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Queen of the Bikers meets Prince

NGK-sponsored ‘Queen of the Bikers’ Maria Costello MBE came face-to-face with a real-life royal when she met HRH Prince William at the Isle of Man TT.

She was introduced to the Duke of Cambridge just before she competed in the Bennetts Lightweight TT at the world-famous event.

Maria, who received her MBE from Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, was asked many questions by His Royal Highness including what she would be listening to before she set off.
She said: “I was honoured to meet him, it helped with my pre-race nerves. I couldn’t help but mention that I’ve met his Dad and we talked about our music interests. I was even more blown away when I found out he’d waited for me to start the race.”

Ignition specialist NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a long-standing supporter of Maria with her Kawasaki ER6 supertwin motorcycle sporting an NGK-dominated livery.

Maria vowed to take the positives from her Isle of Man TT experience despite having the misfortune of breaking down during the race and having to retire on lap three.

The Northamptonshire racer was forced to start from 44th place after a catalogue of electrical issues hampered practice to the point where she had to stop and make adjustments on almost every one of her five qualifying laps.

She said: “After all the problems in practice, I really hoped we had found and solved the problem. I was initially bitterly disappointed to break down in the race. I’d already stopped twice on lap two to make adjustments, so I knew it wouldn’t be a good finish, but I really wanted to see that chequered flag.

“Competing at the Isle of Man TT is a privilege and it means so much to me, but when things go wrong I can’t help but feel frustrated but meeting up in the beer tent with friends who have experienced real tragedy this TT put that into perspective.”

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