The progress of the Splitlath Redmond team at the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy has been attributed to the late Mark Buckley.
Buckley was due to ride for the team at the TT, but tragically lost his life in a crash at the North West 200.
After finishing 30th in Saturday’s Dainese Superbike race, teammate Mark Miller credited Buckley with helping make the Aprilia RSV4 more competitive.
Miller enjoyed a solid six-lap race around the famous course on a bike which Buckley had spent several weeks working on before his death.
And his hard work – particularly with the handling and chassis - paid off for his friend Miller, who believes he has found a great set up now with his Splitlath Redmond machine.
The team has faced various teething troubles throughout practice week, not least the recurring drama of the tanks which blighted progress at last year’s TT, but a new and improved tank which arrived on Friday night finally solved the issue, and Miller was delighted to be able to finish a race without running out of fuel.
“I’m pleased we got the six laps completed out there, and for the first time I knew I wasn’t going to run out of fuel, which was probably our biggest concern coming out here again.”
“I’m happy to have been able to finish. We made a little change to the suspension in the first stop and that really helped. The bike has been improving every time we’ve gone out, but that’s because we started off so well with the work Mark did before we came out here.”
“It’s a great forward leap for us now, and the perfect way to start the week. It gives us all more confidence now for the rest of the week. The crew here have been amazing and I have to thank them for working as hard as they have to get us here today.”
Team co-owner John Dimbylow was delighted with the result.
“This is fantastic, it’s a good, solid result for Mark.”
“The team have been incredible and worked tirelessly all week to produce something great, despite all of my ranting at them which I have to admit has happened once or twice.”
“And what’s perhaps most important here is that Mark has been out and completed a race on a bike which was set up by Mark Buckley. The work Mark did on this bike has given us a superb foundation to start this week, and it’s a testament to the guy he was. We could not have done this without him.”
Miller’s race wasn’t completely without drama. As he pitted for the second time he struggled to get his machine running again, and had to rely on a push down pitlane from none other than team co-owner Derek Redmond – much to Dimbylow’s amusement.
“I can honestly say I don’t think Derek has run 100meters that fast since 1992.”