Wednesday 27 August 2014

Tuesday Race Day

Awoke Tuesday to a beautiful day,so racing went ahead as planned.
We weren't out until nearly 3 pm so a lazy start to the day,which gave the nerves plenty of time to kick in.
Before I knew it,it was time to get into my leathers & head out to the start line.
Felt really strange walking the bike down to start line after a 14 year gap and lots of thoughts of what happened on that occasion.
Still no time to dwell as I get the tap on the shoulder and I'm off down Bray Hill.
You have to attack from the off otherwise you'd over think it.
Down to Quarter Bridge & Braddan Bridge then just sit back & enjoy.
And enjoy I did as the bike went perfectly,which after all the hard work over the practice week was so good.
As I'd only done 5 laps in practice I just took it as a 3 lap practice session.
Within the first few miles I caught sight of the guy that had started 10 seconds ahead of me,so had to catch him. This I did as we came out if Glen Helen and then overtook him on the next straight.
The bike was a lot heavier than I'm used to riding so had to adapt my style,but by the time I came in for my pit stop at the end of lap two I was glad of a rest and a drink.
My pit stop went like clockwork and was out before I knew it.
The third lap felt really good and wanted to do a fourth as I was feeling more and more confident,this was shown in my lap time which was my fastest of the race with an average of just over 97mph.
I was nearly in tears as I crossed the line as I felt I'd finally ut the ghost of 14 years ago behind me.
Naturally it was smiles all round when I got back to the pits.
Later that evening I attended the presentation evening and received my finishers plaque from John McGuinness,which was such a great feeling.
I hope over the next week to sort through the pictures and post them up,sorry there hasn't been any but has been quite hectic.
Not much of a rest as off to Killalane in just over a week.
Before I go I'd just like to thank all those that helped out,but especially to Stafford and Liz for the bike and Steve for all his help over here.
So until next time,take it easy
Cheers Stuart
PS Plans are already being drawn up for next year,all being well.

Monday 25 August 2014

Monday Races

Sadly the racing today was cancelled today due to bad weather.
So it is now due to take place on Tuesday as forecast is far better.

As always,fingers crossed.
The good news is that there will be shown on ITV 4 Wednesday evening.

Cheers Stuart

Sunday 24 August 2014

For Noel

I found out that this morning that I have qualified for the Classic TT Formula 1 race,which is great news, and will be setting off at number 56.

The only question mark is the weather, which isn't look great at the moment, but we will just have to hope that the forecasters are wrong.  

Hopefully I will have good news to report when we speak next.

If you are over and see me give me a wave, can't promise I will wave back though.


Saturday 23 August 2014

Saturday Practice

Hi all
No holiday lay in for me today as up early and off to practice,to make the situation worse I was woken by hail on the window.
Initially we had an hour & a half,but due to weather this was cut before we started,shame as we could've done 3 or 4 laps.
Some parts of the course were still wet but did start to dry.
Start of the second lap & heavens opened,so was a very ginger ride round these parts,hoping somewhere would be dry.
Luckily it wasn't long before I got to the dry section.
It was on lap two that the rev counter needle started doing its own thing until it just dropped off,which made me laugh.
Still rest of the bike was superb, and a pleasure to ride.
Laps were getting there,with another 91 average,which was good considering the conditions.
We then managed to get another practice lap this afternoon and felt like I was attacking corners better. Rather than braking & dropping a couple of gears I would just go down one and drive through them.
Sadly the lap ended with confusion over flag signals so slowed right down,still I managed a 93 average,again moving in the right direction.
Tomorrow is a day of checking bike,including repairing the rev counter and seeing if I have a race on Monday.
I will keep you updated,so until then.
Cheers Stuart

Friday 22 August 2014

Friday Practice

Hi all
Practice went well this evening as we finally managed two laps,first with an average of 91 & second of 86mph,both of which I'm happy with.
Second was slower as bike cut out just after Kirk Michael. I pulled into garage,went to turn off main switch & found it already off.
Switched it back on & she burst into life,so off I went. Turns out the dash moving coupled with turning bars meant switch was knocked,cutting power.
Was so happy to have completed two laps and was met with a very happy Stafford,Liz and Steve when I got back to pits.
Upon our return to base we had a look over the bike and found nothing wrong,we also shortened the switch so it doesn't catch anymore.
Tomorrow is an early start for some more practice,so fingers crossed for that.
Will let you know how we get on,all being well.
Cheers Stuart

