan... easy to read for the lovely lovely TT marshals if the bike's lying on its side!!

As always, big thanks to my hairy pal Slick. The Kawasaki earned itsself the nickname "The Green Grenade" lasy year but (fingers crossed, touch wood) it's been fine this year.

In closing my opening, two bits of sad news... my ol' mate James "Sidecar Mel" Melvin, who was to have spannered for me this fortnight, passed away last week from a heart attack. He was preceded by my big orange buddy and garage assistant, Trotsky the cat. Not the best start to the Manx but here ya go mates, this one's for you.

Bring the noise!

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Friday, 14 August 2009

Manx GP 2009... A week to go...

Woo! First practice is a week tomorrow, as I sit here typing to the tune of rain bashing off the windows.

Been at Slick's, a certain large orange beast is showing 101 bhp on the dyno. This is honestly the first time I've personally seen a Lav into 3 figures on an accurate dyno.

Brrring it on! And bring some decent weather while you're about it...

Friday, 29 May 2009

Good news!

Just had the word... I've been accepted for the Junior, Senior and Post-Classic races for the '09 Manx Grand Prix.

Gonna be a busy 2 weeks!!


Saturday, 28 March 2009

Here's a couple of pics of my Jota that I took to slide in with my Manx GP entry form.
There's a Post-Classic race this year; word on the street is that Guy Martin has a Suzuki XR69 to play with.
I'll be out with this monster!
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