For Lancaster’s Colin Croft, the Manx Grand Prix is his Daytona 500, Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, Le Mans 24 Hours equivalent.
A respected coach over the years to many a Mountain Course newcomer, he first tackled the MGP in 2012, going onto acquire a top 15 placing in the Lightweight race.
Fast forward to present times and last afternoon, evening’s Manx GP Supporters Club Junior, Sure Lightweight races yielded creditable 23rd, 25th place finishes.
Before Saturday’s race action, ‘Crofty’ candidly reflected on the past week of qualifying.
“Mark Harrison’s Twin has been going great, just learning how to ride that, my single no problems done two laps on that.
600’s got a bit of a gremlin but hopefully today (24th August) we’ll be alright.”
“The 600 is mine so I’m used to it but I’ve got problems, the single is mine but it’s taking a bit of getting used to around here.
Loving riding the Twin, it’s the first time I’ve ever ridden one, so, just trying you know find my way with that bike.”
‘Crofty’ admitted that his Super Twin, Supermono steeds are not as similar as he anticipated.
“I thought they’d be quite similar and there not, everyone’s different so it’s taking a little of time.”
Commenting about braking points on the most famous road race circuit in the world (Mountain Course), he stated:
“The braking markers are more in my mind for the 600 and I’m finding on the slower bikes that I am braking a bit early and I’m coming down a gear to many, coming to the top of Barregarrow or something.
Should be flat on those but I keep going, you know because I’m so used to having to roll off for them, or change down a gear.”
Hoping to sample next month’s Steve Henshaw Gold Cup, ‘Crofty’ stated when asked to sum up what the Manx Grand Prix means to him:
“I love the Manx, I’m probably like a lot of people, preferred it the old way but if this is what we’ve got, got to go with it.
I don’t think the feel is quite the same anymore but obviously the main thing is been out there riding and all this round the paddock is secondary.
Hopefully it will carry on and go from strength to strength.”
Photo credit: Nick Wheeler
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou