The Tourist Trophy aka The TT

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Isle of Man,
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We headed to Billown not far from our digs and watched the Southern 100 races for classic bikes before making a bee line for grandstand at Douglas which is the start-finish line for all the TT races. 

The TT started in 1907 and the current Moutain Course was first used in 1911 so this is it's centenary year. The TT was part of the motorcycle GP circuit up until 1977 when a boycott, lead by 15 times World Champion Giacomo AGOSTINI due to safety concerns lead to it being deleted as a recognised GP.   
You can understand why when you read the official Isle of Man TT website that records 233 deaths as at the end of the 2010 TT; a truely staggering number. We can think of no other sporting contest of the modern era where such high number of participant deaths occur as part of the challenge and yet is so readily accepted by all - competitors, officials, spectators, viewing enthusiasts and the general public. The philosophy is you enter knowing the risks and no one makes you do it but yourself. 

At the time of writing this blog another three deaths have ocurred this year with two side car racers dying earlier this week and Northern Ireland's Derek BRIEN dying 06.06.2011 during the Supersport Race.    
The course is 37.75 miles long over public roads, through villages, along country roads, across and over cobblestoned bridges, up and over a mountain range, down to Douglas and back to the start/finish line.

To be competative a good racer needs to complete one lap in around 18 minutes at a staggering average speed of around 130 mph!. Given the surface they race on and the inherent dangers they encounter where one small mistake can have fatal consequences; the TT is really unique in world sport. It is easy to see why it continues to flourish over 100 years from inception.

Today the TT consists of 7 seven races being 2 x 1000cc superbikes, 2 x 600cc supersport, 1 x 1000cc superstock and 2 x 600cc sidecars. There is also pre and post TT classic races at the small village of Billown. Week one is practice and week two the races. Additionally there are a host of supporting events and entertainment to keep even the roudiest of biker happy. 

We have included photos of the circuit and the racers in practice to give the reader some small idea of what it is all about. It is mystical and magical - you have to see it to appreciate it.

The riders are truely legends of their sport. As Valentino ROSSI said when he visited the Isle of Man TT in 2009 - "The riders they have two big balls."
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Sandra on

so when the racing is over you can ride around the track?

Christopher on

The track is open before (30mins) mountain (60mins) the start of the first race and after the races also non race days and Mad Sunday (no speed limit) The actual mountain is one way after horrific crashes a couple of year ago. The biggest problem is civilian riders crashing out and closing the track at one stage we got to Ramsey (start of Mtn) 4 times only to be turned back by crashes. We believe by the length of closure they were fatals.

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