Archive for August, 2010

Day of good results

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Beer Tent Mon Aug 30

Of all the good results today, the first day of racing at Manx Grand Prix 2010, this was one of the best. Gorgeous weather and everyone relaxing with a beer at the end of the day. It’s one of the things we all look forward to but in recent years we haven’t been able to enjoy often enough. This year the weather has been great so far and today was probably the best of the lot.

For us on the commentating team, Monday of MGP week is a real challenge. Unlike the TT we have no warm-up session; instead it’s straight in from a cold start with an incredibly complex morning with four races taking place at the same time. The amount of action made for an exciting session even if the individual races didn’t have as much drama as we were expecting with the winners all establishing clear-cut margins. Eunice Cubbon, our producer, came up with the perfect word to describe the radio coverage: mayhemic! And that was well demonstrated by Roy Moore who handed back from one stint at Ramsey Hairpin with the words “now back to whoever I’m supposed to hand back to!”

There were some hard luck stories. I thought we would see Maria Costello on the podium for the second time in her career but the steering damper on her Suzuki broke and she slipped from third to fifth on the last lap. And Tom Jackson running out of fuel at the Creg while comfortably leading the Lightweight Classic was another tough one, especially when he had only pitted at the start of that lap.

Olie Linsdell had a bad crash and I hope the news is good.


Vintage day at Jurby

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

Surprise award for Conor

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

The vintage bikes rally at Jurby today has been a huge success. The display of machinery was breathtaking and the whole event was well organised.

The TT trophies were on display and while chatting to their custodians, Lloyd and Tracey Mister, Dorothy discovered that the trophy for the fastest lap of the TT this year had never been presented to the winner Conor Cummins because of Conor’s crash in the Senior. As it happened we had just been chatting to Conor and his family so we arranged an impromptu presentation with me having the considerable privlege of presenting the Jimmy Simpson Trophy to the fastest man at TT2010 and the second-fastest ever, thanks to Conor’s lap of 131.511 in the Superbike TT. What made it even better was that Conor didn’t know there was a separate trophy for the fastest lap of the entire meeting, so, as he said himself, it made his day.

Better late than never! Photo: DL

Ramsey today

Andy’s Manx GP mission

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

I spent some time talking to Andrew Brady this evening. Andy has had to beat the odds simply to be here at the Manx Grand Prix. He suffered serious damage to pelvis and shoulder when crashing at a hillclimb event last October, was confined to a wheelchair until shortly before Christmas and is still far from 100 per cent. In fact he is due back in hospital for further treatment to the pelvis after the MGP.  The MGP is his first road race of the season – he’s confined himself to the Irish circuits so far (and is on the threshold of clinching the Mondello 600 championship).

Andy has known both sides of the Mountain Course. Three years ago he won the Newcomers Senior and had a top-20 finish inthe Junior. But the following year there were problems with the bikes and he withdrew from the event and last year the bike broke down in Kirk Michael on the first lap of the Senior.

This year Andy again rides the Martin Bullock Honda CBR 600 he rode to 11th in the Junior last year, the bike previously campaigned by Ian Pattinson. In the Senior he has a new GSXR750. It’s time for the Mountain Course to smile on him again.

Close to the Manx GP action

Posted: August 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

This evening at the Manx Grand Prix did not exactly go according to plan – in fact for me it turned out much better than plan! The intention was to maintain a low-key presence around the Grandstand, talk to whoever was around and monitor the practice session from the media centre and commentary box. However Chris Kinley was unavailable to do his usual live reports on the practice so I was asked to step in alongside Tim Glover, Manx Radio’s sports editor. I was only briefed on this less than an hour before the show started and barely had time to squeeze into a set of flameproof pit overalls before I was out at trackside with a live mic. It was a great buzz, far removed from the lofty heights of the commentary box, up close and personal as the riders set off just yards away.

The practice session was sensational so we had plenty of breaking news to relay. Michael Dunlop topping 119mph on the Post Classic Suzuki, Simon Fulton doing the same in the Junior only for Michael Sweeney to go a shade quicker just moments later, meanwhile Dan Sayle blitzed (unofficially) the old Lightweight lap record, the Ultra Lightweights are having a great scrap with five riders in contention, the Newcomers A field exploded into life  and Chris Palmer unofficially beat the lap record for the Post Classic Junior (chapter and verse are at ).

CL with Tim Glover and MMCC press officer Phil Edge. Photo: DL

Given good conditions on race day the Tommy Club should have a couple of new members by Wednesday night. This is the club formed to commemorate the first MGP rider to crack the 120mph lap, the late Tommy Clucas in 2004. To answer inevitable enquiries, Michael Dunlop won’t be admitted even if, as seems probable, he clocks 120-plus. Only riders qualified for all MGP races will be included.

The latest treasure trove of motorbike goodies has surfaced at Milntown near Ramsey where they have recently opened the former home of the Christian family to the public. It  includes a bike collection. It wasn’t open when we called today (sorry, yesterday now) but I grabbed a snap anyway and I believe it’ll be open on non race days next week. The Douglas marque features prominently.

Milntown bike display

Again the weather has been beautiful. We are not getting bored!

Ramsey Lifeboat Fri Aug 27. Photo: CL

Change to Monday’s schedule

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

There’s a change to the order on Monday. The Post Classic Senior has been advanced because of the rapid times being posted in practice. The revised order is: Newcomers A, Post Classic Senior, Newcomers B and Post Classic Junior. Manx Radio will start our live coverage from the Grandstand 15 minutes earlier than planned, at 9.30am now. Racing will still start on schedule at 10.15am. The racing and radio schedules for the rest of race week remain unaltered.

Magic machinery

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

FCL Racing Aermacchi

I spent an enjoyable and informative hour with Dick Linton soaking up the sun – and also soaking up a lot of detail about his bikes. Pictured is Dick’s 1969 350cc Aermacchi with rider Roy Richardson and, from left, Dick, Johnny Walker and Steve Robinson. The MGP is about bikes as much as people and this Aermacchi is a belter. It has been owned by Dick since 1972 (apart from one year when he sold it and quickly bought it back!), it won here with Australian Bill Horsman in 1997 and Frenchman Bruno Leroy a year later. It carried Dick to a replica and was also raced by his son Mark. Now it is in the experienced control of Roy R ichardson, six times MGP winner, and quickest in tonight’s practice session at 102.01mph – which is also, by some distance, the fastest of the week so far.

Watched practice at Braddan this evening. Michael Dunlop was really cracking on and it was little surprise to hear later that he’d set a new unofficial lap record for the senior Post Classics at 117.927. Michael is riding the Trident-built Suzuki XR69 replica originally earmarked for Guy Martin.

One of the island’s landmarks is changing identity. The Hilton Hotel is to revert to its previous title of the Palace Hotel having been acquired by the Sefton Hotel Group. Hilton were supposed to be building a new hotel close to the Sea Terminal but there’s no sign of any progress at all.

Weatherwise today has been simply glorious.

Today on Douglas Prom