Maria Costello MBE returns to the Isle of Man looking to build on her impressive performances of recent years in the Bennetts Senior Classic TT.
The Northamptonshire racer made history at the 2016 event when she became the only female racer ever to earn a place on the Classic TT podium alongside winner John McGuinness, while last year she claimed fourth, missing out on a podium spot by only seven seconds.
She hopes to put the recent disappointment of the Ulster Grand Prix Supertwins race, that was abandoned due to bad weather, behind her when she competes on the beautifully prepared Beugger Racing Paton around the Isle of Man TT course.
Costello had gone to Northern Ireland with high hopes after her Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin had received an updated loom and other performance modifications including a new larger Dymag rear wheel and Metzeler tyre, thanks to Chris from Dynopro.
“We went to the Ulster in the strongest position we’d been in all season, with new mods and a new mechanic, thanks to Mark Coverdale. So it was very disappointing to be unable to use these improvements and get a good result at one of my favourite road racing courses, but the organisers made the right decision as the conditions were appalling.
“This year has been a difficult season for so many reason but the disappointment and frustration is nothing when you think about all the riders and friends we have lost and my thoughts, love and condolences go out to the family, friends and teams of all of them and most recently Fabrice Miguets, who sadly lost his life at the Ulster.”
Costello has already completed a successful first practice lap on the Beugger Racing Paton at the Classic TT. In deteriorating conditions, Maria went second fastest, behind John McGuinness, with a lap of 102.03 mph.
“The bike seemed to know it’s own way round and I felt really at home on it, I can’t wait for the next practice session! I’m so fortunate to be competing on this bike again, I can’t thank Peter and Barbara Beugger enough for this opportunity and I also want to extend those thanks to Richard Bairstow who works as the crew chief of the team. ,” she added.
“It’s wonderful to be reunited with this bike and team, they’re fantastic and have given me some of the best moments of my racing career. I hope I can repay them for all that they do with another good finish.”
Costello will also race on a Honda 350 for the first time for the Goathland Garage Team in the Junior Classic TT.