V&M Racing's Jim Moodie finished in a fine third place in Friday's inaugural 600cc Production race, on his V&M Racing R6 Yamaha, to take his third podium position of the 2002 Isle of Man TT races. And in what turned out to be the most competitive race of the week, Moodie pushed his production machine to the limit, as he looked to add to his tally of TT victories.

An opening lap of 19min 12.7sec at 118.83 mph was quite amazing for a standard road going 600cc machine, as Moodie overhauled David Jefferies on the road. But the front running pace was so hot, the Scotsman was left in utter amazement when he pitted at the end of lap two and was informed he had a twenty five second deficit on the leaders.

"I couldn't believe the news," said Moodie. "If anything I was riding harder than I did on Wednesday, when I won the Junior 600 race. The standard R6 Yamaha was absolutely superb but I literally couldn't have ridden it any harder."

The final race of the 2002 TT festival brought a disappointing end to the V&M Racing Team's challenge, when both of the team's riders Jim Moodie and Iain Duffus, were forced out of the six lap Senior event in the early stages of the race.

Duffus was the first to retire from the proceedings, when his V&M Racing R1 Yamaha, ground to a halt with an engine problem after thirty-two miles. Then teammate Moodie was forced to out just two miles into lap two, after he had pitted at the end of lap one to check the rear suspension of his machine.

The handling problem that had plagued the team throughout the whole of TT fortnight had not been rectified, and this forced his retirement. Moodie's disappointment was difficult to hide, as the realisation had hit him that his 2002 TT challenge had finally come to an end.

"I'm both disappointed and frustrated that we couldn't get the big bike sorted," he said. "The V&M team has worked really hard to build a superb bike that definitely has the potential to win TT races. It's both lighter and faster than it has been before, and we basically ran out of time to fine tune the settings for 125mph plus laps."

Fellow Scot, Duffus, was also left contemplating a lean time (by his standards) at the 2002 TT races. "It's been a pretty average week," said the former winner, when interviewed before the start of the Senior race. "I'll just have to come back and try again next year," was his reflection after his early exit from Friday's finale.

Team boss Jack Valentine was philosophical though after an exhausting fortnight for the team. "You always set your sights high, but on reflection we shouldn't be too unhappy with our 2002 TT. We've had three podiums including a convincing victory in the Junior 600, and a fourth place in the big production. Most teams would be happy with that."

"All the lads from the mechanics to the riders, have worked tirelessly during this years TT fortnight, and I'd like to say a big thank you to the team and all our sponsors, for making our TT a success," he said.

 

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