With just a week to go before the racing commences at the International Kennedy North West 200 road races, Maria Costello, the TT's fastest female, has finalised her race plans with the acquisition of a Honda RVF400.
Maria is aiming to use this bike to improve on her previous NW200 success in 2005 when she was the third 400 to cross the line, seventh overall in the 125/400cc race on a similar machine, an RLR Honda RVF owned by Tim Bradley.
She continued to claim success that year on the RVF 400 at the Isle of Man, coming third in the Manx Grand Prix Ultra Lightweight race, making history as the first woman ever to stand on the podium.
Now she is looking to do even better at this year's North West 200 and this time she'll have her own RVF 400 to achieve it on.
"Racing 400's is great I wish I'd done it years ago, I fell in love with the RVF and have wanted my own since racing one in 2005, not having enough funds meant I missed an opportunity to buy Tim Bradley's so when the chance to buy this former RLR bike owned by Bryan Purdy became available I wasn't going to pass it up!" Said Maria.
Maria also has another goal at this year's event, to become the fastest woman to lap the NW Triangle course. To achieve this record Maria will be fielding her Bering Honda CBR600RR in the Supersport 600 races. "I've only just realised that I'm not far off achieving this ambition, all I need is good conditions as my current time was placed when I raced on a rain soaked circuit in 2005." Added Costello.
Fastest Laps By Female Competitors At The Triangle: (8.966 miles circuit 1998, 2000 and 2002 - 2006);
Name Machine m s mph Race and Year
- 1. Anita Buxton, Suzuki, 5:04.352, 106.054 mph - Superstock 2006
- 2. Kate Parkinson, Honda 250, 5:07.00, 105.139 mph - 250cc-1 1998
- 3. Maria Costello, Honda 600, 5:12.691, 103.225 mph - Supersport 600-2 2005
Maria has been testing and racing at Oulton Park in preparation for the Irish event. "Returning from an injury is tough and breaking my leg last year was probably my worst injury but racing at Oulton Park recently has made it a distant memory. I've never felt as happy on a bike as the first time I raced this year. I'm really looking forward to returning to race at the NW." added a smiling Costello.
Maria has received some new sponsorship from CMS Commercials in Blackburn and also Plant i who have fitted a GPS system to Maria's Bering Honda CBR600RR so that you can track her around the circuit. Go to Maria's website for more details.
For more details about Maria Costello log on to www.costelloracing.com.
Official North West 200 website, www.northwest200.org.