After a draining 21 hours of recycled air, bad food and crying babies, the Rowe Racing team has finally landed and settled in to the Isle of Man. Although nearly missing the flight out of Dublin due to a long meeting with the mighty black elixir of Ireland, some well earned rest to beat the jet-lag was in order on arrival. Not wanting to waste anymore time, the team got straight to work Tuesday morning, heading down to the business district to pick up the crates containing the three bikes and spare parts. Everything was as we packed it, with nothing damaged or lost. A massive thanks is owed to Bikes Abroad who took the bones of our race team halfway across the world without a hitch.
PIC: When in Rome…
Once unpacked and loaded into our two hired vans, the lads set off to our cottage to start sorting through the mountain of tools, parts and gear. The great people at Island Express were kind enough to let us leave the large crates in their warehouse for the duration of the trip, making the task of re-packing everything much easier in a few weeks.
PIC: Bikes Abroad did a faultless job getting our gear to the Island safely
Brian and Locky spent yesterday taking each bike through a rigorous checklist before our first practice on Saturday. A lot of time has gone into preparing a schedule for bike maintenance over the next few weeks… which will no doubt be altered after the race organisers change the programme. We have already become wary of Saturday’s first practice as rain is predicted, something officials will avoid like the plague if new riders are due out.
PIC: Island Express has let us keep the crates in their warehouse, making transport much easier
Today Royce will head to the paddock for his first riders briefing, then will officially sign on tomorrow. Wrangling two bikes around the Mountain Course is certainly going to take it out of him, but it also holds huge logistical challenges for the team. Factoring in our second rider Paul, our small but dedicated group will have to do the work normally expected of a ten man team. Always up for a challenge, the guys have already been down to the pits to check out power options for tyre warmers. Running on a ‘first in best dressed’ system, the team will need to be on the ball when rushing to secure a usable pit position.
PIC: It’s a mighty operation shifting a race team across the world
Saturday’s first practice begins at 5.30pm IOM time, making that 2am Adelaide time. This will likely change due to rain, so we’ll do our best to keep people updated on event changes through our Facebook page. Alternatively, fans can listen through the Manx Radio website for updates on time changes. Luckily the team is shacked up only five minutes from the start paddock, so we’ll also have our ears glued to the radio for changes before the mad rush down to the line.
PIC: The team’s makeshift laundry workshop has been a Godsend
The lovely family of Ballacaine Cottages have again let us convert their laundry into a makeshift workshop, making the boys’ life much easier. We’ve also picked up a load of gear that we left on the Island from last year with our great friends the Kneen family. For stuff we couldn’t bring over, like oil and so on, the blokes at AGR Motorsports have sorted us out, along with some great local advice on Mountain Course maintenance. We can’t thank everyone enough who has done anything, big or small, to help us get to this point. There is a great buzz within the team and all we need to do now is get Royce out on the track! We’ll have an update soon following the first ride.