After a few misty days in a row, it finally looked like the team would be able to get out for some clear practice runs.
PIC: The (hazy) view from our accommodation at Ballacain Cottages
Royce went out first on the Triumph, planning to make a mark on the Junior/Senior class. He only managed one lap and had to come in to make further adjustments, which were another improvement, but didn’t help lap times as it meant two standing starts.
PIC: Royce launches the Triumph over Ballaugh Bridge (Credit: Steve McDonald Photography)
The team have a number of other changes to make yet – we’re still experimenting and learning at the moment – but hopefully we are moving in the right direction. There will be more changes on suspension settings as well as gearing tomorrow. Although the times could be better, this week is purely for getting the bike to a stage that Royce is comfortable he can give the Junior/Senior races his absolute best and be confident in the machine underneath him.
PIC: More adjustments for the Triumph overnight (Credit: Tracey’s Pictures)
Of the two standing starts, his best time clocked on the Triumph was a 116mph lap. This time placed Royce in tenth position for both Senior and Junior classes, so the team look forward to him getting a flying lap in tonight’s practice to really gauge where he sits.
PIC: The Ducati was flying through Ballaugh Village last night (Credit: Steve McDonald Photography)
Next, it was time for the Ducati. On the second lap, Royce was dicing with Victor Lopez Santos from Spain and Englishman Darren Cooper, both top riders. Positions were constantly changing between the three of them, until they reached the Mountain and found that the weather had closed in and fog covered that whole section. Yellow flags were displayed at every marshall station, meaning riders had to slow and could not pass. That pretty well signaled the end of the session as riders had to proceed under yellow flags. Unfortunately, we still haven’t had a flying lap on the Ducati. The best time clocked was 110.7mph, placing him at sixth. Victor Lopez Santos sits at the top of the table with a 111.9mph lap, showing just how close this race could be.
PIC: Royce chasing down the competition in the Lightweight class (Credit: Tracey’s Pictures)
Tomorrow’s weather looks like it could go either way, so the team will have the vans packed and bikes tied down in anticipation. Friday evening practice signals the end of the normal practice week, with another set of laps to take place on Saturday lunchtime.