Yesterday was a challenging day and the Superbike race was obviously disappointing. Unfortunately, the oil pressure light came on and rather than risk destroying an engine I had to pull in at the end of the first lap.
A sensor had gone but I could really have done with more laps although I didn’t miss much more as it turned out with the race being stopped early.
It was really cold up on the Mountain again and the wind was a real problem. It blew me off line at the Bungalow and again at Cronk ny Mona and all my years experience seem to have gone out the window in terms of dealing with the conditions. My lines and tip in points are all compromised because of the wind but it’s the same for everyone obviously and I take my hat off to the near 133mph laps that were being put down in the Superbike race.
As for the 600, I’m disappointed I couldn’t get a result for the Padgetts team as they’ve put together a superb bike at the 12th hour for me. The first lap felt ok and it felt like a better ride than the result suggested but I obviously didn’t have the pace and I can only put it down to the lack of track time I’ve had, not just this year but the years I missed in 2017 and 2018 as well.
All I’ve done around the Mountain Course since 2016 is last year’s Classic TT and a couple of parade laps so I’ve lost a lot of laps around the place compared to my rivals and there’s no denying I’m behind the ball. I just need to find a crest of a wave and try and ride it!
In the 600cc race, I started to get a bit of rain on my visor along the Cronk y Voddy and it was the psychological rain that makes it hard to know how hard to push. And when you’re on a course with trees, walls and lamp posts, psychological rain isn’t easy to deal with. It was probably my worst result ever and that’s not being disrespectful to the riders that finished 14th, 15th or 16th. I felt like I was riding well but I clearly didn’t have the pace.
On the plus side, I really enjoyed the laps on the Lightweight Norton and TT Zero bikes in the afternoon though and I’m up to 114mph now on the twin, with Peter (Hickman) getting up to 116mph, and they’re more than respectable lap speeds.
The bike’s really enjoyable to ride and it’s clearly coming on leaps and bounds whilst we’re constantly climbing the leaderboard in every session. I’m looking forward to the race now and it certainly bodes well for the future where the Superlight should really be taking the fight to the Patons and Kawasakis.
I’ve run out of things to say about the weather and lack of track time now and the organisers are trying to squeeze a massive programme into the final three days which is a major undertaking for everyone. It can’t be helped but it does make it hard going and I think we’re all in agreement that we can’t remember a TT like the one we’ve had this year.
At the end of the day though, we lost another young, talented rider in the blink of an eye yesterday and that puts everything into perspective so my thoughts are with the family and friends of Daley.