Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and Michael Laverty will all take part in tomorrow’s Isle of Man TT parade lap prior to the six lap Senior TT race on the Island. The trio will give the crowd the chance to see MotoGP riders ride around the famous Mountain course on production bikes.
While the lap is an opportunity for the MotoGP riders to experience the circuit and gain an understanding of what the likes of Michael Dunlop and John McGuiness do on the roads it is also clear that the competitive spirits of the riders will be to the present. For Crutchlow, who has endured a difficult start to his Ducati career he is hoping that local knowledge will give him an edge over his fellow MotoGP riders:
“I’m looking forward to it and obviously the Brits are all going to be there and we should have some fun,” said Crutchlow. “I know the track so I’ve got a definite advantage there, maybe we could take that race result as the result for our championship. It might put me ahead of Redding maybe! I’m really looking forward to it and it should be fun.”
Crutchlow will ride a Ducati Superliggera for his lap.
Bradley Smith has made the trip to the Island on two previous occasions and both times rain meant that no racing took place. The Englishman, a former 125cc race winner, is keen to get on track and gain an insight into what the racers face before enjoying the Senior race:
“I just want to be able to appreciate exactly what those guys do,” commented Smith. “The fact that there’s a circuit over 37 miles long is amazing. I’ve been there twice already and unfortunately it’s rained both times so hopefully I’ll get to see some racing this year.
“I want to see in real life what it’s all about and appreciate the talent that these guys have. I see some circuit racers go over and they pretty much get beat every single time. Bruce Ainstey set the new record at 132.3 on Saturday and anything that is averaging that is pretty darn impressive!”
Smith, who rides for Tech3 Yamaha, will use a Yamaha R1 for his lap.
For Michael Laverty the parade lap will be the second time that he has been involved with the Senior festivities having ridden for Suzuki in British Superbikes in 2010 when the manufacturer celebrated their centenary with a display of various bikes.
The Irishman is looking forward to tacking the even once again and is likely to ride a Suzuki GSXR-1000 on the day:
“I’ve done it before, I was lucky to do it in 2010 for Suzuki’s centenary,” said Laverty. “That was the year that Loris [Capirossi] came over. I was riding for Suzuki in BSB at the time so it was good fun doing that. It’s controlled by a marshall riding in front so you can’t go around too fast. That’s probably a good thing so you go around and pull a few wheelies and I did the jump over Ballough Bridge and then I got a nice run up over the Mountain which was nice.
“The rest of the stuff, going through the villages is scary, but at least over the Mountain you can see your way through the turn so you can have a bit of a go up there. It was quite enjoyable so I’m looking forward to doing it and I’m looking forward to watching the Senior as well and hopefully we’ll get nice weather.”
When asked if he’d like to compete in the TT or Road Races later in his career Laverty commented that it wasn’t something that he’d look to do given the dangers involved.
“It’s a cool event so I’m looking forward to going to it. It’s not really a race that I’d like to compete in though, I respect the guys that do it obviously, but it’s a different kind of riding. One mistake over there and it can all be over and that’s what will always keep me away from it.”
The dangers of road racing were apparent once again this weekend the deaths of Bob Price and Karl Harris affecting Scott Redding deeply with the Englishman deciding against taking part in the parade lap.