Isle of Man TT racer Maria Costello claimed her best International road race finish with 10th in the SuperTwin race at the Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday.
Costello, the fastest woman to lap the Dundrod circuit, got a great start on her home-built Kawasaki ER6 and was enjoying a great battle when the race was red flagged after just two laps.
“Qualifying in the first wave was a real boost to the confidence and I got a great start which put me up with the likes of Paul Shoesmith and John Burrows (who was riding Michael Dunlop’s Supertwin). Getting to do it all again for the restart was a bonus, as I made up even more places the second time round.”
In the restarted 4-lap race, Costello again found herself in a tightly fought battle, lapping at an average of 111.36mph. Constantly changing places, she got to the front of the group on the final lap after passing Shoesmith in to the hairpin and taking Joe Phillips on the exit as he tried to regain control after a near high-side.
A second red flag brought the race to an abrupt end and with the results being taken from the previous lap, Costello finished 10th.
“That was the most enjoyable race I’ve had on my SuperTwin, and that’s saying something because it’s so much fun to ride. I think doing the extra road races has really helped, plus I love this circuit.’
Costello took an equally strong finish in the Dundrod 150 125cc race, finishing 8th on the Bob Wylie Moto3 NSF Honda.
“This bike is a purebred racing machine and its handling reflects that. It’s so small and agile. I’ve never raced a 125 so can’t compare it speed wise but the guys I was competing against said it was fast.”
“I would like to think I could have made up another, if not two more places, if the race had gone full distance. I just hope I get to race it again. I wish a speedy recovery to all those involved in incidents over the course of the event and I'd like to pass on my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Lee Vernon, a huge loss of young talent. I never saw him without a smile on his face. A sad, sad loss.’
Photo of Maria on the Moto3 bike courtesy of Matt Mackey.