The Greatest Road Race In The World Is Back! It’s TT Time.

There is no race on earth that can compare to the TT. Held on a seemingly never-ending track. It is 37 miles full of twists, bumps, bends walls, manholes and so on… It is one of a kind.

The Isle of Man TT is one of the most prestigious motorbike events in the world. Its roots go right back to 1907 and have been run annually since then in either May or June. No other race can boast more than 100 years of history. It has made legends, long-lasting records and spectacular entertainment. The TT has been run in a time-trial type format. It consists of one week of practice following a week of racing.

It is a tradition for spectators to actually tour the Snaefell Mountain Course on motorbikes during the TT. This is an informal run out on Sunday between the practice and race week called ‘Mad Sunday’. Another tradition (or more like superstition) is to greet the fairies on ‘Fairy Bridge’. Between Douglas and Castletown. It’s considered extremely unlucky not to say Good Morning to the fairies. So, many riders make sure they get their pleasantries in pre-race!

To be involved in this race you need heaps of skill and bravery. Riders reach speeds of 200mph. This is the only race that attracts the great numbers of people for a whole two week period. It’s an incredible display of world. Class entertainment among the most beautiful of sceneries.  You can see why people like to make a holiday out of it, we certainly can!

The TT comprises of several different races:

  • Superbike TT
  • Supersport TT
  • Superstock TT
  • Lightweight TT
  • Sidecar TT
  • Senior TT
  • TT Zero

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Isle of Man TT History

The TT is one of the most historic races in the world. As of 2016, there have been 97 races. The TT was on hold for five years over WWII period, but returned in 1947. From 1949 to 1976 the race was part of the FIM Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championship. This came to an end, because competitors actually complained the track was too difficult. 1977 onward the TT became part of the Formula 1, 2 and 3 World Championships. Which came to an end in 1990.

For the third time, the race was cancelled in 2001. This was due to the foot and mouth epidemic which was invading mainland England. The next year it was up and running again. David Jeffries (DJ) had 3 wins for the third successive time. Going forward, 2004 was known as the year of the hat trick wins for John Guinness. Then in 2006 he reached average speeds of 129.4mph and won the 11th TT.

In 2008 McGuinness was taken on by Cameron Donald who wins the Superbike and Superstock. however, McGuinness battled back to win the Senior and join Hailwood in 14 outright wins. 2011 consisted of McGuinness winning the Senior TT and Superbike TT Race rising to 17 wins of TT. Supersport TT Race 2 gave the first win to Gary Johnson. The sidecar partners John Holden and Andrew Winkle also scored a win.

McGuinness had the incentive to push himself in 2015. After his previous outright lap record was broken by Bruce Anstey on a Honda CBR1000RR during the 2014 Senior TT. The ‘Bingley Bullet’, Ian Hutchinson also was back in action in 2015. After his nasty crash during the 2010 Silverstone British Supersport race. His comeback was glorious, adding three more TTs to his belt giving a total of 11.

The TT Course

The course is the main Isle of Man TT coursesplendour of this race. Thousands and thousands of spectators and competitors are drawn to the danger and excitement of these roads. It’s held on public highways. Starting from Douglas in the southeast through to Ramsey in the northeast and back again. On these roads, there are over 200 bends which riders need to deal with at high speed. As well as the 1,300 feet climb from sea level.

The Isle of Man TT presents the perfect challenge for rider and machine. Throughout history bikers have made their name by tackling these roads, making and breaking records. In 2007, the Centenary saw John Mc Guinness win a record lap of 130.354mph in the Senior TT. Then eight years later Guinness once again shocked and amazed with another record of 132.701mph!  Here are some other amazing record race wins and lap records:

Current Isle of Man TT Race Records

CategoryRiderMachineYearTimeSpeed
Superbike TT – 6 LapsBruce AnsteyHonda CBR1000RR20151:45:29.902128.749 mph
Superbike TT – 4 Laps Michael DunlopHonda CBR600RR20131:11:52:091125.997 mph
Senior TT – 6 Laps John McGuinnessHonda CBR1000RR20131:45:20:394128.943 mph
Senior TT – 4 Laps John McGuinnessHonda CBR1000RR20151:09:23:903130.481 mph
Superstock TT – 4 LapsIan HutchinsonKawasaki ZX10R20151:10:05:298129.197 mph
Sidecar TT – 3 LapsTom Birchall/ Ben BirchallLCR Honda 60020150:58:24.245116.529 mph
 TT Zero – 1 LapJohn McGuinnessTeam Mugen20150:18:58.743119.279 mph

