The big interview | Davey Todd, Isle of Man TT’s top prospect

Under excruciating conditions, Davey Todd claimed his first North West 200 victory in the Supersport category in 2019.

Under excruciating conditions, Davey Todd claimed his first North West 200 victory in the Supersport category in 2019.

Yet in such a short period of time, the 25-year-old has seen a meteoric rise. Todd was quick to ride for the official Honda Racing team last year alongside Ulsterman Glenn Irwin at the North West 200 and at Isle of Man TT.

It looked like a breakthrough opportunity for the North Yorkshireman, who has become road racing’s top prospect since making his debut on a 600cc Kawasaki for Longshot Racing at Skerries in July 2017.

Since then, Todd has achieved a coveted international victory in the Supersport class at the North West 200; finished sixth in the 2019 Senior TT with a lap of 131.491 mph for only his second participation in the event; sealed two stands at the Ulster Grand Prix in the Superstock and Supersport categories; won the European International Road Racing Championship (IRRC) and took fourth place at the Macau Grand Prix – again in his second start at the event.

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Davey Todd on Padgett’s Honda Supersport at the 2019 Isle of Man TT.

He is also the second fastest TT newcomer in history behind Peter Hickman, covering the 37.73 mile course at 128.379 mph in 2018 to win the prestigious Newcomers Trophy. Todd was also the first newcomer to the North West 200 and Southern 100 in the same year, finishing third in the Blue Riband Solo Championship race on the 4.25 mile course from Billown on the Isle of Man and completing the lap. fastest ever for newcomers at 112.571 mph.

However, just when it looked like the ground was ready for Todd to take it to the next level in big road races with Honda, the global coronavirus pandemic literally put the brakes on his flourishing career.

The North West and TT were called off, leaving Todd to focus solely on competing in the Superstock 1000 National Championship.

His chance to further improve his reputation as a future TT winner in the making has been taken away and with the Mountain Course festival also falling victim to the Covid-19 crisis this year – and later the North West 200 – Todd has been removed of the Honda range. -up.

Davey Todd had a successful first season in road racing with John Burrows’ team.

He’s now working hard to secure a deal to return to the Superstock 1000 Championship in 2021, but his frustration at missing major road races for two consecutive years is tangible, with Todd seemingly poised to do something special when the sport changes. on his head last year.

In an interview with News Letter, he said: “When you think there won’t be a TT until 2022, that just seems a hell of a road. Missing the TT is devastating and when I heard it had been canceled again it was so disheartening.

“I know they had to, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s the event we all want to be at every year. I did BSB last year in Superstock and enjoyed it, but it’s not TT and it’s not road racing; Of course I want to race on the track, but in addition to the big road races.

“I really felt the gap left by missing these events last year and also the social aspect of it.

“I just felt like I was starting to start and spent a few years in the Northwest and TT where I just took things into my own hands and didn’t make any mistakes or do anything stupid. I was just getting to this point when I felt that maybe I could start to take on some challenges because I felt really comfortable there and I felt the luck was there to get good results ” , added Todd.

“I felt like I was starting to break through, but then it all got hit in the head and I was actually talking to John McGuinness recently, and told him I just had this opportunity just to get it all canceled. But he looked at it a different way because he said I have a lot of years left in my career when he was at a different stage, and he said he much preferred to be at. my place.

“When he says it like that, it helps you realize that there will be a lot of opportunities ahead, but of course I want to run now, like everyone else.

With only two years of TT experience under his belt, Todd accepts that he will have to get his expectations under control when the event returns in 2022 and finally start over.

“When we come back I think I’m going to have to take a step back in terms of the learning curve, but along the same lines, I was a newcomer just two years ago and only did two TTs, so I know what it’s like to feel new, ”he said.

“Some of the other guys have been doing it for years and after two years away everyone will feel really new. It’s really hard to say what it will be like after this time, but I just can’t wait to come back. I have played the TT PlayStation game to death now, but can’t wait for the chance to race there again.

“I’m going to have to go back with a different mindset because I was ready to start and push a bit, but now I’m going to have to go back to how I rode the course for the past two years and it will be a stable case again, ”Todd said.

“I would love to see the Classic TT move forward and have my fingers crossed for that. I have something in place to ride Padgett’s 250cc Honda again and would be very excited to ride again. In 2019, I rode it for the first time, a true two-stroke racing bike, and it was just amazing.

“It would be nice to have the opportunity to do a few laps on the TT course, but I don’t know what to expect as I was hoping we would be back at TT this year and it didn’t been the case. it does not happen. “

After finishing 12th in the Superstock 1000 National Championship, sealing a better result on the new Honda Fireblade from seventh at Snetterton, Todd was confident he could really make his mark this year, but he is now looking for a new team. .

“I was hoping to continue with Honda this year. I didn’t finish where I wanted last year, although I was consistently in the top ten, ”he said.

“I know I can be right in front, but there is so little margin between the 10th and the first. At Snetterton I was seventh, but only had half a second to win.

“I know if I can come back for a second year I can be so much stronger than I was. It’s a learning curve for me and I had never ridden a 1000cc motorcycle on a circuit until last year. Before doing the roads, I only did one season in Superstock 600 on the circuits, so it was a big learning curve.

“I felt like I was just starting to figure things out when I got to the end of the year and we only had six laps in all because of the coronavirus so I can’t wait to be back and I hope I can work something. outside.”

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