After a week of practicing in dismal weather conditions, the V&M Racing Team took a hard earned podium finish in Saturday's opening TT Formula 1 race, when Scotsman Jim Moodie took his V&M Racing 1000cc R1 Yamaha to a well-deserved third place, despite suffering severe handling problems with his machine.

In the contrasting near perfect weather conditions, the race was run at lap record pace, and Moodie battled bravely to stay in touch with the leaders, around the thirty-seven and three quarter mile mountain circuit. But the lack of dry practice time on the 180bhp V&M Yamaha soon became apparent as he struggled to stay in control of the bike through some of the bumpier sections of the course.

"The bike was OK over the mountain section of the circuit, but on the section between Balacraine and Ramsey it was impossible to ride on the limit," he said. "That was the hardest six laps I've ever done. There was nothing I could do except ride as fast as I could. It's frustrating because I know it could have been a lot closer at the front."

Moodie's dogged determination was highlighted on the final lap of the six lap Formula 1 race, when despite the bike's handling problems, he gritted his teeth and lapped the famous Isle of Man circuit faster than he had ever done before. The seven times TT winner circulated in 18min 7.9sec at an average speed of 124.85mph.

Unfortunately for fellow Scot Iain Duffus, the handling problems that plagued his teammates machine were all too apparent on his own. And after two hundred and twenty six miles of high speed wrestling with his high-powered machine, he slipped down the leader board to finish in ninth place.

"I'm disappointed, because after winning the North West 200 in Ireland a couple of weeks ago, I was hoping for a good result in the Formula 1 TT," said Duffus. "I'm hoping we can find a cure for the problem before Friday's Senior race, and then hopefully a podium position will be on the cards."

Despite his rider's disappointments, Team boss Jack Valentine was happy his team had secured the third place on the podium. "It was an amazing achievement and no-one outside of the top racers can really appreciate how difficult these bikes are to ride on the limit. Our bikes are making more horsepower than they've ever done before, and because of the weather during practice week, we've had little time to fine tune the handling to find the ideal compromise for all sections of the TT course. I'm hopeful we can make a few adjustments that will work better for Friday's Senior event," said Valentine.

Formula 1 TT Result:

1. David JefferiesSuzuki1hr 50m 05.1s123.38mph
2. John McGuinnessHonda1hr 50m 41.6s122.70mph
3. Jim MoodieV&M Yamaha1hr 51m 09.6s122.19mph
4. Ian LougherSuzuki1hr 51m 14.8s122.09mph
5. Richard QuayleSuzuki1hr 53m 05.6s120.19mph
6. Jason GriffithsYamaha1hr 54m 02.6s119.10mph
7. Richard BrittonSuzuki1hr 54m 02.6s119.10mph
8. Simon SmithSuzuki1hr 54m 06.1s119.04mph
9. Iain Duffus V&M Yamaha1hr 54.m 15.2s118.88mph
10. Chris HeathYamaha1hr 54m 27.2s118.67mph

 

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