Day One – Supersport race
What a day, what a race. I was really disappointed to finish tenth. I was running around 20 seconds a lap quicker during practice week on the 600. I couldn’t get the bike to stop shaking its head today. I’m guessing that maybe the steering damper was at fault, but it made my job really hard. It’s frustrating trying to get a bike to do what it doesn’t want to do and I spent most of the race swearing at myself in my helmet. Working around the problem slowed me down, but working around the problem also meant I got savage arm pump, which also slowed me down.
The conditions were changing throughout the race, on the third lap we hit rain after the Gooseneck. It was bouncing off my visor but as the screen on the bike was plastered in flies, I was up and down like a meerkat trying to see where I was going. When I got onto the mountain mile there was proper rain, but up the other end it was dry. Hard conditions to race in for sure. At one point I thought the race had been stopped. I got to Braddan bridge and a guy had come off, the crowd were waving me down and I stopped thinking the race had been red flagged. It was only when a marshal carefully guided me through and waved me on that I realised we were still running, then I spent the rest of the lap telling myself off for reading it wrong. Since the race, it has been announced that Bob Price was killed following an incident at Ballaugh bridge on lap three. I’d like to pass on my sincere condolences to Bob’s family and team.
It’s not like I was bouncing off the kerbs making mistakes out there today, that’s why I feel as frustrated as I do. I expected Gary Johnson to win the race, he was quicker than everyone in practice, he goes really well here on the 600 and fair play to him. Seeing Bruce and Michael up the front was no surprise either. In fact, the only surprise I got today was how slow I was. That’s the thing with this place, if there’s a sniff that it can throw you a curve ball it will, every time. I’ll be out getting some practice on the mini twin tomorrow, I’ve got plenty of work to do on that bike, I’m just hoping the weather holds out. The forecast given for the morning is pretty crappy, but the afternoon is supposed to open up. Tonight I’ll be in Villa Marina, having a few beers and drawing a line under today and getting my head around being on the other bike tomorrow.