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Road racing Isle of Man TT

Costello out of TT 2023 with injury after crash, Founds gets new passenger

Maria Costello has been forced to withdraw from this year’s Isle of Man TT under instruction from the event’s chief medical officer after a crash on Monday.

Maria Costello

Costello was due to contest the Supertwins and Sidecar class at the 2023 TT, having made her debut in the latter in 2019.

She made history in 2019 when she became the first female competitor ever to finish both a solo race and a Sidecar contest at the same TT.

Costello had linked up with FHO Racing – who run Peter Hickman in the big bike classes – for her Sidecar campaign at the 2023 TT.

During Monday’s practice, Costello crashed while out on her Supertwin machine. She was absent from the following two evenings of practice.

On Thursday ahead of the penultimate evening of practice, TT organisers confirmed on social media that she had been advised to sit out the rest of the event following her Monday crash.

A brief statement read: “Following an incident on the opening day of qualifying, Maria Costello MBE has been withdrawn from competing at this year’s Isle of Man TT races under the instruction of the chief medical officer.

“We’d like to wish Maria a speedy recovery and look forward to her continued punditry on this year’s TT+ coverage.”

Costello has been sent to be the only female competitor taking part in any of the solo classes at the 2023 TT.

Her participation in the TT looked questionable on Wednesday evening when Alan Founds took to the 37.75-mile course for Sidecar practice with Colin Smyth as his passenger, with Smyth meant to be Costello’s passenger for 2023.

Founds had to skip Tuesday’s running after his passenger Jake Lowther was found to have failed a drug test.

Alan Founds ended Wednesday’s practice inside the top 20 after his first laps with his new passenger, while brother Peter Founds was second-quickest with his passenger Jevan Walmsley behind the Birchall brothers of driver Ben and passenger Tom.

Practice continues this evening on the Isle of Man, with the final day taking place on Friday afternoon before racing begins on Saturday with the first Supersport race and Sidecar contest of TT 2023.

Picture credit @iomttraces.com

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