Apparently, since the Mayans got it all wrong, next year we will be able to enjoy the magnificient show of the Road Racing once again. The events to mark on your calendar are always the same, and the most important of them all is obviously the Isle of Man TT, arguably the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The 2013 Tourist Trophy will take place from the 25th of May till June the 7th: one week of practice and then 9 races on the 37¾ miles (60.7 km) of the legendary ‘Mountain Course’. Hopefully, next year will also see the return of Senior TT after the first historic cancellation due to bad weather in 2012.
With 19 wins already under his belt, His Majesty ‘King of the Mountain’ John McGuinness will be once again the man to beat, and some of his most valuable opponents will be his newly appointed team mates, Michael Rutter e Michael Dunlop, who have just joined the ranks of the Honda TT Legends team. Other ‘eligible candidates’ for success on the Isle are New Zealander Bruce Anstey (9 wins so far), local hero Conor Cummins (who just joined William Dunlop in the Milwaukee Yamaha team), Cameron Donald, Ian Lougher, Adrian Archibald, James Hillier, Gary Johnson and the ‘rebellious’ Guy Martin, a rider with great talent and plenty of fans who has been chasing his first win at the TT for years.
Unfortunately, some of the crowd favourites won’t be part of the show next year: Ian ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson (who collected an unprecedent ‘5-out-of-5′ at the 2010 TT) will be sidelined for the entire 2013 by yet another surgery to his battered left leg, while Farqhar Ryan announced his retirement after the tragic events of the 2012 Manx GP.
British manufacturer Norton has confirmed its participation to the 2013 Tourist Trophy, but this time around they will go to the Isle of Man with two SG1 bikes: one for the confirmed Ian ‘Mackers’ Mackman and the other for new signing Dan Hegarty, who will have the task to revive the past glories of the legendary British manufacturer in the event that more than any other has contributed to its fame.
Hegarty, 25, made his TT debut in 2010 and has a personal best on the Mountain Course of 121.731 mph (18′35.80) set last year in first race of of Superbike class: “It’s great to get a factory ride and have the opportunity to be in at the beginning of the development programme for Norton - Hegarty said - I also look forward to working alongside ‘Mackers’ who I have raced alongside before and have a great relationship with.”
“Norton’s continued investment in developing bikes and its team shows their total confidence in the most prestigious and inspirational motorcycle racing in the world - added Norton CEO Stuart Garner - We have followed Dan’s progress at the TT and have been very impressed with his ability and commitment to the sport. Along with these qualities he also brings a very competitive edge to the team, which makes him a great rider to work with.”
Honda Racing Europe has released a really nice video (above) in which John McGuinness, 19-times winner and fastest man ever at the Isle of Man TT, explains just how you are supposed to take on the mighty 60+ km long Mountain Course, that all motorcycling enthusiasts around the globe consider as either the craziest race or the best race ever. The 40-years old rider from Morecambe surely knows his way around it, and in this interesting footage he tells us many of the secrets you just need to know to be fast on Manx’s roads. Not that we re encouraging you to do it, but it is surely interesting to see how an established road racing specialist like Mr.McGuinness relates to a ‘track’ that is as famous as it is dangerous.
What does it take to race the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy? Courage? A cool head? How about a few loose marbles? We don’t want to cast aspersions of some of the fastest and most experienced riders on the Isle, but after seeing this video it’s clear that you need to be just a little crazy to tackle the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.
In this video we see Guy Martin, Cameron Donald, John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop and others discussing the ride of June 8th under torrential conditions. The race was eventually red flagged because of the terrible conditions and this video is the debrief among the guys after. It opens with Cameron Donald saying: “I thought well…. that’s my get out of jail free card - that’s it used.”
A new Lightweight class race returns to the 2012 Isle of Man TT which includes three laps of the island before the Senior TT race takes to the road. The Lightweight TT is for SuperTwin spec machines with 650-cc, twin-cylinder, four-stroke engines.
The race apparently returns after much consultation among Tourist Trophy organisers and participants and is designed to bring back the tradition of SuperTwin road races to the Isle of Man. So far it seems Kawasaki and Suzuki will participate with officially-backed entries, and new competitors are expected to be attracted by the new category.
