TT 2022: Coward ‘good to go’ on small bikes, struggling with R1 front

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Impact Images

With just one qualifying session to go at TT 2022, Jamie Coward features prominently on all four solo leaderboards with the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan rider running inside the top eight in each class.

As expected, perhaps, the Supersport and Supertwin categories are where the 2019 TT Privateer’s Champion has shone the most with laps of 125.213mph and 119.775mph respectively putting him third overall in both divisions.

“Everything’s gone pretty well during the week and the Supersport and Supertwin bikes are good to go already,” the Hebden Bridge rider said. “I’m more than happy with how they’re performing and the lap times I’ve done.

“I’ve done what I need to do this week with the R6 so we’ll prep that for the race while my lap of almost 120mph on the Twin was from a standing start. We know we’ll be there come race day so we’re going to leave them both now for the races and focus on the R1.”

One of the few riders to campaign the R1 Yamaha, and the fastest ever around the Mountain Course on one, Coward and his team are running theirs in Superstock trim this year but a lap of 128.190mph shows their undoubted potential with them firmly knocking on the door of the top six, something they hope will become reality once they get the set-up firmly dialled in.

“The Yamaha’s not traditionally been the ‘go to’ big bike at the TT and I’ve been struggling a bit with the handling at the front. It’s a bit nervous over the bumps and moving around more than I’d like particularly from Ginger Hall to Ramsey. We all know how bumpy it is through but the feel through there’s not quite as good as previous years.

“We keep making changes and although we went in the wrong direction on Thursday evening, I almost matched my best time from the night before so, if I can do 128mph when it’s not quite right, when we get it dialled in and more comfortable to ride, I’m confident of getting into the 130mph bracket come race day.”

Coward’s 128mph lap currently places him fourth and eighth on the respective Superbike and Superstock leaderboards and it may well be the latter that gives him his best result in the 1000cc category although he’s keen to make an impression in both.

“Looking at the speeds at the moment, you’d have to say the podium places will be between Pete, Dean, Michael, Conor and Davey. John’s the next one up and that’s probably where I’m aiming.

“The Superstock race will bring us closer together but I want a good result in the Superbike race too. We learnt a lot on Thursday and have a clearer direction of where we want to go so if we can get into the 130s, which is the obvious aim, a top six result will be a definite possibility.”