Phil Crowe recorded career-best results at this year’s Isle of Man TT, picking up a bronze replica in Saturday’s Superbike race and just missing out on another.
The Market Rasen racer rode the race of his life to record a finish of 36th in the first Superbike race and post a personal best lap of 123.7mph to win his first TT replica trophy.
It was not the best of days for Crowe on Monday when he was forced to retire from the Supersport race, and then suffered machine damage on the last lap of the Superstock race although he did manage to bring the bike home in 38th.
The four-lap Supersport race was always going to be a problem for Crowe with bike problems limiting practice time, and he was placed last away.
This forced him to negotiate his way past the stragglers before getting a clear run to move up the order on time.
He battled on to Glen Helen before encountering a problem with the fuel pump which forced his retirement.
Phil had a much better start position for the four-lap Superstock race and began his campaign from 34th. He rode well and was up to 30th at Glen Helen and 28th place by the end of the lap, posting a fast average of 123.4mph.
But his success was short-lived as he hit some wreckage from a crashed bike which left some fluid on his boot. He had to stop to check the bike, losing lots of time, and was down to 40th at Ballaugh on lap two.
Phil powered the BMW to make up the time and was up to 34th before a problem with the yolks forced him to nurse the bike round the last lap to finish in 38th, just missing out on another bronze replica.
“You need some luck to get around this course and I didn’t have any today,” he said.
“Everything was going mega and then it fights back and kicks you in the teeth. On the second lap there was a big crash and I hit some wreckage with the side of my bike and foot,
“I took a look down to check for damage and my foot was covered in fluid so I had to stop to check everything was okay. The bike was okay so I cracked on, trying to make up the time lost.
“As I crossed the line to start the last lap I hit Bray Hill faster than before and damaged the yolks on the bike and twisted them right out of line.
“I decided to roll it around the last lap and give the race up. I am gutted as looking at the time sheets I lost around two-and-a-half minutes when I stopped and lost out on a potential top 20 result.
* On Wednesday he contested the second Supersport race, but a low starting position once again meant he was unable to make much headway and finished 55th.
* Because of his good lap times during qualifying, Phil was elevated up the grid to 28th for the start of the big race of the week, the six-lap Senior TT.
He made steady progress up the leaderboard and was posting some very fast times, registering 123.8mph from a standing start on the opening lap , and 124.875mph on lap two.
Lap five saw him record a career-best 125.412mph and was looking good to improve further on the final lap. But while circulating in 20th, a mechanical problem with the BMW forced his retirement.
He said: “I was gutted when the bike stopped on me. I only had three miles left and was travelling at a fair rate of knots and would have put in an even faster lap, but it wasn’t to be.
“Although disappointed, I have had a good two weeks here on the island and gone faster than ever before, picked up a bronze replica and a few finishers’ medals so really I can’t complain. Roll on next year!”