I can’t deny it. The first time I rode down Bray Hill on Monday night I had a real tingle down my neck with excitement. It felt so good to be back at the TT, especially to be on a bike that wasn’t even built a week earlier.
I found myself grinning for ear to ear as I was riding the lap. There’s a first for you – me with a smile on my face!
That first night wasn’t with some dramas. I got to Crosby on my first lap and the gear lever adjuster broke so I was stuck in sixth gear. But I just carried on to finish the lap. I thought I’d have to stop once I got to Ramsey Hairpin but I just took a really wide line and slipped the clutch a little and away she went.
I couldn’t believe it. I thought I’d give it one go and if it didn’t work then I’d knock it on the head rather than risk the engine or clutch.
I pitted to fix that then went out for a second lap but ran out of fuel at Ramsey. Because things have been so rushed there’s still some work needed on the mapping and it was obviously running a bit rich. Well way too rich actually. I used a full 24 litres just getting to Ramsey!
I gave £20 to a guy who I’d parked up near and he went off and got mew a can of fuel so I could finish the lap!
Stuart Easton, my mechanic Jason Jones and myself have been flat out working on the bike. Stuart’s coming on, he’s learning! Suzi’s (Rutter’s girlfriend) been doing everything else, rushing around getting parts, feeding us. But what’s been really good is how much people have been willing to help us. You don’t notice stuff like that when you’re in a big team but we’ve had loads of people dropping by to pitch in with us. It’s been fantastic and thanks to everyone.
Last night’s practice was good. I did four laps and although I did a 124.243mph, I think my final lap was even quicker but it was a short lap where they pull us in before the Grandstand to allow the sidecars out.
Now we’re flat out working again. K-Tech have tweaked the forks and gone a little harder on the shock. The bike is really stable in a straight line but I need it to turn a bit better. Dave Hagen is going to re-map the engine again.
We’ve been down a little bit on top speed and we think it’s simply because it’s still running a bit too rich. I’ve also got a long road throttle on the bike, which takes two bites, so we’re going to fit a quick action one for tonight. And then we’ll see how we get on.