10th June 2014
Despite injury, the only female solo competitor at this year’s Monster Energy TT, Maria Costello MBE, finished in a commendable 25th place and claimed a TT Bronze replica in the Lightweight TT race, onboard her ESM/Hol-Taj backed Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin.

A delighted Costello, was unsure she would even make the TT when she fractured her fibula and damaged her knee in a crash during Supersport practice at the Vauxhall International Northwest 200, exactly one week before she was due to arrive on the Isle of Man.

On competing with an injury, Maria said. “I thought I’d blown my chances of racing at the TT but after conversations with Scott Physio, Herve Gantner, and my support team at home, I decided to give it a go. The event Doctor gave me the green light and I spent hours in the Hyperbaric Chamber and worked with Scott Physio and Rex Physiotherapy to get though practice and eventually race. I can’t thank everyone enough, for helping make it possible as this event means so much to me.”

With Costello only being involved in the lightweight class at the TT this year, practice was limited. Nevertheless, she was able to qualify comfortably for Friday’s race with a quickest qualifying lap of 107.972mph.

As race day arrived, Costello was in confident mood despite waking with a cold. Starting 41st, Maria set off down Glencrutchery Road to start the first of 3 laps around the 37.73 mile TT mountain course. Along with the majority of the field Maria opted for a pit stop at the end of the first lap and entered pitlane in 29th position, following an opening lap of 108.524mph from a standing start.

Costello’s pit stop team of Simon, Kev and Steve did a brilliant refuelling stop and she rejoined the race, passing through Glen Helen on lap 2 still in 29th position, despite being passed by a couple of bikes who had stayed out on circuit, opting for a fuel stop after lap 2.

It was at this stage of the race that Costello got her head down and put in some of her best sector times, passing through the Sulby speed trap at 141mph. Lap 2, including the pit stop, was completed at an impressive 105.821mph with Maria starting the 3rd and final lap in a creditable 27th place.

With Maria elevated to 25th position at the end of lap 2, she completed the final lap with an average speed of 108.323 picking up a TT bronze replica in the process.

Reflecting on the event, Costello was philosophical about the result: “I’m really pleased. I have to be. I came here on crutches and with a knee that didn’t want to bend. The injury did play a part and I can’t help but wonder where I would have ended up without a banjaxed leg. So I’m already looking forward to next year. I just want to say that I am indebted to all who helped and supported me this TT.”

“That bronze replica wouldn’t have happened without the amazing help and support I have received. There are so many people that I need to thank, notably all of my team; Kev Corbally, Steve Marsh, Sarah Hatfield, Alix Reeder. My sponsors including Hol-Taj and the European Shoe Machinery Company. Tony Morris of CMS. Simon Otterson, Richard Freeman, The Widdicombe family, Mark Parrett & Kerry Vanselow. I also need to thank Bespoke Injury Management, Duncan Buckmaster, Catherine Tomkies, Scott Physio, The IoM Hyperbaric Chamber & Rex Physiotherapy.

Not forgetting the organisers and Marshals, without whom the event wouldn’t take place.”

“Finally, it’s been a sad TT event in that we’ve lost both Bob Price and Karl Harris. I would like to extend my sympathies to the families and friends of both riders. They will both be missed tremendously.”

Maria’s next outing with be at Snetterton on the 28/29 June. You can join Maria, Tommy Hill and SuperBike magazine for a weekend of track riding, trade stands and entertainment. Book taster sessions and experience the fabulous Snetterton 300 circuit on your own bike, or book a full day on track.

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