| Dowling on ex McCallen CBR
Local building company,
Marlow Construction, is giving double Manx Grand Prix winner Chris Dowling some
solid foundations for the coming season.
few weeks short of his 30th birthday, the Manx Airlines ground technician has
got an ex Phillip McCallen Motorcycle City CBR600 Honda for what he hopes will
be a successful year on the UK tracks and on closed roads in the Isle of Man
Martin Marlow, md of Cronk-ny-Mona based Marlow
Construction, is a self confessed road racing nut who initially knew Chris in
his days as a motocross rider.
'I've known Chris for some time, his
father Sid used to work for me. Last year we were able to help him with some of
his expenses in his Manx Grand Prix debut, so this year we thought we'd take it
a step further.'
2001 is indeed a huge step for the rising star, who
only made his road racing debut two years ago next month at Jurby. 'Things went
really well the first season, so last year I set out with the ambition of
competing in the Manx Grand Prix,' says Chris.
He earned qualification
early in the year, and had his entry accepted for the Newcomers race, but then
the wheels very nearly came off the bandwagon whe he crashed at the Skerries
road race meeting in Ireland and damaged a shoulder.
'It took over a
month to get over the injury and it was touch and go whether I'd be fit to ride
the Manx, but it all came good in the end.'
Things certainly did come good for the Manchester born ace and he
went on to not only win the Newcomers, but the Ultra-Lightweight MGP too - both
at lap and race record speeds.
'I thought I would be in with a chance of
a good result in the Newcomers, but to win both was a dream come true,' admits
The problem was then, by tradition he had to go straight into the
TT this year. That was where Martin and Maria Marlow stepped in with major
support. The 600 Honda is in fact the bike that Ian Simpson rode to second
place behind Michael Rutter in the 1998 TT. 'McCallen was due to ride it, but
he got hurt in a pre-TT crash in the UK and never actually raced the bike in
the Isle of Man,' explains Chris.
It's fully race kitted and tuned by
Tony Scott, and will be raced as it is except for a new paint job in Marlow
Chris has his first outing on the 600 at Pembrey in South Wales
this weekend, then it will be back to the Island for the first local race at
Jurby on Sunday week.
'Hopefully I might be able to get a few rounds of
the British Supersport championship in as well, together maybe with the
Southern 100, but my main aim is the TT.'
In addition to the 600, Chris
has another chance on the same John Shand 400 Honda he took to a double victory
in last year's Manx GP.
'In theory that has to be by far my better
chance, but the pace is bound to be hotter in the TT than the Manx.'
|Read about your favourite riders and
what they think about the the Isle of Man TT Course and Road Racing in general.
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