The poor weather during practice week resulted in limited track time for Maria as she battled to overcome set-up issues on the new Bob Wylie Triumph 675R in the Supersport class. Progress was further hindered when she came off the Triumph at Braddon Bridge during practice, resulting in just two practice laps before going in to the races. The 1st Supersport race was hampered by a lot of problems, including steering damper issues and a loose seat unit, but Maria persisted and achieved a finish, albeit lowly. The second Supersport race was an improvement, but with very little practice she was having to deal with a few handling issues as the race progressed. During the pit stop, completed by Simon, Kev and Emilie, suspension adjustments had to be made but the team had done such a good fuel stop that Maria still managed to left ahead of the other riders she had arrived with.
“I did enjoy the Supersport 2 race a whole lot more than the first. I didn’t have a seat to hold on to for starters. I do love the bike; it’s a stock engine with a Scorpion exhaust and I love the way it delivers its power, but we’ve just had no opportunity to set it up and we had to make adjustments in the pit stop. I was enjoying a battle with some guys on the road and I have to be happy with another TT finish. I have to say a huge thanks to Terri Mayne and T3 Racing without whom I couldn’t have raced.” commented Maria after the race.
With having to withdraw from the Senior TT, the focus turned to the TT Lightweight race and the ESM/Hol-Taj backed Kawasaki ER6 Pizza Race Bike.
Maria had qualified well and set off in 28th place, putting in a brilliant 109.75mph standing start lap she moved up to 16th place on lap one. Battling on the road with Paul Shoesmith and Neil Champion, Maria came in for her pit-stop at the end of lap one, but with Simon Otterson [her usual fuel guy] working for Stephen Thompson, she had drafted in none other than Michael Dunlop’s fuel man Martin Marlow. Including the fast pit-stop her second lap was still over 106mph [106.95mph] and she maintained her position of 16th. The battle with Paul and Neil continued and they constantly swapped places until the third lap when Paul was dropped from the pack and Maria and Neil continued their fight on the road.
Maria pipped Neil to the chequered flag and finished in a fantastic 16th place with a final lap speed of 110.96mph and overall race average of 109.196mph, achieving a bronze TT replica in the process.
“The pizza bike never put a foot wrong. The Metzeler tyres were working perfectly from the off, as was the Wilbers suspension that Arny from Moto Shox had set-up. And the Dymags really improved the handling and would have played a part in me lapping at almost 111mph. I loved every second of the race and my pit crew were once again epic!” announced a beaming Costello.
“I really think that this finish in a very competitive field will help me to continue flying the flag for the FIM Women in Motorcycling commission and Cranfield University and I hope to continue, and indeed build upon, this form throughout the rest of the season!” added Maria.