Thursday 21 August 2014

No practice for me today sadly,as could've done with the circuit time.
We spent the day checking the bike over for the problem from last night,which we had narrowed down to an electrical one. Yes I know it's the oldest excuse in racing terms,but was honestly electrical.
Nothing appeared to be wrong,until Stafford found a wire which was looser than expected on the fuel pump. If it was this it would explain the symptoms we suffered.
So fingers crossed that was the root of our problem.
We also had to repair the beautiful belly pan,which I have been grinding away whilst enjoying myself.
So we now have Friday & Saturday to qualify.
Lets hope we have two good runs to get the required laps in.
Hopefully next time I write I will have some good news for you.
Wish me luck.
Cheers Stuart

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Wednesday Practice

Today we spent the day replacing the clutch with the one from the SS which was our run around. Stafford also put a generator from a road bike to help charge the battery as a race version didn't seem to be man enough for the job.
A short test ride showed the clutch to be working properly so it was off to the paddock.
I actually felt nervous today as felt we would be able to get a couple if laps in.
I had a good start and although not as fast as I'd like, but I felt happy I knew where I was going and speed would come.
Sadly shortly after Ballacrye,18 miles out, Emily went onto one cylinder, and then none. So I spent the practice watching,but at least further out than the last couple of nights,so progress has been made.
The van arrived to give me a lift home but bike started so rode back to see if problem raised it's head again,sadly no.
So tomorrow we will see if there is a loose connection somewhere.
There is no practice for F1 tomorrow so hope to help out marshalling.
Friday is out next practice so fingers crossed for a lap or two then.
Cheers Stuart

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Tuesday Practice

Just back at our temporary base for our stay after another disappointing practice.
We spent the day changing the clutch,but it became apparent that what we had was not the correct item,so we fitted another.
Sadly this one gave up just after Bray Hill on the first lap.
We have found what is wrong with it,thanks Louigi Moto, so tomorrow we remove the one out of the Ducati we brought over as a run around,and then fingers crossed for tomorrow.
These things are all part of racing,so we won't give up.
Hopefully I will have better news for you all tomorrow.

Monday 18 August 2014

Monday Practice

Bike once again passed scruitineering with flying colours and a 'nice bike' comment from scruitineer.
After a long wait I was finally at the beginning of the queue and was given the tap to go,so set off down Bray Hill.
It felt very strange to be back,and to know I could use both sides of the road.
After getting my head around this I settled into it and overtook a guy down Bray Hill.
Coming out of Quarter Bridge I noticed the clutch slipping.
Thought I would nurse her round for one lap but by Union Mills realised this wouldn't happen so pulled in.
I phoned Stafford and gave him the bad news,had really hoped all was going to be well after the time and effort he'd put into building the bike.
Luckily a very kind gent gave me a lift back to the paddock.
So tomorrow we will have a look at the bike and sort it for tomorrow evening.
Until then.
Cheers Stuart

Saturday 16 August 2014

Saturday Practice

Hi all

Weather played ball today and stayed dry.

Sadly practice was called off at the last minute due to a lack of marshals,so only the newcomers got out for two sighting laps.
On the plus side the bike sailed through scruitineering,which is good after the work Stafford put into her.

Next practice is due for Monday,so fingers crossed for then.

Cheers Stuart
Classic TT Day One

Hi everyone,
Having arrived safe on The Island on Thursday,it was off for exciting paperwork type stuff yesterday.
With all my leathers etc checked,briefings attended and a huge amount of waiting in ques, I'm ok to practice.
Still waiting in ques did mean I caught up with some mates,so not all bad.
Each rider has also been given some energy drinks,a big change from how it was last time I raced here.
After paperwork completed I went for a lap in the van, just to see if makers which I've used in the past were still there. Some have changed so a worthwhile trip.
Main thing of the day was seeing the bike all together,and boy does she look mint,and can't wait to ride her.
As I write this,weather permitting I will in first practice this evening,just a few hours away.
All being well I will update you with that tomorrow.
Speak soon
Cheers Stuart

Thursday 7 August 2014

Classic TT

Hi all.
Well the Classic TT / Manx is nearly upon us and as some of you may have already seen,marshals are urgently needed.
So if you are going over then please sign on,even if it's for just one session,as it will help enormously.
I have talked several friends into giving it a go over the last couple of years and all have thoroughly enjoyed it,and have signed up for more.
So if you can,then please do as no marshals,means no racing.
Cheers Stuart