Road Racing News

TT 2019: Reigning Junior Manx GP Victor Chawke Makes Impressive TT Debut

Making a first rate step up to the TT Races, reigning Junior Manx GP winner James Chawke quietly caught the eye with his various impressive displays at TT 2019.

Like all competitors, practice week proved ultra challenging given the persistent, dreary weather placing itself upon the magical Mountain Course.

Despite the weather, the obvious lack of track time, valuable course mileage gained, Chawke’s positive attitude going into race week, was rewarded with series of excellent results.

31st within the RST Superbike race, Thursday’s history making five races in a day schedule, saw Chawke tackle three races aboard ZX6R Kawasaki, GSX-R 1000 Suzuki, Mark Coverdale/Team ILR Paton machinery.

Speaking prior to the Dunlop Senior race, the ever cheerful Irishman when reflecting on Thursday’s race action, stated in candid, honest fashion:

“I’ve had a great TT, given the circumstances, obviously given the weather and everything, practice hasn’t been great, but you have to put those things behind you.

We had three great races yesterday, first race up was the 600, struggled a small bit on the Mountain with the head wind, but the bike ran perfect and we got home in a good 20th position, lapping at 119 mph, which I was very happy with, top 20 in my first TT.

So moving on from that next was the Superstock race, I finished an incredible 23rd position, lapping at 122 mph, so I really was delighted with that, I can’t thank the Chawkie racing supporters club enough for all their help and support, for putting such a serious piece of equipment under me.

And like wise Carl Roberts for helping me out with such an incredible Kawasaki ZX6, it’s the same bike we used at the Manx, and thank god we had a good run on it.”

Adding his thoughts on the Bennetts Lightweight race, which saw him finish in 11th place, he stated:

“Last evening we took part in the Bennetts Lightweight race on the Mark Coverdale/ILR 650 Paton. It was a hard enough race cause it was only two laps, and we hadn’t been out on the bike in a bit, and it’s a new bike, but we developed it the best we could and in fairness everything went well in the race.

To come in 11th position, just outside the top 10 in my first TT, I’m delighted, I got up to 116 and a half mph laps, so I’m not complaining after a great Manx GP, but we blew up in the second Twins race.

So to get a finish in the TT like that was incredible for Mark, Ian and all the boys, and again huge thanks to Carl, my brother Liam and Richie for all their spanner work and help all week.”

A non finisher in the six lap Dunlop Senior race, it took nothing away from a very productive first TT stint for one of Irish Road Racing’s leading next generation talents.

Looking towards the rest of the 2019 roads season, Chawke is planning to tackle selected national meetings, plus is hoping to sample a couple of Thundersport GB events.

Words by Stevie Rial

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