Dafabet Devitt Racing and riders Ivan Lintin and Steve Mercer were back in action in the Isle TT Races on Wednesday with the Lightweight and Superstock races taking place and fourth place in the former by Lintin gave the Bristol-based team their best result of the week so far.
Having won the corresponding race for the last three years, two with Lintin and one with Dean Harrison, the team were looking to make it win number four and a strong opening lap of 117.910mph placed the Bardney-based rider in fourth place. He increased his speed to 119.248mph second time around to move up to third but problems at the pit stop saw him lose time.
The visor clip broke and that meant he had to make a change of helmets at the last moment and the time lost saw him drop back to fourth. Try as he might, he was unable to claw back time on Peter Hickman in the final two laps and so had to settle for fourth at the chequered flag.
Earlier in the day, both Ivan and Steve were out in the four-lap Superstock race on their ZX-10R Kawasaki’s although strong winds meant conditions were challenging for all of the competitors. Indeed, with opening laps of 123.987mph and 123.012mph, the duo found themselves in unfamiliar 20th and 27th place positions.
Both riders improved their standing on lap two, Ivan up to 19th and Steve 23rd, and they quickened their pace again on the fourth and final lap, to 124.536mph and 124.403mph respectively, to cross the line in 19th and 22nd, the duo winning bronze replicas for their efforts in the difficult conditions.
Sadly, the day was overshadowed by the tragic death of former team member Alan Bonner who lost his life after a crash during a practice lap later in the day. Everyone from Dafabet Devitt Racing wishes to pass on their deepest condolences to Alan’s family and friends as well as those of Jochem van den Hoek who passed away after a crash during the Superstock race.
Ivan Lintin said: “I didn’t want to be leading on the road in the Lightweight race but by default it happened so I just had to set my own pace and see what happened. Practice hadn’t been ideal and I was a bit surprised it took as long as it did for Martin Jessopp to catch me but when he did, I thought I’d sit behind and hopefully get towed along. Unfortunately, the clip on the visor broke at the pit stop so I lost a lot of time changing helmets and my podium position disappeared.”
“After that, I could see I was in a safe fourth so settled for the position and although it’s a shame I couldn’t make it three wins in a row, I was pleased with fourth. It made up for the Superstock race which I found really tough due to the windy conditions. I had a couple of scares so just rode a steady race. It was an up and down day and it obviously ended in the worst possible way with the loss of Alan and my thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Steve Mercer added: “Conditions were far from great in the Superstock race and there were cross winds everywhere, especially in the first two laps and it was hard to get into the race. I got a finish but it’s certainly proving to be one of the most difficult race meetings I’ve had so we’ll hopefully have a good run in the last two races and finish the week on a positive note. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the riders who’ve sadly lost their lives today.”
Roy Constable, Team Co-Owner commented: “We obviously came into the meeting with the firm aim of winning the Lightweight race once more but with the lack of track time in practice, we didn’t have time to do any work on the new bike and only a limited number of laps on the old one. The issue in the pit stop was something we hadn’t encountered before and although it cost Ivan a podium chance, he never stopped trying and he was rewarded for his efforts with a strong fourth place.”
“Neither rider enjoyed the conditions in the Superstock race with Steve also experiencing a gearbox problem but they stuck at it and brought the bikes home for two finishes. Sadly, the day was marred by two accidents one of which saw our former team member Alan Bonner lose his life. It was a pleasure working with Alan throughout 2016 and all of our thoughts are with his family, friends and team at this very sad time.”
Both Ivan and Steve will be back in action on Thursday for the second four-lap Supersport 600cc race.
Photo - Ivan rounds The Ginger Hall, Sulby. Courtesy of Pacemaker Press International.