With the 2017 Isle of Man TT races having arrived once more, we’ll keep you updated throughout with the progress of the Dafabet Devitt Racing team. Danny Horne is crew chief for the team, looking after both riders, double TT winner Ivan Lintin and Steve Mercer and although weather has meant no track action it’s still been a busy time as he explains.
“We had a really busy time after the North West 200, getting all the bikes prepared and we actually arrived on the island last Tuesday to start getting everything set up in the paddock. The awning and flooring got done and then all the bikes were taken out of the truck whilst we also had to fit in a new engine into one of the 600s.”
“Unfortunately, the weather closed in on Saturday and meant the first practice session was cancelled which was a real shame, especially for the riders. The first session is for the Supersport and Lightweight machines and it settles the riders in and allows them to get dialled into the Mountain Course again before heading out on the Superbikes. Having prepared all the bikes, you obviously want to see them out on the track to iron out any issues and get them set up as soon as possible.”
“The loss of a practice session throws the week out of sync too and you have to re-assess the plans and how the riders want to go about things but it’s the same for everyone and it’s a situation we’ve encountered before.”
“My role this year is pretty similar to 2016 in that I’m overseeing everything in the garage, making sure the riders have everything they need and delegating tasks out to the other mechanics as and when required. Keeping everything on as even a keel as possible is what I try to do and keep everyone happy. With the weather being iffy, that often means drinking a lot of tea and eating biscuits but it was sunny on Sunday so Ivan, Steve, Rider Liaison Officer John Barton and myself headed out on the mountain bikes and got a 25-mile ride in which was enjoyable.”
“We’ve a similar work load this year with two riders on board once more and, from a personal point of view, it’s nice having a slightly higher profile big bike rider with us in Steve. I’ve leant more towards working with him during testing and the big bikes are what I enjoy working with. Both riders are pushing for their first 130mph+ laps with Steve hoping to get into the 131s so I want to make sure they have every chance of achieving that.”
“Both riders are mega to work with and they’re bouncing off each other really well so we’re more than hopeful of having another good fortnight. Obviously, we’d like Ivan to take his third Lightweight win, and the team’s fourth, which he’s more than capable of and, like I say, if we can get them both into the 130s on the big bikes we’ll be happy. All we need now is a bit of sun!”
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.