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Race Week - TT Isle of Man 2018

Race Week - TT Isle of Man 2018

We are now all back from what was a pretty successful 2018 TT for Phil and the team. After a great practice week during which Phil improved on his best TT lap time achieving 128.5mph avg speed the 130mph target was the aim for race week.

First Superbike Race
Phil had a fantastic first Superbike race with a top 10 finish (9th) and a lap of 129.957mph.  Even after two weeks of testing the first race is always the one were different things are tested from certain bike set-up to the crucial pit stops.  All went smooth but the team had taken note of a few things to improve.

Supersport Races – Small bikes
There are two Supersport races at the TT each year.  For obvious reasons the small bikes do not suit Phil.  The disadvantage of his size and weight become a lot more significant on a small bike so it is even a steeper uphill battle to be competitive.  Despite being given number 79 Phil qualified 23rd and finished both races better than that.  He managed a Silver Replica in race 1 finishing 19th and ended up 21st on the second Supersport race.

Photo By: Tim Keeton

Superstock Race
Back to the big bikes.  If he had to pick between the big bikes Phil prefers the Superbike for the simple reason that the extra power of the Superbike helps in pulling his weight around the mountain course better than the Superstock.  However he usually does well on the Superstock and achieves good lap times (a mile or so slower than on the Superbike though).  On the other hand the familiarity with the Superstock bike which is the one frequently used during the year comes very handy for the TT.  

On the TT Superstock race Phil was doing very well and positioning himself for a possible 7th or 8th (was 8th at the half of the race) and putting in a very strong 128.4mph lap!  His best on a Superstock.

Unfortunately the bike started having electronic failure in the throttle unit and Phil was not able to push during the second half of the race.  He made a huge effort to try and keep the pace as much as possible but it was inevitable that he would lose positions.  Phil dropped from 8th after 2 laps to 17th in the following last 2 laps.  Quite frustrating for Phil and the team but as the saying goes … that is part of racing.

Senior TT Race
After the first Superbike race success and the great performance on the Superstock race (until the electronics issue) the expectations for the Senior were very high.

And Phil did not disappoint.  From his 18th position at the start line Phil started moving his way up.  From 18th to 15th after one lap and to 10th after the first 2 laps.  At the end of lap 4 Phil was in 8th and putting a lap of 129.3mph.  He gained one more position in lap 5 and was running in 7th at the Senior TT and on the last lap with a comfortable buffer to the 8th.   

On the last lap, on the approach to Ramsey Phil lost the front and came off.  Fortunately, nothing major happened to him other than being battered and shaken – losing consciousness for a short period of time.  As on other occasions it seems the tarmac and the street curb were more in pain than Big Phil (!).

A very tough pill to swallow.  During the two weeks Phil rode more than 1600 miles on the mountain course on the limit, beating his best times by quite some margin and managing to position himself 7th on the last third of the Senior race but … 13 miles from the finish line he lost the front and his TT was cut short.   Back to the cliche ... that its racing.

We now have to wait for the 2019 TT, and we will be ready for it!

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