hjuw huws manx gp 2002

hjuw huws manx gp 2002
Getting ready to go to the Isle of Man is always a fretful time. You think it's all under control. Then there are things that go wrong at the last minute. This year at about 2 in the morning the night before going Graham comes in the shed and says, "Is this supposed to be lose?" He found the frame needed welding up where the fearing mounts to the frame on the 350.Off to Kevs in the morning to braze it up. "Better to find it now says Kev, could have done without it says me."
Journey up to Heasham with Benson following Kevs van we get there in plenty of time. Meet up with Colin Clarke in the queue for the ferry. Meet up with Ted and Bunny on boat and we all had a nice crossing drinking beer and catching up on the world. Is it 2 years since the last Manx?
Met off ferry by Mike Cowin, spend the first night at his place.
Saturday morning get bike ready to start practice after sign on and riders briefing. Harvey the chief scrutineer welcomes us as the Holidayers! Do a lap in the van with a few newcomers to see if the course goes the same way as I remember. Sit around till 6 for practice to start.
I manage to do 1 lap on the 350 in bloody awful conditions you couldn't see more than 2 bike lengths over the mountain. By the time we were ready to go on the f1 they had shut the gate. Not to worry, there are more sessions and it was bad out there.
Sunday was a day of rest after a heavy night in ports St. Mary. Manx licensing has changed; a landlord can stay open if he wants to!
I don't do morning practice on Monday morning.
Monday evening practice with both bike qualified easily on time just got to get the laps in now .I start messing with tyres new Dunlop D208 GP on the f1 for race day my forecast was for rain on. Based on the theory that it could not possibly be hot and sunny 2 weeks on the trot, by the end of the week I had the f1 set for wet. A new chain and front tyre on the Honda. It was tempting to do more laps on the Honda but I managed to leave it alone after qualifying.
Race week came around soon enough, in the pit for Robert Mc crum for the Newcomers race.
My first race was on Wednesday in the junior classic on Ian Smith's R.J.P. 350 Honda. The weather was perfect, scrutinising at 8 am; the queue was massive as the whole field was trying to get through before 9am.
We did have some trouble starting the Bike now I come to think about it. It was running fine in warming area though .Up to the line after a briefing from Mr Hanson over the tannoy, to wait my turn to go. As the first bikes get away, my engine cuts. 2 spaces to go before its my turn to start. I franticly wave my pit crew in to help start the bike, rejoin the queue just in time and it's off down the big hill. For the first lap the bike runs fine. I was passing bikes and was getting pit signals of 26th but by the second lap I knew that something was wrong, it would miss now and again. I decided to ignore the problem to see if it would go away. No such luck, by Ramsey it wouldn't pull top. I don’t want to pit but it's a choice of losing a good position to not finishing .I decided to pit and see if I could mend it. In to the pit where my pit crew aren't ready. (Because I said I would not be coming in to pit probably). Change the battery I say and as we lift the tank the left carb falls off. (A mechanic would have said something like " it's the carb you fool, put it back on and go ". After changing the battery, I try to get going but the thing wont fire. Push back to the pit, the wiring is in bits. Some idiot pulled too hard changing the battery. Nothing for it but to twist all the wires together and try one last time. It fired up straight away and off I go, last on the road but it’s a runner .All through that lap I was waiting for the wires to fall apart but it held together long enough to finish the race. Very pleased to finish my first classic race In the Isle of Man.
After my race I'm in the pit for Julian Bull fireproof overalls on over my leathers. Julian did very well finishing 9th in the junior MGP.
"Beer Tent" for a while then Ted goes to his van to get a gallon of cider! After that it goes a bit hazy.
As usual I'm collecting money for the "Manx GP helicopter fund" on the door with my green bucket at a Wednesday presentation. I'm first up on stage to collect my finisher's medal I go with the bucket and get some money from the top table. More collecting more drinking. Taxi to the Cunard Hotel. Meet with one of my sponsors Darra Brady. I can't walk so taxi back to the digs at god knows when?
Thursday afternoon before we surface .Off to the paddock to prepare the F1 for Friday. The forecast for Friday showed lots of rain so I stuck with the Dunlop's. Greenlight TV on the phone they want to do an Interview. That takes the rest of the afternoon in the paddock (Not looking my best after last night though).
An early night to get ready for tomorrows race. It went to plan till 10 p.m. we hear the next day's races have been postponed to Saturday. Back to the Cunard for a couple.
Woke up Saturday morning and wow was it raining. Spent the day sleeping and window shopping for photos.
Saturday the weather was much better if still a bit cloudy and windy. I decided to stick with the Dunlop's just in case it should rain.
I get up to scrutinering by 8. I get the Bike through then back to do my leathers and helmet they want me to blow in the breathalyser. No problem " last time was at walderstown with Robert Dunlop"
The first race is the lightweights and ultra lightweights no pit work for this one so I watch the race. My good friend Liam Mc aleer is reported as "off taken to knobles by air med." .We get a report from Kit that he has broken 2 vertebrae but he will be ok. I decide to stop watching race and disappear in to Hailwood centre for some tea.
Now its time to see what a big bike goes like on Dunlop's round the Isle of Man. The answer came soon enough its good in the corners plenty of grip but weaves all over the place at medium speed. "Dam and blast" I said Never mind it might start raining. Sure enough we get some rain on lap 2 but not enough to make my set up the right one. I'm getting Interesting pit boards like "no 84 -24hrs." In to the pit no problems Mike and Dot had enough drama on Wednesday. I ride round for a finish. A nice enough ride but my speed was down on previous years.
At the presentation behind the grandstand, I get my finisher's medal that I give to Mike for putting up with us all.
After visiting Liam in hospital we catch the sun night ferry to Heasham which is full of mechanics saying don’t ride a big bike on Dunlop's! Funny how they tell you after the race. We get home by the early hours of Monday morning.
Time for bed

07-09-2002, 12:07 AM

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