TT 2011: Leading riders unhappy over Supersport decision08/06/2011
By Phil Wain on the Isle of Man
Image by Stephen Davison/Pacemaker
All of the leading riders were unanimous in their view that today's second Supersport 600cc should never have started with conditions all around the course far from ideal - and worsening as the race wore on. Already postponed from 10.45am until 12.40pm, when the race did get underway, riders were warned of damp patches all around the course and right up until two minutes to go, John McGuinness, Keith Amor, Guy Martin and Bruce Anstey were still in discussion about not wanting to go out.
Here's what they had to say after being brought back to the paddock, the race ultimately being stopped on the second lap due to falling rain:
John McGuinness: "I'd rather have wiped my backside with a broken bottle than gone out in that! I've been racing here a long time and said after the 1998 250cc race that I wouldn't race here in the wet and my view's still the same - I thought we had an agreement nowadays that the race wouldn't start in the wet.
"Going off at number one, I had no idea what pace to set so when Guy and Cameron came by, I sat with them and let them do the pace setting but when we went through Union Mills, it all went off. I just saw a bit of spray flicking off their rear tyres so sat the bike up straight but those two went completely sideways and how the pair of them got away with it I've no idea. If they'd have gone down it would have been for one reason and one reason only - the water. Obviously Keith was behind me and didn't see it so I'm pleased he's ok."
"The Dunlop boys have a fantastic feeling in the wet so fair play to them but Cam, Guy and I weren't interested on that second like and were riding like district nurses. It's difficult for everyone when it's a day like today and I was reluctant to go - to say the least - but, at the end of the day, it's my job. I don't want to be the one who makes the call and be the bad guy but we'be been here loads of times before so why can't we wait? We raced at 6.30pm on Monday so why couldn't they have waited before they set us off?"
Cameron Donald: "They were really tricky conditions and I just pushed as hard as I thought safe. I caught Guy and John but then lost the bike with no warning at Union Mills and it's without doubt the biggest moment I've had and got away with. I looked back at John and the pair of us just started shaking our heads so backed right off. There was water flying up off our back tyres and the rain was getting worse so it was 110% the right idea to stop it. On the first lap it was damp in places but I could see where - on the 2nd I couldn't and had no idea it was wet at union Mills. They were terrible conditions and I'm just glad Keith's ok."
Guy Martin: "That was a huge moment for me - I was down the side of the bike, ran over my legs and allsorts, you couldn't have made it up. Me and Cam were definitely being looked after. None of us wanted to even start and I reckon we should go up to Eddie Nelson and give him a thick ear - the race simply shouldn't have started. The first lap wasn't too bad but you could how black the clouds were so we need to get some rider's union or something as it isn't the first time we've been here. I know the organisers are under pressure from the likes of the TV and that but safety's got to come first so it's a good job no-one got hurt out there today."
Bruce Anstey: "You could see the rain was coming so it shouldn't have gone, it's as simple as that. I don't want to be out racing when it's like that and a few of the boys came flying past me in all directions but it wasn't for me. I saw the scrape marks where Keith went down and that was it for me.
Only Michael Dunlop, who was leading brother William by five seconds at the time of the stoppage, seemed at ease with the conditions saying, "It was alright out there and I was having a bit of craic. The first lap was ok whilst the second was wet and I did have a couple of slides but nothing to whinge about. I caught William up and was going to go by him to let him know who's boss but he was riding well and I would have been happy to have carried on."
Click here to see Keith Amor's reaction not long after he crashed
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