Current Isle of Man TT Lap Records

CategoryRiderMachineYearTimeSpeed
AbsoluteJohn McGuinnessHonda CBR1000RR201517:03.567132.701mph
Superbike TTBruce AnsteyHonda CBR1000RR201417:06.682132.298mph
Supersport TTMichael DunlopHonda CBR 600RR201317:35.659128.666mph
Lightweight TT – 650ccJames HillierKawasaki 650201518:43.955120.848mph
Lightweight TT – 205ccJohn McGuinnessHonda RS250199919:18.200118.29mph
Ultra lightweight TT – 125ccChris PalmerHonda RS125200420:20.870110.52mph
TT Zero ChallengeJohn McGuinnessMugen Shinden201518:58.743119.279mph
Senior TTJohn McGuinnessHonda CBR1000RR201517:03.567132.701mph
Superstock TTMichael DunlopHonda CBR1000RR201317:15.114131.220mph
SidecarDave Molyneux & Benjamin BinnsDMR Suzuki 600201519:23.056116.785mph
Fastest NewcomerPeter HickmanBMW S1000RR201417:32.078129.104mph
Fastest femaleJenny TinmouthHonda CBR1000RR201018:52.42119.945mph

The Big Question – Who is the greatest TT rider of all time?!

Giacomo Agostini

One of the greatest legends of all time was Ago. He stepped onto the podium for the first time in 1965 in the Junior. He went onto smash the lap record in the Senior TT 1967. Won the Senior in 1971 and another double in 1972.

Geoff Duke

Duke was the first man to wear a one-piece set of leathers. He won the Clubmans TT and Senior Manx Grand Prix in 1949. He set lap records in the Junior and Senior races. On his way to a double win in 1951, being named Sportsman of the Year. Duke dominated all races and in 1955 and it was announced as being the first ever 100mph lap ever recorded.

Joey Dunlop

Dunlop is someone who changed TT history, holding an incredible 26 victories. In 1977 his lap was in excess of 110mph which earned him his first win. Whether he was racing 125cc, 250cc or Superbikes Dunlop was the one to beat. Some of his highlights included 6 straight wins in the Formula 1 race (1983-1988). Three hat tricks (1985, 1988, 2000) and the Formula 1 race on the factory SP-1, Honda. Dunlop tragically died in July 2000, but will forever be a hero in racing.

David Jefferies

Perhaps Jefferies was the greatest? Jefferies made his debut in the TT in 1996 at the young age of 24. DJ took an amazing hat trick in 1999 when he won in Formula 1, Junior and Senior races. He had yet another hat trick in 2000. Also becoming the first man to do the Mountain Course at 125mph +. Jefferies was known to manhandle the bikes over the bumps and jumps. He moved the lap record to more than 127mph. He is another legend that will always be remembered, after his death in 2003.

John McGuinness

Of course, McGuinness is right up there with the best, or is he the best? His early success was won on smaller bikes and his first win was taken in 1999 on a 250cc. McGuinness set a 120mph on a 500cc GP machine. Just before taking his first Superbike podium in 2000. Since then he has had too many wins to mention! He had 15 wins by the end of 2009’s TT. He went on making and breaking records hitting 132mph.

Bob McIntyre

He won the Manx Grand Prix on his first attempt in 1952. When trying the TT out he didn’t wait long until he was on the podium taking second in 1955. He became the first man to lap the Mountain Course at 100mph +. Guaranteeing his spot in the record books. The 50’s held a load of wins for Mclntyre. It wasn’t long before he was on the podium again in the 60’s when he was recruited by Honda. Bob is another hero who was tragically lost in a crash in Oulton Park in 1962.

Ian Hutchinson

Bingley born and bred, Hutchinson is a spectacular road racer. From his first race, people knew he was one to watch. In 2010 he set the record for winning the most races in one single Isle of Man TT festival. Like most racers, the ‘Bingley Bullet’ has had some serious scares. Such as his crash at the British Supersport when he broke his left leg extremely badly. This wasn’t the end for Hutchinson. After fighting to keep his leg he returned to the race in 2015. Only taking three wins, a second and third place at the TT. He has recently commented saying he’s in a ‘much better place’ than last year, so is more than ready for 2016!

Steve Hislop

Steve Hislop was one of the finest and most inspiring riders in the world. He was well known in short circuit racing as well as TT champion. He would eventually claim two British Superbike titles. In 1992 he was recruited by Honda. Hislop went onto take a hat-trick of wins during the TT. Become the first man to lap the Mountain Course at 120mph +. He then took two more wins in 1994 before turning his attention to the British Championship. Hislop sadly lost his life in a helicopter accident in 2003, which stunned the racing community. He is another legend which will always be remembered and praised.

