In the latest instalment of the Dafabet Devitt Racing diary from the 2017 Isle of Man TT races, we caught up with the team’s co-owner Ben Constable. Ben and father Roy run the RC Express business in Avonmouth and have been running a race team since mid-way through 2012.
“Due to work commitments, I arrived on the island a week after the team and there was no practice the first day I got here so it was a slow, steady build up until Friday evening’s practice session.”
“After cancellations, it takes another good, dry session for everyone to get back into the routine and rhythm of it all bit I was impressed with both Steve and Ivan’s performances in the previous sessions they’d had and they were soon back up to speed. Both of them were running consistently in the top twelve, Steve on the edge of the top six so it was looking good.”
“For those reasons, it was obviously unfortunate that Steve crashed on his fifth and final lap on Friday evening. Up until that point, everything had been going really well and it’s a horrible time when the red flag comes out and the session is stopped due to an incident.”
“With the live timing, you can speculate roughly on the course where the accident has happened and then which rider is potentially involved as you can see who has gone through all the sectors and who hasn’t. We were definitely worried for a bit but Steve’s wife soon got a phone call from him to say he was ok, or at least as well as he could be after a 140mph crash at the TT.”
“Fortunately, he slid down the road so apart from bumps and bruises, he was otherwise ok. It was great to hear from him so soon after the accident and an obvious relief for everyone. He was kept in overnight as a precaution but was up at the paddock the following day. He missed the full day of practice on Saturday but was ready to race again on Sunday and it’s one of those things that the sooner you get back out on the bike the better.”
“Saturday was a long day for everyone and hard work, both physically and mentally. Ivan did nine laps of practice, which is a lot in one day and not far off 400 miles of riding. There’s still a bit of work to be done with the Twin but he was second fastest and we’ll hopefully get another lap of practice on it before race day.”
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“A lap of 126.5mph put him in good stead for the Superbike race although he was having a few handling issues still. At the speeds you’re doing around here though, I think there comes a time where you’re not going to get the handling any better and it’s a case of grin and bear it.”
“The race itself saw good conditions but, unfortunately, both riders had some problems, a small bracket working its way loose on Steve’s bike and Ivan having similar handling problems to what he’d had in practice. We’ll keep working hard though and have five more races to go so plenty of opportunities to get some good results.”
Having started watching motorcycle races all over the world form childhood, Phil Wain has been a freelance motorcycle journalist for 15 years and is features writer for a number of publications including BikeSport News and Classic Racer, having also been a regular contributor to MCN and MCN Sport. He is PR officer for a number of teams and riders at both the British Superbike Championship and International road races, including Smiths Triumph, Quattro Plant Kawasaki, John McGuinness, Ryan Farquhar and Keith Amor. He is also heavily involved with the Isle of Man TT Races, writing official press releases and race reports as well as providing ITV4 with statistical information.