Market Rasen racer Phil Crowe made a successful debut at the 2014 Isle of Man TT festival where he recorded a strong finish of 45th in the RL360 Superstock race to pick up a bronze replica last Tuesday.
Crowe began his practice the previous week and on his first lap he recorded an average speed of 104mph, but on the opening lap of the Superbike race on Saturday he had improved his speed to 114.6683mph. But he encountered a problem and pulled into the pits for adjustments at the end of the lap and retired at the end of lap two.
He said: “”I was wearing a new set of leathers and throughout practice week everything seemed ok. But after qualifying I removed the novice bib ahead of the first race and once we got underway I discovered the speed hump was catching on my helmet which prevented me turning my head.
“I pulled into the pits at the end of the first lap to remove it. But that made the leathers baggy and created a world of aero-dynamic problems and turbulence around my head. I couldn’t see the track travelling over 100mph so retired at the end of lap two on safety grounds.”
With the problem resolved, Crowe set off in the Superstock race which was run over four laps of the 37.73-mile Mountain road course on Tuesday and had a good run, picking up speed to post the best time of the week with a 119.17mph on the final lap of the race to finish in 45th place from 74 starters, far enough up the order to be awarded a bronze TT replica trophy.
He said: “”I was really pleased with that result, I enjoyed a good solid race and although I encountered some yellow flags which slowed me down and then began to run out of fuel at the Creg, I still managed to post my best lap speed on the last lap.””
During the practice lap on Thursday ahead of Friday’s Senior TT Crowe had a big moment at Ballaugh Bridge where he missed a gear and arrived at the bridge at double the speed he wanted and jumped six foot in the air.
He said: “”That was a bit scary but my Motocross experience was put to good use and I made it through ok.”
The Senior TT didn’t quite go to plan for the Lincolnshire rider. He had a good run through the first four of six laps and was lying in 30th place at the end of the fourth lap, but had a problem during the pit stop changing the wheel which left him playing catch up for the final two laps.
He made it back up to 38th place on the final lap when it all went wrong at the Gooseneck and he suffered a small crash.
Although uninjured he was unable to continue and said: “”It’s a shame I crashed on the last lap as I was looking at another trophy. But on the positive side I have enjoyed a fantastic two weeks, posted my fastest lap of the week in the Senior of 121.593mph and brought a bronze replica home, plus gained loads of experience for next year.”