|A leading team aims to head to the TT next year
despite the date clash with the British Superbike
V&M Racing is looking to attend both events - even
though the Formula 1 TT will be held the day before
the Superbike round at Snetterton on Mad Sunday, June
Team boss Jack Valentine described the situation as a
It will mean a hectic weekend for V&M's star rider,
six-times TT winner David Jefferies, who the team
hopes will contest the BSB championship.
It is likely he would compete in the Formula 1, then
go to Snetterton for the Superbike event, before
returning to the Island for the Production TT on the
Jack fears Superbike organisers will not change the
provisional date of their event, even though Ted
Bartlett, chairman of the Auto-Cycle Union, is due to
contact them to see if an agreement can be reached as
soon as he returns from the International Six Days
Enduro in France.
Jack said: 'I can't see them (the organisers) changing
it,' but added: 'I hope they do change it.'
He said the riders the clash is likely to affect will
be reigning British Superstock champion Jefferies as
well as John McGuinness, Michael Rutter and Jim Moodie
- if they chose to take part in the TT.
There was due to be a date clash this year between the
two events which was avoided following talks, only for
the TT to be cancelled as a precaution against
Tourism and Leisure Minister David Cretney was
'stunned' to discover the provisional dates for 2002
clashed and said: 'I am disappointed they (the
organisers) don't appear to have taken on board the
discussions from last year.'
He said he had spoken to Jack Valentine at the Ulster
Grand Prix about the clash and said it was good news
that V&M planned to return to the TT and that the team
wanted to see the Superbike date changed.
The BSB, which receives TV coverage on British
Eurosport and BBC Grandstand, is regarded as a
prestigious series and rule changes for next season
aim to make it even more competitive.
Two Island-based riders have proven to be among its
biggest stars. World Superbike hero Neil Hodgson, who
lives in Douglas, won the 2000 BSB championship, while
Onchan-based Steve Hislop, an 11-times TT winner, won
the 1995 season and currently leads this year's series
by 20 points over nearest rival John Reynolds.
V&M Racing, which would aim to bring a two-man team to
the TT, was hugely disappointed when this year's event
was cancelled and hailed it as a 'bitter blow'.