2023 Manx GP Chat: Senior Qualifying Week Leader Marcus Simpson

2023 Manx GP Chat: Senior Qualifying Week Leader Marcus Simpson

Douglas Marcus Simpson star has shone and some during the 100th Anniversary Manx Grand Prix.

You wouldn’t think he’s a Mountain Course debutant given his exemplary displays across qualifying week, which culminated in topping the Senior Supersport times sheet on Thursday, lapping at 120.813 mph.

A tip off at Creg Ny Ba in Thursday night’s qualifying session, proved a minor blip in Simpson’s sophomore MGP tenure, which continued prominently on Saturday, scoring a top five finish from the Manx GP Supporters Club Junior race.

Prior to this achievement, Road Racing News obtained an unfiltered conversation with ‘Spartacus’.

Stating that he’s just been steadily building his pace, application throughout the past week’s competition, he stated:

“Steady, just been building every night, we’ve had a few issues. First day was good, we’ve had a recurring issue with this bike with the quick shifter, it’s been something that has caused issues for a little while, so, I bought I knew one and then there was still an issue.

But I think we have now identified were’ the issue came from, we went back to the old quick shifter yesterday (23rd August) after the new one completely failing and shutting down the night before, had no quick shifter from ginger hall on the first lap, it never came back.

Think we did 114.5 short-lapped, about 115. I’ve just been building slowly, 111 first day then 114 then yesterday I went out and I just thought it’s going to work, it’s going to work and yeah good day, 118.6, steady, plenty left in the tank.”

Aboard the JPS Racing Powered by Atherstone R6 Yamaha for tomorrow’s Senior race, Simpson added about the EX KMR Kawasaki LMR Powered by Jon Cuff Electrical Twin, that propelled him to fifth yesterday (see above).

“That bike is the old slipper as they say. We bought it off Ryan (Farquhar), last year I had a bit of a nightmare with a Super Twin, were I gained a ride and it didn’t work out.

Somebody put me in touch with Ryan and Ryan very kindly hired me the bike for Faugheen and went and qualified first and won both races and then my sponsor Jon Cuff Electrical come in and bought the bike for me. That’s in our stable now, it’s just a beautiful bike.”

A question I’ve always wanted to ask the 2022 Irish Road Race Senior-Support Championship runner-up, is why the nickname ‘Spartacus’?

Here’s the reason why:

“It started with Slick (Anthony Bass) and Dan (Kneen) and Andy Cowan, they called me Sparty, Spartacus.

Then two years ago, Slick said you need to run with a name and why not Spartacus, so I think if you don’t listen to that man sometimes, then you are a bit silly, so we’ve ran with it.

At first, I didn’t really like it but it has cool connotations like the roman gladiators and that sort of stuff.”

Set to race latest-spec Fireblade Honda machinery next year, thanks to Jon Cuff Electrical, Simpson hopes to end his ultra proficient MGP voyage in tumultuous style in Monday’s four-lap Mylchreest Group Senior race.

Photo credit: Mark Corlett

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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