Mike Hailwood

Too many people, Mike Hailwood was and always will be the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. It was 1958 when Mike made his first TT appearance at the age of 18. He raced in the lightweight 250cc on the Clypse Course. By 1962 he was an MV Agusta rider. He went onto win four straight victories in the Senior race. In 1966 he switched back to Honda, instantly setting new lap records. A year later he set a new outright lap record that would remain unbeaten until 1975.

He retired from bikes at the end of 1967 and switched to cars. However, he made a comeback in 1978 when he raced the Formula 1 on a Ducati for his tenth world title. In 1979 Mike made one final magical race, recording his 14th win. Tragically, after retiring from racing Mike was killed in a road accident with a lorry in 1981, along with his daughter. Mike will always be regarded as one of the world’s best racers, admired and respected forever.

Dave Molyneux

Son of a racing father, Dave made his appearance in 1985 at 20 years old. He is known as the most successful sidecar driver ever. Dave was regularly hitting above 100mph +. It wasn’t long until he had his first win in 1989. He went onto claim a double victory in 1993. Then made history in 1996 becoming the first sidecar driver to break the 110mph mark. Dave raced in the TT and the World Championship. Continuously setting and beating his own records. Dave continued into 2005 when he set a new lap record of 116.04mph.

Stanley Woods

Stanley Wood is one of the greats when it comes to road racing. Through the 1920’ and 30’s he dominated all racing on two wheels. He made his debut in the TT in 1922 at just 17 years old. It was just one year later that Stanley took his first TT win. He was then signed by Norton and won the Senior race. It was 1932 before winning his next TT when he recorded a record-breaking double taking Junior and Senior. Stanley Woods is a legend, and always will be.

We have mentioned just a few of the best here… Who is the greatest in your opinion?! Have a think and let us know!

Isle of Man TT 2016!

This year the event will take place from 28th May to 10th June 2016. People will travel from all over the world. Just to watch the extreme speeds and skills of the riders.

If you are interested in going to watch the race. The IOMTT website offers some great prices on Grandstand or VIP tickets. You can also check out the package deals and breaks there. The race details for this year are below:

2016 TT Race Details:

Saturday 28th May
1820Solo newcomers speed controlled lap untimed practice
1825Sidecar newcomers speed controlled lap untimed practice
18402050Lightweight / Supersport / Newcomers (all solo classes)
Monday 30th May
18201950Superbike / Superstock / Supersport / Newcomers (all classes except LW)
19552050Sidecars
Tuesday 31st May
18201925Superbike / Superstock / Supersport / Newcomers (all classes except LW)
19251955Supersport / Lightweight / Newcomers (all solo classes)
Wednesday 1st June
18201950Superbike / Superstock / Supersport / Newcomers (all classes except LW)
19552050Sidecars
Thursday 2nd June
18201925Superbike / Superstock / Supersport / Newcomers (all classes except LW)
19251955Supersport / Lightweight / Newcomers (all solo classes)
20002050Sidecars
Friday 3rd June
18201945Superbike / Superstock / Supersport / Newcomers (all classes except LW)
19502035Sidecars
2040TT Zero

Race Day Practices

Saturday 4th June
1635Superstock / Supersport / Lightweight (2 Laps)
1715TT Zero (1 Lap)
Monday 6th June
1228Sidecars (2 Laps)
1607Lightweight (1 Lap)
1628TT Zero (1 Lap)
Tuesday 7th June
1220Sidecars (2 Laps)
1525Lightweight (1 Lap)
1540TT Zero (1 Lap)
Wednesday 8th June
1225Sidecars (1 Lap)
1540Senior (1 Lap)
Thursday 9th June
1235Sidecars (1 Lap)
1540Senior (1 Lap)

Race Schedule

Saturday 4th June
1100RST Superbike TT Race (6 Laps)
1400Sure Sidecar TT Race 1 (3 Laps)
Monday 6th June
1045Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1 (4 Laps)
1345RL360º Quantum Superstock TT Race (4 Laps)
Wednesday 8th June
1045Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 2 (4 Laps)
1345Bennetts Lightweight TT Race (4 Laps)
1625SES TT Zero Race (1 Lap)
Friday 10th June
1015Sure Sidecar TT Race 2 (3 Laps)
1245PokerStars Senior TT Race (6 Laps)

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