Riders and their Bikes 18 July 2003
Not "just one Cornetto", but "just one replica" is 42-year-old Stephen Carr's
heart's desire as he tackles the Ultra-Lightweight Manx on a 400 Kawasaki and
the Junior on a 600 Honda. The Greenisland press operator has an impressive
Irish pedigree including good places at Tandragee and Mid-Antrim. "All I have
ever wanted is a replica," he pines.
Regular TT sidecar passenger Dave Corlett, a 40-year-old driving instructor from
Douglas, will be hoping for better luck than last
year. Hopeful of winning the Newcomers', early machine trouble afflicted the 400
Honda he campaigns again this time. He also has a 600 Honda for the Junior.
Firstly, though, he has to overcome a broken collar-bone.
From flying Boeing 737s to riding a G50 Matchless is quite a gulf, but
44-year-old Richard Coates from Colby is making yet another comeback in the
Classic. Having won 21 TT replicas and lapped at 115.76mph on a 250 in the 1999
Senior, the easyJet pilot will have a gallop in the 500 Classic "to enjoy the
sounds, smells and sheer pleasure of riding a classic machine on the most
beautiful circuit in the world".
Notching up 25 years at the Manx will be 62-year-old Dave Dock, a self-employed
furniture installation engineer from Hayes End, Middlesex. During that time he
has recorded 29 finishes and won two replicas. He has a 350 Ala d'Oro Aermacchi
and a Rickman G50 this year.
Last year's 250 Newcomers' winner Barry Davidson returns to ride in the
Lightweight and Junior races. The 26-year-old
woodworking machinist from Cullybackey, Co. Antrim, enjoys backing from the
Royal Hotel, Cookstown, for his 250 Honda and 600 Suzuki.
Alex Donaldson looks like adding to the talented line-up contesting the 750
Newcomers. With Guy Martin and John Burrows among those to contend with, victory
will be hard-won, but 33 years old mechanic Alex from Limavady finished third in
last year's Senior Irish Championship so clearly has what it takes. He has an R.
and J. Townley Suzuki for his MGP debut.
Claiming to be the first Scottish female to compete in the Manx, 28-year-old
group safety advisor Eleanor Forrest from Glasgow rides an RS Honda in the
125/400 Newcomers and the Ultra Lightweight.
Thirty-year-old publican Philip Gilder has attracted backing from Martin
Bullock. Mine Host at the Horse and Groom in Malmesbury Wiltshire, Philip hopes
for good results in the Junior and Senior on Suzukis, having two previous fourth
places (2000 Junior and 2002 Senior).
Riding John Turner's 350 Honda will be somewhat different to Jason Griffiths'
2003 TT endeavours on Yamaha UK/Road and track R1s, but hopes are high for
repeat success in the Junior Classic, having taken victory in the 2000 event.
Jason has lapped the Mountain Course at 124mph - but not on the Honda! Former
sponsor of Jason and father Selwyn, Ray Cowles recently celebrated his 80th
birthday by visiting the Southern 100 for the
umpteenth time. The veteran Welsh tuner has backed dozens of riders at the Manx.
The famous Bob McIntyre-framed AJS and Matchless models will again roar around
the Island in the capable hands of Mick Hemmings. The 59-year-old motor cycle
engineer from Sywell, Northamptonshire, attracts guaranteed attention with the
bikes formerly ridden by the Flying Scot, who will always be best remembered for
setting the first over-100 mph lap on the TT Course (Gilera 1957), having won
the 1952 Junior Manx and finishing second in the Senior on the same 7R still in
exactly the same standard 350 trim.
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