Stephen John Returns for TT 2002

American Stephen John will be returning to the TT in 2002. From Seattle, this will be Steve's 5th TT.

Steve first raced at the TT in 1997 on a 125cc Honda which he brought with him from America. The cost of shipping the bike was prohibitive, so Steve, ever resourceful, built several packing cases, stripped the bike, and brought it all over as hand luggage. I bet the checkin desk at Seattle got a shock when Steve turned up for his flight. Barry Wood was enlisted to take Steve around the course and Barry's knowledge was invaluable. At 6' 2" Steve was not the smallest 125cc rider on the grid. He had a steady ride and left the Island with his finishers award determined to return in 1998.

True to his word he was back again in 1998 to race in the 125cc TT, but this time it was decided to rent a bike from Padgetts. Steve wanted to achieve a 100mph lap and just missed out on this in practice. The race didn't go to plan after fuel splashed onto his visor on the first trip down Bray Hill and he missed out on the 100mph lap, but he picked up his second finishers award.

1999 was to see Steve move to the bigger bike and he rode 250cc and 600cc machines. In the Junior TT he teamed up with fellow Americans Dwight Mitchell and Garrett King to win the ACU International Club Team award. He lapped at over 104mph on both machines during the races.

Early in 2000, Dave Clarke purchased a 400cc Kawasaki to use in local club events on the Island. Dave is a Sector Marshal (Kerrowmoar to Ramsey Hairpin) for the TT and MGP and is also Treasurer of the IOMTTMA. He had helped Steve during his previous TT visits and offered Steve the bike for the 400cc Lightweight TT. Out of this was born Manx-American Racing.

Steve went on to win a bronze replica in the 400cc TT. A 125cc Honda was again hired from Padgetts and Steve was hopeful of finally cracking the 100mph lap on the little bike. However this was not to be and Steve retired on the first lap at Greeba Bridge.

With last years TT cancelled, Steve raced his 125cc Honda at some of his local tracks for the first time in 2 years, just to keep his hand in. This year he has again been out on the 125cc Honda at home. After 2 wins this season is leading the WMRRA Open Singles Championship.

For 2002 Steve just has the one ride in the 400cc TT. He is again riding Dave's Kawasaki, but over the winter, a ZXR400 was acquired in the States and his mechanic, Jack Mills, has been working on the motor. Steve will be bringing the motor, pipes etc. with him when he arrives later this week ready to slot into the frame.

Manx-American Racing would like to thank Kingsmead Finance, Tommy Leonard Motorcycles, FoTTofinders, Cycle Barn Sport Bike Club and John 'Harry' Harrison for their support. In addition they would also like to thank the marshals, medical staff and race officials who make it possible for us to compete on the mountain circuit. Enjoy TT2002.
Manx American Racing Website

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