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 Valentine Asks Why TT is Off

Jack Valentine Top racing team boss, Jack Valentine, says it is difficult to understand why the TT races have been cancelled but the festival will still go ahead.
Valentine, joint owner of V&M Racing, which was due to bring road racing stars David Jefferies and Iain Duffus to the Island, said costly machine preparation for the road racing event was now in vain.

Although the races were called off last week due to the risk of foot-and-mouth, the Department of Tourism and Leisure is actively encouraging fans to still visit the Island, and many events and attractions will be put on over the fortnight, from May 26 to June 8.

One of the biggest threats that would have been posed by the racing is the fact that many fans watch the action from agricultural land, which would increase the risk of farm animals contracting the disease.

Mr Valentine said: 'It was very disappointing to hear the TT was off. A large part of our racing budget is spent on preparing our machinery for the TT. 'Whilst we appreciate the severity of the problem, it's difficult to understand why the races have been cancelled, yet the festival appears to be going ahead. We could have understood the decision if everyone had been asked to stay at home.'

For Jefferies and Duffus the cancellation of both the TT and the North West 200 will mean a drastic loss of earnings as both riders would have been firm favourites to be on the rostrum for the Formula 1, Senior, Production and Supersport classes.
Jeffries, who could lose potential earnings and appearance money of around £60,000 from the cancellation of the TT, said: 'It was the news we had been dreading. That's nearly my whole year's earnings out of the window.

'I love riding on the roads, especially around the TT course, and I was hoping and praying it would be able to go ahead.' Dufus was also disappointed with the news: 'My whole 2001 season was geared to the road events, and I was really looking forward to riding the V&M bikes after a disappointing time at last year's event.'

Despite the double blow of not being able to compete in the NW200 or the TT, the V&M team is looking forward to renewing its challenge for the British Supersport 600 and British Superstock Championships at Snetterton on Monday.

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