Three times a top 16 MGP finisher, Sweden’s Bjorn Gunnarsson who’s since recorded top 15 finishes at the TT Races, is next to take part in Road Racing News rising in popularity Manx GP Top 6 series.
An excellent 9th within the Lightweight TT of 2016, finishing in front of esteemed talents such as Michal Dokoupil, Shaun Anderson and Sam West, his answers to the Mountain Course themed set of questions are as follows:
Q1: When you first competed at the Manx, what was your first initial thought of the Mountain Course?
“It was a magnificent feeling to be able to ride on the most famous road racing course in the world for the first time.
I had prepared for a year with on-boards back home in Sweden but the videos can’t fully prepare you for the real thing.”
Q2: Most memorable Manx GP bike?
“Easy, I just rode a couple of Honda CBR600’s during my two years of MGP competition before I went on to the TT. The first one was totally destroyed in the Senior race during my first year 2012 when I hit a fellow competitors crashed bike at Bedstead.
So the most memorable bike has to be my second CBR600 from 2014 and it is also the one I raced during my TT debut in 2015. I still have it in my garage.”
Q3: Most treasured memory from the Manx?
“The kindness I gained from the Manx GP staff and all the help we got as newcomers from everyone. From the more experienced riders to the locals on the Island.”
Q4: Is there one specific Manx GP competitor that you look up to?
“Nick Jefferies. A real master on two wheels who has won the Manx 2 day trial, Manx GP and the TT on the Isle of Man.
Nick competed within the Super Twins class during my second MGP year (2014) and was kind enough to bring me and his fellow countryman Gavin Lupton for a lap in his van around the Mountain Course.
He taught us the right line and it was extra fun because I had used Nick’s commentated on-board lap from 1993 to study the course.”
Q5: Describe the Manx GP in one word?
Q6: Finally, if you could race one machine from any series, championship around the Mountain Course, what would it be?
“Mike Hailwood’s TT-winning Ducati from 1978. Just to be able to say I have rode it in its right environment.”
Words by Stevie Rial