Davey Todd goes down the mountain (twice)
As the TT fortnight approached, all eyes were on rising road racing star Davey Todd. The 26-year-old from Saltburn, North Yorkshire was due to ride for the factory Honda team in 2020, before it all came to a screeching halt. While it may have seemed like one door closed for Todd when the Honda deal disappeared, another was soon opened by the legendary Padgetts Motorcycles team. Padgetts are known as the de facto factory team when it comes to the Isle of Man TT, and with experienced chef Clive Padgett at the helm and local hero Conor Cummins as his teammate, things would have could not have been better organised. for Todd.
After a stellar performance at the North West 200 that brought home a quartet of finalist trophies, Todd continued his form in the first night of practice, setting the fastest lap of the opening session and showing that his Hours and hours of review on the official Isle of Man TT video game had paid off. However, it wasn’t his lap speeds or his potential that were the most memorable moments of practice, but his sheer dedication to the sport and the event that drove him to want to keep logging as many laps as possible. .
A breakdown at Casey’s – part of the fast section of the Mountain Mile – threatened his participation in the remainder of the third night of qualifying. While most runners would be resigned to the fact that they would be spectators until the roads reopened, Todd refused to give up. Sprinting across country to return to the Gooseneck, where top motorcycle journalist Adam Child was waiting to take him back to the pits, Todd would have to crawl through tunnels and culverts, some flooded, before finally rejoining his taxi ride at the start from the mountain road. This was for naught, however, as by the time Todd had returned to the pits, the session had been cut short for a non-race medical emergency.
As if that weren’t enough, just three nights later, on the final night of qualifying, Todd would suffer catastrophic engine failure, again on the mountain road. Live television footage showed the Padgetts Honda with a plume of smoke billowing behind it. Stopping at the Bungalow, this time Todd was able to jump onto the back of a nearby spectator’s enduro bike, and the two made it back down the mountain in time for Todd to participate in the Supersport session. later. that night.
It would be worth it in the end as Todd would go on to score a hugely popular first TT podium in the Superstock TT. It was almost another runner-up spot to add to his collection, but teammate Cummins had other ideas. More on that later…