The Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team ended a challenging Isle of Man TT with a positive result in the blue riband Senior race, with Derek Sheils bringing the Suzuki GSX-R1000 home in 13th place.
Derek lapped at 127.56mph as he battled on throughout the gruelling six-lap finale even though he was struggling with sickness. He had a DNF in the Superstock race, but the Dublin rider followed up his 11th place in the opening Supersport race with 12th position in race two on his Yamaha R6.
Tom Weeden began to get to grips with the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the Senior after missing out on much-needed track time due to poor weather throughout TT fortnight. The Kent man finished 26th and lapped at 122.89mph, while Weeden finished 24th in the second Supersport race on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Yamaha R6, lapping at 119.10mph.
With the first two major international road races over, the team’s next outing will be at the Skerries 100 Irish National meeting in County Dublin next month (July 6-7).
Team Principal – John Burrows:
“It was a positive end to the 2019 Isle of Man TT for the team, with Derek finishing in 13th place in the Senior. However, we also had mixed feelings because there is no doubt Derek had the pace to go much faster and finish higher up the leaderboard, but he was feeling sick after eating something that disagreed with him. He was vomiting and Derek just wasn’t himself, but he battle through the race and to finish 13th under the circumstances was a decent result for the team, and once again he was the first Suzuki rider home. Derek also finished 11th and 12th on his own Yamaha in the Supersport races but sadly he had a DNF on our bike in the Superstock race, when it seems to have broken a valve on the final lap at Ballacraine.
“Like everyone, we were up against it with the weather at the TT and a lack of track time, but we overcame a few issues with the GSX-R1000 Superbike and were feeling confident on Friday morning. Dunlop changed the profile of their front tyre this year and we were struggling to find our way with it a bit. You only get once chance at the TT, so it was unfortunate that Derek wasn’t just feeling 100 per-cent.
“Tom didn’t get many laps done to be fair and to lap at almost 123mph in the Senior is probably what I thought would be possible for him. Prior to the TT, I had expected that he could lap at 125mph and I do think he would have done that with more time under his belt. Tom was using Michelin rubber and he was very pleased with the feedback from the tyres.
“The next meeting for the team will be the Skerries 100 next month. We have decided to give Kells and Enniskillen a miss, which will ease the burden on us a bit as a team.”
“It was a tough TT for both the organisers and competitors alike. We had very limited track time during practice to get the new bikes working, but it was the same for everyone. My annual bad luck at the TT continued with a dose of food poisoning on the Wednesday of race week, which meant in the races on Thursday and Friday I was really unwell and getting sick as I raced. My lap times fluctuated throughout as a result because my concentration was slipping at times.
“The Superstock bike blew an engine but all in all, I was happy to come across the line in 13th in the Senior considering I really struggled and was vomiting on laps three and four. I was pleasantly surprised with my pace on the 600 and to finish 11th and 12th was great as it’s not usually my strongest class.”
“I was happy enough under circumstances with how the TT went this year. We had new bikes and badly need more track time to get dialled in. Prior the Superstock race, I had only done two laps on the 1000cc Suzuki, so I went into the race blind. I really enjoyed the six laps in the Senior and the team had the bike there or thereabouts for the race. It felt good and for the first time it really began to feel like my bike.
“I lapped just shy of 123mph and I’d hoped for more than that to be honest, but the weather just really left us on the back foot and at one stage we were sat around for four days doing nothing. It was my first time running slick tyres on a Superbike in the Senior and the Michelin tyres were really impressive. We’ve a bit of a break now before our next race so it’s back down to earth with a bump after the TT.”
Pictures courtesy of:
Pacemaker Press (Derek Sheils).
Baylon McCaughey (Tom Weeden).