After a promising start to the 2010 TT, race week turned to disaster for Mark Buckley and his OTSS Racing team – and now a lack of funds is threatening their racing future.
Scottish road racer Buckley put all his focus into achieving top 10 finishes at the TT, and his practice pace looked good. However, everything went downhill once racing got underway.
Now Buckley has confirmed he has no budget left and his season could be over already.
“We are all trying to be positive, but the truth is I don’t know if I can race again this year as funding has ended and we also have no Supersport machine for the near future.”
“I really hope I showed throughout practice week that I have the speed and I just need the right break!”
His preparations for the 2010 TT were hit in March when his main sponsor pulled out. Buckley, with the support of family, friends and other sponsors, soldiered on and continued working towards the TT.
He also made the major decision to switch manufacturer to Kawasaki with support from Nick Morgan, MSS and Paul Bird Motorsport.
Lack of funds meant the OTSS Racing team missed pre-season testing and Buckley had to put his Kawasaki machinery through its paces during races at Oulton Park, Scarborough and Knockhill, achieving top five finishes along the way.
The TT got off to a perfect start with Buckley consistently inside the top 10 aboard the OTSS Racing Kawasaki Supersport machine, and only just outside the top 10 on the ZX10 Superbike.
With a fastest average lap of just under 125mph, the Scotsman was happy with progress and confident he could do this lap after lap in both the Superbike and Senior races.
The MSS-tuned Supersport machine was also producing good times and had seen numerous 120mph+ laps. By the end of practice week both team and rider were set for race week.
However, it all started to go wrong in the first race, the PokerStars Superbike TT, when Buckley retired in the pits on lap three. Things went from bad to worse two days later when, in the first Monster Energy Supersport TT, he covered just five miles before retiring.
The team worked around the clock to rectify the problems that hit both bikes, but could not replicate the package they had in practice week.
“However disappointed I sound or explain is an understatement. I have worked so, so hard in preparation for the 2010 TT as I class it as my main race of the year. Whatever was thrown at me I got through it, as I knew I had the right team and machinery to go and do the job.”
“The bikes just got better and better in practice week and I definitely believed I could run inside the top 10 in all my classes, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Through no fault of our own it all went from bad to worse. By mid-week I was just happy to get a finish.”
“I have to say a huge thank you to my team who worked faultlessly throughout the two weeks and demonstrated to me and the other competitors that we can run a very professional team on and off the circuit whatever the circumstances. Unfortunately if luck is not on your side then it can all go wrong.”