Isle of Man TT 2013 – Rider Overview

by Mark Rowe

The 2013 Isle of Man TT didn’t quite produce the podium expectations we at Tyco Suzuki were looking for, but getting Josh Brookes up to speed initially, and watching him set a phenomenal newcomer’s lap record at 127.726mph during the Superbike TT – was well worth the trip alone.

Brookes went on to finish tenth in that opening race of TT2013, and will undoubtedly be a memorable debut race for the 30-year-old Australian British Superbike rider when he looks back on his career in many years to come.

Guy Martin was left to think ‘what might have been’ during TT2013, but along with fellow team members, the Lincolnshire man can take a number of positives away from the event.

He narrowly missed out on a podium finish in the aforementioned Superbike TT, eventually finishing fourth, with a standing start opening lap of 130.431mph.

The opening Supersport encounter produced a sixth place and best lap of 126.709mph. In the second Supersport encounter Guy’s GSX-R600 developed an intermittent electrical problem, but the Tyco Suzuki man bravely battled on, not wanting to retire the machine with so many team sponsors present on the Island.

In the Superstock race Guy was just five seconds off the lead at the end of lap one, registering a speed of 128.566mph from a standing start. He entered his pit at the end of lap two for fuel following a lap of 129.361mph and was well within striking distance of race leader Gary Johnson – only to be penalised for a pit lane infringement.

It wasn’t to be Guy’s day as he retired later in the lap with a technical problem. Josh Brookes also suffered gremlins in the Superstock encounter – stretching his chain after over-jumping Ballaugh Bridge – and had to make an un-scheduled pit stop but carried on to eventually get a finisher’s medal.

In Friday’s Senior TT, after working meticulously on his preparation alongside his new team-mate, as previously mentioned, Guy finished fifth.

Lap and race records were surpassed in blistering conditions and Guy was one of six riders who lapped in excess of 130mph on the opening lap of six. On the second lap, whilst holding third place, Guy put in a blistering lap of 131.094mph, only bettered by eventual race winner John McGuinness.

He posted yet another lap of 130.188mph on lap four and a final lap of 129.862mph to collect yet another silver replica. Josh Brookes retired his GSX-R1000 Superbike at the end of lap one with an electrical problem, which was disappointing for the Aussie, as he was on course to better his previous newcomer’s best of 127mph.

Guy Martin:
“If I’m honest fifth meant nothing to me I was that disappointed after the Senior TT; I might as well have finished twenty fifth. I have to hold my hands up but I did give one hundred percent. I scratched my spuds off in that race and wore the end of my boots off.

“I couldn’t fault the team one little bit. For me they are the best team in the paddock and they all want to win races. Everyone gives their all, and as long as we all come away giving one hundred percent we have to be happy.

“Yes we use a little more fuel than the others and that makes our pit stops that little bit longer but big credit to Metzeler. I don’t go blowing smoke…; but those guys did everything I asked of them and it was a job well done.

“The Superstock job was good. I was pushing hard and went that little bit extra, but went and got a pit lane speedy penalty; then we had to park the thing. But there was a podium there for us, maybe even a win.

“I’ve never enjoyed a TT as much in my career and that’s saying something. Having Stewart Johnstone there was a big plus and I really enjoyed working with Josh Brookes. What a boy to do 127mph as a newcomer and I believe he’d have gone faster on Friday.

“I’m a TAS man, so I hope we can come back and do it all again next year. I just want to go riding again, so the Southern 100 can’t come quick enough and I’ll be talking to Philip Neill about another project we discussed.”

Josh Brookes:
“I’m really happy how the TT started for me as I was under no pressure to perform. I did kind of have high hopes after the first couple of practice sessions, but that’s a natural progression. The fact that I set the newcomer’s lap record in the Superbike TT was a great thrill.

“I knew I’d done well but I still had lots to learn, so again I had high hopes of some progression in the Senior TT to possibly extend the newcomer’s lap record a little. The first two sectors are not my strongest, but if you do the math from that first lap, for sure I’d have gone quicker.

“Yes I’m a bit disappointed not to see my true potential and I could say, ‘well there’s always next year’, but in 2014 I’ll just be one of the regular guys and not a newcomer.

“In saying that, we all know the TT is a difficult place and you only have to look at the likes of Gary Johnson breaking down when challenging for the lead, to know how cruel the place is on a rider and motorbike.

“So my challenge in the future is to finish a race and conserve the motorbike and let the results come after that. Working with Guy has been great. I knew a bit about him before the TT as he’s a famous face, but my opinion of him has changed.

“We got time to socialise and had many laughs in the race truck waiting on sessions to start. I have to say he was really open with the information that he gave me and answered every question I asked. He was very helpful and really encouraged me and I enjoyed the jokes and banter.

“The boys all did a great job during a demanding fortnight, but now it’s back to BSB this weekend at Knockhill, but for sure I want to go back to the TT. I’ve been doing laps in my head since I left the place!

“My focus this week will be on Knockhill and mentally preparing to win again in BSB. I’m sure the first session will seem a bit strange but after that I will be back in my normal routine.”

Reflecting on TT2013; riders, management and the whole Tyco Suzuki team would like to pay a special tribute to Yoshinari Matsushita who was sadly taken from us during practice week.

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