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Mechanical problem forces Maria Costello out of possible Classic TT podium

Mechanical problem forces Maria Costello out of possible Classic TT podium

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Maria Costello has taken plenty of positives despite her hopes of claiming another podium place at the Isle of Man being thwarted by a mechanical problem in Saturday’s race.

The former podium finisher raced superbly behind John McGuinness in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT, the opening race of the 2018 Classic TT races, and was seemingly destined for a place alongside the Isle of Man legend on the podium.

Riding the Team Beugger Paton, Costello fought a fierce battle with Jamie Coward, on a Ted Woof Craven Manx Norton, and Lee Johnston on the Davies Motorsport Honda, swapping places from fourth to second as she clocked 107.422 on the second lap.

But fans in the grandstand clearly heard Costello’s Paton had a problem as she went to change in to top gear at the end of the second lap and she duly dropped time on her third lap. Johnston moved into second place, with Costello fifth as she fought to stay in the race despite her problems.

It was when Maria entered the pit lane for her fuelling stop at the end of the third lap that she had to accept that she could not continue due to the gearbox failure and was forced to retire.

She said: “Setting off from 10th on the road and seeing second place on my first signalling board gave me the greatest feeling inside. I felt so happy on the bike and was excited to see what we could achieve. 

“The feeling from the spectators waving their programmes and arms as I came past increased the smile on my face and I tried to stay composed even though I knew we had hope of another podium. 

“The bike felt good until I came down the box in to Governor’s Dip and found a neutral. I had the same problem as I exited on to Glengrutchery Road. 

“I came across the line to start my third lap and went for top gear. It wouldn’t select and I tried again then I knew we had a problem. It was the same for the lower gears. I somehow made it round to the pit stop but knew that I wouldn’t be rejoining the race.”

Despite her disappointment at how her race finished, Costello was full of praise for the bike and her team.

She added: “The crowd at the grandstand gave me an incredible round of applause as I retired from the race, that was a really lovely consolation. We did shine at the start of the race so of course I’m sad we didn’t get to finish but we had some bad luck. I still loved every second on that amazing bike. Having the opportunity to get up the front on competitive machinery is what matters and that is all thanks to Peter and Barbara Beugger and the team, they’re practically family, work so hard and give me support second to none. I can’t thank them enough for that! 

Maria would also like to thank NGK Spark Plugs, RST, Arai, Rock Oil, ProGrip, Avon Tyres, Mark Coverdale and all her sponsors, Sarah Hatfield, all the ladies at Rex Physio, all those that did pit boards and signalling, her family, the fans and supporters and all the organisers, officials, medics, marshals and volunteers that make this event possible.


Maria now prepares for another sidecar race event at Castle Combe on the 1st and 2nd September followed by the fabulous Goodwood Revival where she will compete on a 1929 BMW R57 with supercharger and hand shift for the BMW Group Classic team.


Report provided by Maria Costello racing

Image courtesy of Sue Blythe photography