Thunderfest winners come within a whisker of perfection

With a brilliant sun beating down from a cloudless blue sky it could have been Jerez rather than Derbyshire, but the Tarmac was melting at the Darley Moor circuit for the eighth edition of Thunderfest, which is a time trial rather than a race meeting, on Monday, May 7, writes
Frank Melling.

On his 500 Manx Norton, and riding at Thunderfest for the first time, Alain Marie came within a whisker of his target average speed of 62.51 mph to win Category A of the time trial event.

Competitors decide how fast they want to ride and then strive to keep to their target time for 20 minutes plus two laps – and the best are incredibly good at it! With just tachometers and their own mental computers to rely on, every rider who took home a trophy got within 1mph of the target time.

Classic racer Alain Marie, who’d never ridden at Thunderfest before, took first place overall with a time only 0.03mph faster than his chosen speed, and said: “It was really difficult to go fast and still stay completely focused on maintaining my target speed. It’s much harder than racing!”

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