Racing in the 2012 Tourist Trophy Lightweight class won’t bring the glory of extra points to the solo championship, but it is set to have a prize fund of over 25,000 pounds. The technical regulations for the new Isle of Man class are being drawn up now and will be issued by the end of September.
Other than this new class which, with its new regulations, is designed to be cost effective but competitive, the rest of the 2012 Isle of Man TT regulations remain unchanged from 2010. The TT Zero looks like it will remain, but the news from the IOM TT website is that: “Plans for the TT Zero clean emissions race will be announced shortly.”
There are no prizes for guessing why the Honda TT Legends team is called just that with riders like John McGuinness and Keith Amor on board. They have been preparing their Honda CBR1000RR models for the 2011 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy after a season of endurance qualifying which recently saw them at Albacete.
McGuinness has so far set the fastest lap time at the Tourist Trophy, in front of teammate Amor (whose back protection McGuinness had borrowed because he couldn’t find his own just before race start), and with East Coast Racing Honda rider Gary Johnson coming in third. McGuinness says:
Having done all the Endurance racing, I feel really race sharp and the bike’s feeling a million dollars so I’m glad we’re all up and running now and can look forward to the rest of practice week in a good frame of mind.
Check out the Honda TT Legends pics from Albacete before we put together a gallery of the first 2011 Tourist Trophy action.
With more excitement from the 2010 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy postponed due to fog, you’d think it was a safety-first kind of race if you didn’t know any better. The video after the jump shows the exact opposite with Adrian Archibald cutting off Guy Martin by the skin of his teeth (my reaction? Jeeesus Christ!). Riders actually race against the clock, not each other, but in some ways that further encourages these hair raising exploits as the guys go flat out around the island.
Apparently TT riders are like fighter pilots and we’ve already seen an example of Guy Martin’s extreme gardening efforts. It seems no obstacle, moving or stationary, is to get in the way of racing the clock. More results to come when today’s races, including the TT Zero, start after being postponed yesterday.
The title looks like something made up, but it’s true. Ian Hutchinson has been the hardest to beat this year at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. Gaining a hat-trick at the 2010 TT, Hutchinson took out the Superbike title in 1h 46′31″, followed by Michael Dunlop and Cameron Donald in second and third respectively. The Superbike round saw John McGuinness and Conor Cummins both retire, paving the way for Hutchinson to gain his fourth title on the island.
That title was soon followed by another two in the Supersport and Superstock categories, with Hutchinson so far winning everything there was to win at the 2010 TT. Hutchinson’s win in the Superstock was an exciting one, gained only in the last lap after he managed to recoup the five second lead that Ryan Farquhar was holding with a scintillating final lap of more than 130 mph (on a stock!!).
The Supersport saw Hutchinson win over Guy Martin with Michael Dunlop again, this time in third. After the jump you’ll find the full race results and be sure to check out the IoMTT website for all the action.
The second Isle of Man TT Zero practice takes place today before the official race scheduled for Wednesday, June 9th. The first practice on Saturday was an exciting event, with MotoCzysz looking to create some seriously fast competition before it ran out of battery charge before the finish, leaving team Agni Racing to complete the fastest lap.
There are ten bikes involved in this year’s TT Zero: Ecolve from London, Agni Racing who have two bikes, University teams Brunel and Kingston, MotoCzysz from America, Isle of Man based ManTTx Racing, Austria’s HTBLAUVA – XX Project, SERT (Swedish Electric Racing Team) and Germany’s Peace E Rider.
The spy shot above shows the MotoCzysz E1pc bike that’s racing and before it ran out of battery charge due to over-enthusiasm with the throttle on the part of the rider, it was producing some impressive figures. Quotes from the guys at MotoCzysz on the Isle of Man: “Another calibration test tomorrow and another Q session on Monday- spirits very HIGH here tonight!!!” Wednesday is going to be an exciting race for the electric bikes at the 2010 TT.
Here’s the first on-board video from this year’s 2010 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. The practice rounds have taken off and the unstoppable John McGuinness is still proving super fast. Second behind him is Ian Hutchinson.
In the Supersport class Michael Dunlop has completed the fastest time, proving that the Dunlop family has speed in their DNA. The Superstock class sees Ryan Farquhar at the top with his Kawasaki, followed by Keith Amor with a BWW S1000RR. After the jump are all the results from Wednesday’s practice, more updates to come.