Splitlath Motorsport's debut appearance at the Isle of Man TT came to a disappointing end when Hudson Kennaugh was forced to retire when on course for a top-20 finish in Saturday's Senior TT.
The South African was making good progress through the field but as he pulled in for his second pitstop on lap four, the team realised the belly pan of the Aprilia RSV4 had started to fill with water and it was discovered that he had a holed radiator.
Team manager John Dimbylow, who also supports Kennaugh in the British Superbike Championship, admitted the result was difficult to take.
“It was a great shame for Hudson, but also a real disappointment for the team who have worked tirelessly for the last two weeks. We came out here straight from Thruxton and they haven't had a day off.”
“Hudson was absolutely flying in that race, and we were all starting to believe he was going to get into the top 20, so it was even harder for everyone when he eventually had to retire.”
Mark Miller, teammate to Kennaugh, did at least make it to the finish in 23rd place and Dimbylow was delighted to have worked with the experienced American.
“It was a great race for Mark. He's been a great rider to have with us, and in 23rd he just missed the top 20 too. We've enjoyed working with him, and it makes us very proud that our two little road bikes were able to get right into the mix with all those Superbikes out there.”
All in all though, the team based in Hay-on-Wye had a successful week despite the reliability problems that hurt their chances in the Superstock race, and Dimbylow hopes to return to the TT next year.
“This has been Splitlath Motorsport's first TT, and it has been a learning curve for us, but we've loved every minute of it. We certainly plan to come back again next year. We've learnt a lot and will do a lot of things differently next time, but this has been a fantastic experience.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the team for all of their incredibly hard work. They've worked tirelessly and are a mega bunch, and they deserve all of the praise I can heap on them for what they've achieved over the last two weeks.”