Road Racing News

Manx GP Top 6: Jim Barnett

Next racer to take part in Road Racing News brand new for 2020, Manx GP Top 6 series is another of pure road racing’s unsung heroes Stafford based Jim Barnett.

21st in the Lightweight Classic TT of 2017, Barnett who first tackled the Manx GP in 2014, 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?

“Having followed the TT since the early 90’s I never envisaged racing the Mountain Course. I was very familiar with it since we’d holidayed there every year since 2003 and had done over 100 laps on the bike.

Even though I was familiar with the circuit the speed was absolutely awesome! Liking each group of corners and sections to get a flowing, high speed lap was incredible.”

Q2: Most memorable Manx GP bike?

“My trusty 2007 GSXR 600 (Suzuki) has been the only bike I’ve competed on in the Manx GP. Being familiar with it in every sense has meant each year I’ve been able to focus on improving lines and speeds to continually improve.”

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Q3: Most treasured memory from the Manx?

“A lot of people think motorbike racing is an individuals sport as they only see the rider. For me the memories come from being part of a much bigger team.

Whether it’s family, who are always actively involved, the Pit Crew, all those who help on the IOM (Isle of Man) at the Manx GP and the wider team, we have so much fun.”

Q4: Is there one specific Manx GP competitor that you look up to?

“Andy Lawson (RIP) was my ‘lead out man’ on my Newcomers speed controlled Lap in 2014. I learnt a lot from Andy and he helped throughout the week. When he won that year it was a special moment.”

Q5: Describe the Manx GP in one word?

“Awesome!”

Q6: Finally, if you could race one machine from any series, championship around the Mountain Course, what would it be?

“Having competed on a Yamaha TZ350G in three Classic TT’s the power to weight ratio of a 2 stroke means I’d love to ride Bruce Anstey’s Padgetts Honda RS250. The speed and it’s light weight feel means it’s the perfect bike in my view for the Mountain Course.”

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