The first woman to achieve two podium finishes on the mountain course was relieved to finish after battling with the Suzuki XR69 for four laps of the TT course.
‘We’d struggled with a handling issue and due to the bad weather and limited practice, had to race without completely solving the problem. Thankfully the engine felt strong and I was getting great boards on the mountain showing that I was improving, so I wasn’t about to park it – I wanted a finish to repay the team for all their efforts. I enjoy a challenge but it was great to see the chequered flag. Finishing 5th means I’ve matched my debut finish on the XR69 in 2010. Next year I’m aiming for better.’
Michael Dunlop riding another Team Classic Suzuki XR69 owned by the same local sponsor, Steve Wheatman, took the win.
Maria’s earlier outing in the 250 Classic Race onboard the Bob Jackson Suzuki T20 came to an abrupt end only a few miles into her first lap, when the two-stroke suffered mechanical problems and she was forced to retire at Ballagarey.
Maria added: ‘The 250 classic race had been postponed due to bad weather and run on Tuesday over a reduced distance of three laps. The T20 has enough fuel tank capacity to complete three laps without a pit stop and we really had high hopes of a great finish. We were all really disappointed but that’s racing and Bob already has development & more races planned for 2013. I’d like to thank all my sponsors for making this event possible, Richard and Dave for their added support, Timmy for the great pit boards, spectators and fans who cheered me on and those unknown pit boarders who gave me signals. The event was overshadowed by the loss of one of MGP’s regulars, Trevor Ferguson who tragically lost his life while competing and I’d like to extend my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.’
2012 SPONSORS: Hol-Taj, Bob Jackson Racing, European Shoe Machinery Co. Ltd, Ratech, Rock Oil, Draper Tools, Arai, Vmtek Suspensions, Wilbers, Pirelli, Premier Bodyworks, Radicool, Jap4Performance, Skidmarx, NGK, EBC, HEL, Stomp, GBRacing, 1 Off Design, Knox, The Image Works, Alpha Powder Coatings, Racing Batteries, Daytona, Racebikebitz, Pipercross, Christian Baker, Dallington Racquets & Fitness Club, Premier Therapy, Body Helix, DnG, Fortress Kitchens, Hope&Social, Scorpion Exhausts, B&C, Bering, APA UK Ltd, Kawasaki UK, Pr1mo, Newman & Reidy, Webtech, RS Fabrications & Sparkes Management Support.
Costello, awarded the MBE in 2009 for her services to motorcycling, will return to the Republic of Ireland this weekend for the final round of the Irish Supertwin Championship on her Hol-Taj backed Kawasaki ER6.
Maria’s next outing on the Steve Wheatman Team Classic Suzuki XR69 will be at the CRMC Race of the Year at her local circuit Silverstone on the 13/14 October.