Isle of Man TT: What makes adrenaline more influential than death?
Ever heard of the Isle Man TT and wondered why there is so much hype surrounding this event? Well in this article, we are going to throw more light on this motorcycle event.
Yes!! It is a motorcycle event, The International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races is a bike sporting event which, takes place on the Isle of Man (An island that is located between England and Ireland). It is an annual event that either takes place in the months of May or June. When compared to the likes of North West 200 ( Northern Ireland ), The Dakar Rally, Baja 1000 ( Mexico ), the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is still rated one of the deadliest motorcycle sports. According to the statistics, about 252 riders have lost their lives in this event with 1970 being the deadliest year where 6 competitors died. A good number of spectators as well have passed away as a result of this same event. Maybe this accounts for the reason why the Isle of Man TT is rather gaining more fame as the years go by.As i write another member of Dunlop Dynasty, William Dunlop dies in crash during practice.
What is the Isle of Man TT all about?
In a nutshell, the racing part of the event takes place over two weeks. As the event starts, roads are blocked and can be accessed by the bikers only. For the First week, there is somewhat a practice session and the racing proper takes place during the second week. On the Sunday that precedes the racing week is what is generally termed the “Mad Sunday”. A day when the spectators get to enjoy the view of the Snaefell Mountain course while on their Bikes.
Prior to these weeks you have all sorts of preparations against the event. You have ferries that come in from the closest town, Liverpool, transporting all the necessary equipment, bikers and their teams as well as the fans. We are talking of over 40,000 fans. This explains why during this period, the atmosphere in the Island changes, with provision stores, shops and restaurants opening up just for this event. There won’t be a night that passes by on the island without a party being hosted somewhere.
The very first of this event was organized in 1907 by the Auto-Cycle Club over 10 laps of the Isle of Man St John's Short Course of 15 miles 1,470 yards for road-legal 'touring' motorcycles with exhaust silencers, saddles, pedal and mudguards. Nowadays, the event is still organized by the Auto Cycle union, but the number of laps varies according to the event. In total, there are seven of these events; Senior TT, Super Stock TT, Superbike TT, SuperSport TT, Lightweight TT, Side Car TT and the most recent event to have joined the list is the Zero TT, which as a race meant for electric bikes only! With the varying numbers of Laps, in some of these events, the bikers making a pit-stop is obligatory so they can change tyres and refuel too.
What about the money?
It is worth mentioning that the motivation behind participating in the TT is more of passion for the game than the pay package in itself given that it is extremely low especially after Grand Prix departed from the event. Those who are able to make money for themselves are those who end up in top three. So to help this, there are sponsorships available and some bikers even go the extra mile of having regular day jobs.
Who can race at the Isle of Man TT?
Usually, before you are cleared to take part at the Isle of Man TT racing event, you must have participated in other races that take place in Ireland earlier during the year. Record holders on this 37.73 mile TT course are quite few, we have likes of 23-time TT winner John McGuinness who needs just four races in order to surpass the all-time record held by IOM legend, Joey Dunlop.
Being reputed as one of the most dangerous racing events has led the officials to thinking how this event can be made safer. One of main causes of death is the proximity of the racers during the event. So in or der to avoid this, every racer is given a ten second head start which is completely different from the original group start. As such, the riders have more space and this immensely reduces the risk having wheel to wheel racing.
Cover Pic Source : YouTube