Certain racers have unlocked huge new personal best lap times across the past four qualifying sessions, including reigning Senior Manx GP Champion Stephen Smith.
A performance nutritionist by profession for Red Bull, the Liverpool racer now based in Austria has twice dipped over the 125-mph lap-mark during recent qualifying stints.
Last night he finished 16th in Superbike Q4, having set a new unofficial best lap speed of 125.555 mph.
Almost under the 18 minutes barrier, DP Coldplaning/TC Racing’s Smith stated on Wednesday afternoon, the following about his maiden TT tenure.
“Just got a bit of work to do, to get the bike stable but so far, so good.
The big bike is quite different to the 600, you’ve got to ride the bike a little bit differently there’s a lot to come from myself, there’s a lot to come from the track.
I’m starting to piece a few bits together, through Glen Helen is getting better, even some parts of the mountain are feeling pretty good but like I say it’s just about linking a good lap together.”
When asked about if prior National Superstock Championship rounds have benefited his turn of speed at TT 2023, he said:
“In some ways, the good thing about the Superstock is that you are competing against some really fast lads.
Downside of the Superstock, is you don’t get a lot of track time and when you are trying to get used to the bike, when you need miles on it, go out and change something and come back.
You don’t really get the opportunity to do that in Superstock, you are trying to get to speed quite quickly, even just to quality.
With the Superstock 1000 this year, it just worked out better in terms of times when I could come back, because of family commitments and what not, I would have preferred to have gone somewhere to gain more track time but it is what it is.”
Our conversation in the hub of the TT paddock, moved onto visualising TT laps once they have finalised.
“I sort of give myself time to digest what’s gone right and not so well during the lap, think about what we can do the next night and go into that session with a bit of a focus.
You definitely analyse the lap in your head in the evening, kind of give yourself a bit of a debrief after every night.”
Super happy with all the members of Mick Charnock’s DP Coldplaning/TC Racing squad, Smith who via his aforementioned profession has worked with huge motorsport names including F1 World Champion Max Verstappen, issued the following about prime goals for the remainder of TT 2023.
“The main goal for me is just to enjoy it, stay safe get home and just try and link a good lap together, have a bit of fun, enjoy riding the Mountain Course.
And I think when your happy and having fun, the lap times come. Obviously, I’d like to keep going and get a bit quicker and do the best I can, but for me this year it’s more about absorbing the TT and getting used to the next chapter.”
Photo credit: Mark Corlett
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou