Tag Archives: Real Road / TT

John McGuinness awarded MBE

John McGuinness
Member of the British Empire

Morecambe’s John McGuinness has had his motorcycling achievements recognised having been made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.

McGuinness joins a select group of motorcyclists to be recognised in such a manner and follows in the footsteps of, amongst others, John Surtees, Gary Hocking, Jim Redman, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read, Barry Sheene, Joey Dunlop, Carl Fogarty and, the most recent recipient of the MBE, Jonathan Rea.

The now 48-year old has enjoyed an illustrious career in the sport, which spans more than 30 years, with success coming on both the short circuits and on the roads, the latter, in particular, seeing him establish himself as one of the greatest ever at the Isle of Man TT Races.

John McGuinness - Image by Jon Jessop
John McGuinness – Image by Jon Jessop

Having made his debut on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course in 1996, McGuinness has gone on to record a stunning 23 wins, the second highest ever in the 113-year history of the event and only three behind the record tally of 26 held by Northern Ireland’s Dunlop.

One of the most popular riders of his generation, his tally of 47 podiums is the highest ever recorded with his wins coming across all solo classes between 1999 and 2015. He also held the outright lap record for a decade.

John McGuinness
John McGuinness – TT 2016

“I’m thoroughly humbled to receive an MBE and when I started racing all those years ago, never in a million years did I think I’d go on to achieve the success that I have let alone be recognised and honoured by the Queen!” said McGuinness.

“When you look at the previous motorcyclists to have received an MBE, it’s a very select group of riders who are both multiple world champions and legends of the sport so to be recognised in the same way as them now is something I’m extremely proud of.

“It doesn’t happen very often in our sport so it’s an incredibly special moment for me and my family and even though I received the letter informing me of the award some time ago, I’m still finding it hard to believe so it’ll probably be a while before it properly sinks in.”

John McGuinness, his wife Rebecca and daughter Maisie in the winners enclosure for the 2015 PokerStars Senior TT podium. Credit Tim Keeton/Impact Images Photography
John McGuinness, his wife Rebecca and daughter Maisie in the winners enclosure for the 2015 PokerStars Senior TT podium. Credit Tim Keeton/Impact Images Photography

As well as the TT, McGuinness has had an equally successful career elsewhere with multiple wins at both the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix with victory also taken at the Macau Grand Prix. On the short circuits, he was 250cc British Champion in 1999.

A factory rider for both Yamaha and Honda, the latter seeing the majority of his success, McGuinness can also count a British Superbike Championship podium for Kawasaki amongst his glittering success whilst, off the track, he’s been a regular supporter of various charities over the years, attending countless events up and down the country to help raise funds for those less fortunate.

The 2015 Senior TT victory was John McGuinness’s 23rd TT win and his seventh in the Senior TT.
The 2015 Senior TT victory was John McGuinness’s 23rd TT win and his seventh in the Senior TT.

“Obviously, the Isle of Man TT and my 23 wins there are what people most associate me with but I’ve also been fortunate to achieve success elsewhere and I’m proud of all my achievements whether it’s the TT, my other road racing wins, being British Champion or taking a British Superbike Championship podium.

John McGuinness might not have raced on the roads this year due to COVID but he did contest the Ducati TriOptions Series run at BSB events – Image Dave Yeomans

“I’ve had a lot of support over the years from a lot of people, particularly my family who have been with me all the way, and also my sponsors and fans and I’m extremely grateful for all of that support. I’ve always tried to give something back to the sport as well so for both myself and motorcycling to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List is a truly special day.”

Team UK surprised me with the honour of running an MCNews.com.au sticker on John McGuinness' Harris Honda. Thanks so much guys
Team UK surprised me with the honour of running an MCNews.com.au sticker on John McGuinness’ Harris Honda at the 2015 Island Classic. Thanks so much guys and congratulations John on your MBE

Source: MCNews.com.au

John McGuinness unsure if he will race a Superbike TT again

Second TT cancellation has McPint weighing up his future

With the announcement that TT 2021 has been officially cancelled, many racers are weighing up their futures including the most famous and winningest current Isle of Man specialist John McGuinness.

Now 48, McGuinness will be 50 when the next TT Races take place in 2022, from Saturday 28th May to Saturday 11th June. The TT legend spoke to Manx Radio overnight.

John McGuinness

“A little bit empty really, I am sort of not surprised, just sad really, for me, selfishly it is wrong time of my career to be missing another TT. 

John McGuinness
John McGuinness – TT 2016

“We sort of expected they might try and run it in August,  so it is a bit of a shock for it to be called now, but I understand, it is just the way it is. You guys are clean on the Isle of Man that is the way it should be. 

“Next time I stand on the start line I will be 50 years old, looking down Bray Hill on a Superbike, I don’t know if that is going to happen.

John McGuinness
John McGuinness – TT 2016

“The people around me, the family, the friends, the sponsors, the bike will be there if I want it, but a couple of years is a long time ahead isn’t it. 

“It is my living, it is my passion, it is my job, it’s what we all look forward to so, it is early in the decision and I am just struggling to get my head around it, but yeah super disappointed.”

The 2015 Senior TT victory was John McGuinness’s 23rd TT win and his seventh in the Senior TT.
The 2015 Senior TT victory was John McGuinness’s 23rd TT win and his seventh in the Senior TT.

McGuinness was then asked by Manx Radio’s John Moss if with this being two years in a row it endangers the future of the TT as a whole.

“I’m worried about that, it was one of my thoughts straight away, if the Isle of Man doesn’t need the TT after two years, are they ever going to need it again. I don’t know, but I really hope this absence makes the heart grow fonder..

“I’m sure we are going to miss it, and I am sure it will be back stronger and better in 2022. It gives everybody time to, the organisers and everyone else, to try and make the event better and stronger.

“To me it was a great event, I live it, a lot of success there and if it was to happen next year it would have been my 100th start so it was going to be a special moment for me, and I would really like to do my 100th start. If it is 2022, it is 2022…”

John McGuinness
John McGuinness – TT 2016

John McGuinness currently has 99 starts under his belt with a great hit rate that has earned him 23 wins and 47 podiums from his 81 finishes.

Source: MCNews.com.au

David Johnson disappointed at TT cancellation

No go for TT 2021

South Australia’s David Johnson has been riding high on some great recent results at the TT, including a Superstock podium last year, so missing another year of competition on the Isle of Man has come as a cruel blow to the 38-year-old.

David Johnson

Very disappointed that the TT won’t go ahead and that the discussion was made so early.

“The TT has become my main race of a season and as I’m employed by Rich Energy OMG Racing team in the UK, this has become a major dilemma not just for race but also in life as my job is now in jeopardy.

“My team have been amazing supporting me so far through all this and I will be speaking with my bosses tonight (UK morning) to talk about the plan going forward. I just hope there is a plan.”

IOMTT David Johnson Supertock Podium HondaImage
David Johnson on the Superstock podium – TT 2019

While the main game is off, the Isle of Man Government is hopeful that the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix can take place later in the year. David Johnson won the Superbike Classic TT last year.

Classic TT Superbike David Johnson Win
David Johnson celebrates 2019 Classic TT Superbike win alongside James Hillier
Laurence Skelly – Isle of Man Government

We do not underestimate the disappointment that this decision will cause to many people. However, we are making an early and logical decision to provide certainty and clarity to race fans and everyone else involved in our event. The TT relies on thousands of volunteers and officials across a wide range of organisations and we could not move responsibly towards operating to that date and commit to welcoming tens of thousands of people to the Island in June, despite the progress towards a vaccination programme globally and on the Island.

“We evaluated all possible options including moving the TT to a date later in the year but there are complexities and risks, including scaling up of certain infrastructure and critical delivery elements of the TT, as well as existing resident and visitor travel in late August, which would cause further disruption to thousands of people.

“We remain hopeful that the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix can take place later in the year and we look forward to welcoming visitors to our Island again.”

Paul Phillips – TT Business Development Manager

Everyone involved with the TT is of course disappointed that the event has been cancelled in 2021, but it’s a decision that has been made as early as possible so that everyone who is impacted can plan accordingly. I am sorry for all the fans, riders, teams and volunteers who will miss another year on the Island, but we as a team will be working hard to make sure that we come back with an even better event in 2022.

“We are very grateful for the continued support and loyalty shown by all our partners, as well as the event’s fans worldwide, which is a testament to the passion that people have for the event.

The Department will continue to work with its partners towards delivering the 2021 Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix, which are scheduled to run from Saturday 21st August to Friday 3rd September. A final decision on whether those events will take place will be made in Spring 2021.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Peter Hickman joins new team for 2021

Macau based businesswoman forms new race team

Peter Hickman has announced he has signed for the new FHO Racing team for the 2021 road racing season and British Superbike Championship, riding a BMW Motorrad-supported M 1000 RR Superbike.

The new team is the latest venture by Macau entrepreneur Faye Ho, who is stepping up her commitment to the sport as a team owner having previously supported a number of riders and teams in her native Macau Grand Prix event.

Ho, an international businesswoman who divides her time between business and charity work in Macau, Hong Kong and the UK, said: “I’ve always loved motorsport and bike racing in particular, so when the opportunity arose to take over from the Smiths team, it seemed the ideal opportunity to get involved. I first supported motorcycle teams at the Macau Grand Prix in 2009 and the next year we claimed the victory with Stuart Easton and the PBM squad. What struck me immediately with two-wheeled racing was the excitement and passion; it is a huge challenge that the teams and riders take on each time they are on track.

“When I came back to the UK, I witnessed the thrill of the Isle of Man TT and the level of professionalism and competition of the BSB series. When we heard the Smiths team were withdrawing, and having got to know [team owners] Alan and Rebecca Smith in Macau, it felt like perfect timing to help step in to build a new team. I’m just so excited to get going, this is probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever undertaken and ultimately we have the desire to want to win races!”

BMW S 1000 RR M

FHO Racing is formed from the foundations of the successful Smiths Racing operation, which ceased competing at the end of this season, and utilises many of its experienced technicians and equipment.

Hickman, who had been with the Smiths Racing team since 2017, is enthusiastic about approaching the new season with FHO Racing and excited to begin the development of the new BMW M 1000 RR Superbike, which he will pilot on the roads and the short circuits.

Peter Hickman

This is an exciting time for me, the team and I think racing in general as we gain a passionate new team owner in Faye. I’ve known Faye for a few years as a generous supporter of racing in Macau and most importantly she wants to win! I’ve had an awesome four years with the Smiths Racing team, we’ve grown together as a group, been successful in BSB and on the Roads, so now I think we can build on that and take it to a new level. After such a bad year globally, it’s so positive to have a new team and sponsor enter the arena.”

BMW S 1000 RR M

Taking over from the Smiths Racing outfit means that Hickman will continue the strong relationship with Crew Chief and Team Manager, Darren Jones, who he has worked alongside since 2016: “This is a great opportunity to build a new team but use all the important foundations of the Smiths outfit, bringing in additional expertise to strengthen what needs improving. Faye has sponsored the Smiths team, watched from afar and is now relishing the chance to go racing herself as a team owner.”

BMW S 1000 RR M

Away from the Isle of Man and the road racing scene, the team will also run former WorldSBK rider Xavi Fores in the British Superbike Championship, as well as Alex Olsen in the National Superstock Championship.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Lightweight TT category gets a shake up for 2021

Lightweight TT class opens up to more manufacturers

By Adam Child

The Isle of Man Lightweight race has increased in popularity for both riders and spectators. The racing over the years has been closer and more exciting than the larger classes. The very first four-stroke 650cc Lightweight race was run in 2012 and was won by Ryan Farquhar, the main instigator of the new class. I remember it well as I finished 40th on my home made Kawasaki ER-6N.

Ryan Farquhar won the inaugural four-stroke Lightweight TT in 2012 and has been instrumental in the class since inception – Image Ray Oliver

Since that first race Kawasaki went on to dominate the race, James Hiller won in 2013, followed by Dean Harrison in 2015 and Ivan Lintin in 2016. Only recently has Kawasaki’s dominance been challenged by the Italian specialist made Paton race bikes. Paton mounted Michael Rutter taking the win in 2017 and Michael Dunlop 2018 and 19. At the last Bennetts Lightweight race, Michael Dunlop broke the lap record (122.75mph) and held off Jamie Coward on the SB tuning Kawasaki, by less than two-seconds.

IOMTT Lightweight Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop – Lightweight TT 2019

But now the Lightweight rules are about to change. The new rules will allow twin-cylinder machines up to 700 cc, which opens it up for Yamaha’s MT-07 and the new RS660 Aprilia. Back in 2012, when the rules and class was re-created, (previously the Lightweight class was for 250 two-stoke machines) it was simple enough, change almost anything, but not the frame, and away you go. I love the concept and the engineering challenges. 60+ bikes would be on the grid, every bike with slightly different bodywork, suspension, brakes wheels etc.

James Hiller won the 2013 Lightweight TT

Back in 2012 you couldn’t simply buy a race bike, you had to make and manufacture one. Engineers kept their bikes secret up until the last moment, engine tuners were almost doubling the power of standard bikes. You had two choices as a base bike; Kawasaki’s then ER-6N, or now Z-650 and Suzuki’s SV650. Both of course were originally designed to be everyday commuter bikes, easy to ride, novice friendly, it was like converting a pick up truck, into an F1 car.

The S1 Strada, Paton’s first street legal bike, is a project based on the Kawasaki 650 twin engine, but surrounded by all of Paton’s experience after 55 years of racing. Built to be legal, and excel both on the road and track, it is hoped that Paton will therefore return to the TT right at the sharp end of the field.
The S1 Strada, Paton’s first street legal bike. Powered by a Kawasaki 650 twin, but surrounded by Paton’s half a centure of experience. Built to be legal, and excel both on the road and track it costs a pretty penny, around $90,000 AUD…

Later Paton joined the game, their ‘base’ bikes was already leagues ahead of the Kawasaki and Suzuki, but for a price. Paton now produce a road replica of the TT winning lap record holder biked for an eye watering £42,00 GBP. The race bike ready to go out of the box will set you back 43,000 Euro plus VAT/TAX.

Stefano Bonetti on a Paton during the Lightweight TT in 2017
Rule changes

For 2021, the rules have changed to encourage manufacturers like Aprilia and Yamaha. However, their larger bikes will be governed, because machines over 651cc must use the throttle bodies and injectors found on the standard bike, with no modifications permitted other than the removal or fixing of the secondary butterfly.

The smaller, 651 cc-and-under machines have no such restriction. Throttle bodies and injectors can be changed or bored out, and they can even use multiple injectors per cylinder. The smaller bikes will have a minimum weight of 150 kg while the larger, over 651 cc machines must weigh 160 kg or more. Interestingly both capacities will have a rev limit of 11,000 rpm. This will limit the tuning potential of the Aprilia as it already makes peak power at 10,500 rpm, and will rev past 11,000 rpm in standard form. The standard Kawasaki, meanwhile, peaks at just 8000 rpm.

The remaining rules are virtually the same as before, which means you can change almost everything: wheels, suspension, subframe, pistons (same material, though), crank (but not lightened), cylinder head, exhaust, brakes, the list is endless. You can’t change the frame, must have a brake guard, rain light etc, but other than that it’s down to the team and budget.

Dave Hagen the Chief Technical Officer at the TT

The new regulations represent the latest evolution of this highly competitive class. In order to allow participation of a wider variety of manufactures I have, after consultation with both the TT promotors and competitor teams, drafted a new set of technical regulations. This will allow water cooled twin cylinder machines up to 700cc to compete In drafting this new set of regulations and in order to accommodate the larger capacity, but as yet un-tested machines, I felt it was important to keep any overall changes to the existing regulations to a minimum. Having said that, there are some restrictions to machine weight and throttle bodies for the over 650 machines In truth, we will not know how evenly matched these bikes will be until they have raced on the TT course for the first time. This change for 2021 should be very much viewed as a starting point. It is for this reason that I reserve the right to revisit these regulations for future events with a view to maintaining parity between the different capacity machines.

New kid on the block
Aprilia RS660

Aprilia RS660 – The sportiest bike in the category if we disregard the expensive Paton and in standard form the bike makes a quoted 100 hp at 10,500 rpm with 66 Nm of torque at 8500 rpm. Estimated real world back wheel figures should be approximately 80-83 hp. Aprilia already provide a full Akrapovic race exhaust and ECU which allow the bike to rev higher, possibly over the new regulations limit of 11,000 rpm. Estimated back wheel power, with a race exhaust and ECU, maybe aroound 90 hp. That’s competitive and hopfully should prove reliable and all for reasonable money.

Weight wise at 169 kg dry with road bodywork, it should be relatively easy to get the Aprilia down to 160 kg by simply removing all the road gear. Tune the engine – porting, gas flow, increase the compression – and 100 hp could be achievable without changing the conrods and crank. A specialist engine tuner with unlimited budget could push this further. The limit will be the restricted fuelling and rev limit. Once you’ve fitted race suspension, pads, bodywork and tyres I’d estimate cost to be around $30,000 AUD if going all out. The downside of the Aprilia is that it’s unproven in race trim. Will it last four hard laps around the TT, that is 150+ miles flat out…

The chancer
Yamaha MT Flat Track JD Beach Jump
JD Beach on the Yamaha MT-07 Flat Track machine in America

Yamaha MT-07 – The Yamaha has always been and still is a fantastic road bike, and there’s so much pleasure to be had from the punchy 689 cc parallel twin. In standard form it makes more torque than the Aprilia, and obviously more than the Suzuki and Kawasaki. Peak power is 74 hp at 9000 rpm, which is a decent start, so there is still 2000 rpm to play with. The Yamaha is also light at 182 kg with fuel, which should equate to around 167 kg dry. Aftermarket exhausts are already on the market with Akrapovic again producing a full race system that reduces weight by 3 kg and adds 3 hp. Fit some aftermarket suspension, remove the standard road gear and replace it with some R6 bodywork, and you could have a lively, race bike with a solid power output of around 80 hp at the rear wheel.

The bikes are already raced in America in the Twins Cup, which allows up to 800 cc twins with varying weight limits and are competitive against the Suzukis. But although the standard bike produces more power than a Kawasaki or Suzuki, it’s going to take development to make it competitive at the TT, so is something of a trip into the unknown. However, racing specialists like Crescent Racing have done an awesome job converting a Yamaha R3 into a race bike, so I’m sure they could do the same with an MT-07. The Americans are making some seriously big power from the MT-07 in Flat Track.

2018 Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha MT-07 engine
The creator of the series

Kawasaki Z650 – The new Z650 was introduced in 20017, replacing the ER-6N, it was a massive overhaul of the Kawasaki. Now the Z650 was considerably lighter, much improved chassis, linkage, and swing-arm. The engine was updated but it wasn’t a massive change, unlike the frame and chassis from ER-6N to Z650. Aside from the Paton, the Kawasaki has dominated the grids, and not just at the TT, but most road racing, it’s almost a one make series. Specialist engine tuners are pushing the boundaries, back wheel power close to 100bhp and just above. The level of engineering involved to transform a Z650 into a race bike capable of lapping the TT at over 121mph is impressive. The Kawasaki’s are race proven, and the rules allow you to run a lighter bike with tuneable fuelling.

Kawasaki Z650 on display at Kawasaki HQ in Sydney
Kawasaki Z650

The new Z650 was introduced in 2017, replacing the ER-6N, and was a massive overhaul of the Kawasaki. The Zed was considerably lighter and had a much-improved chassis, linkage and swing-arm. The engine was updated but it wasn’t a massive change from the ER-6N. Aside from the Paton, the Kawasaki has dominated the grids, and not just at the TT. In fact, most Lightweight-based road races look almost like a one-make series.

Specialist engine tuners are, as ever, pushing the boundaries, with power at the rear wheel close to 100 hp and just above. The level of engineering involved to transform a Z650 into a race bike capable of lapping the TT at over 121 mph is truly impressive. The Kawasakis are race proven, and the rules allow you to run a lighter bike with tuneable fuelling. You can build a competitive bike for around $30,000 AUD, including a new bike, but the top bikes have almost $50,000 AUD invested in them…

IOMTT Lightweight Jamie Coward
Jamie Coward – 2019 Lightweight TT
The others

Paton – The TT lap record holding S1-R is less than 651cc and will therefore be allowed to run at the lighter weight of 150kg and to have free reign to change its fuelling. Fast and light, they are essentially race bikes for the road, and have been unbeaten in the last three years at the TT. The downside is they are very expensive and only for the privileged few at around $90,000 AUD.

Michael Rutter blasts off the line on the Paton
Michael Rutter blasts off the line on the Paton in the 2017 Lightweight TT

Suzuki SV650 – Another popular road bike that makes a good base for Lightweight racing. In standard form the V-twin makes more power and torque than the standard Kawasaki Z650. There are lots of aftermarket parts available and SVs are very widely used in mini-twin club racing where engine and chassis tuning is limited. However, as power increases towards to magic 100 hp mark, reliability becomes an issue, and at the TT nobody has yet made a Suzuki competitive at the top level.

Norton – In 2019 the Norton factory fielded the dream team and the Superlight showed promise, Peter Hickman eventually finishing 8th overall and lapping at over 120 mph – not bad for a team in its first year on a underdeveloped bike. Peter still has the Norton and was planning on racing it in 2020. However, it’s unclear if the Norton will be eligible for the 2021 race and, if it is, whether Peter will ride it.

IoM TT Hickman ImgRichardSykes
Peter Hickman on the Norton in 2019 – Image by Richard Sykes
Looking at 2021

From a spectator’s point of view it’s going to be as exciting and as close racing as ever with more bikes and manufacturers involved. From the engineering side, I can’t wait to see the developments. A racing MT-07 is going to be fascinating and will be followed by the many thousands who own one, its been a best-seller in the UK. Aprilia’s RS660 should be fast with fewer changes necessary, but with the initial outlay almost double that of the MT-07, cost may put some teams off. From a racer’s point a view, it’s a hard decision. Do you go with what you know with Kawasaki, or gamble with Aprilia or Yamaha? I’ve ridden all the bikes in contention and plan to go racing in 2021, but remain unsure which path to choose!

Michael Rutter tackles Ballaugh Bridge on his Paton Lightweight machine
Michael Rutter tackles Ballaugh Bridge on his Paton Lightweight machine in 2017
Ryan Farquhar on the changes

I want to the class to be as competitive as it can be, with as many manufactures as possible like the Junior Supersport class or World SSP300, with KTM, Kawasaki, Honda and Yamaha, but I’m a little disappointed by the new rules as the organisers have moved the goal posts, without much consultation. The rules need to be more bike specific like the rule in Junior Supersport. Myself and others have put 8-10 years of development work into our bikes, not just the time but money also, and the new bigger bikes should have an advantage. They still have to be developed and turned into race bikes, but they should be capped, or the smaller bikes should be allowed to increase in capacity to make a level playing field. I’d love to see lots of manufactures, each with different rules, which makes the bike equal, racing around the TT close racing like the 300 class.”

Ryan Farquhar won the inaugural four-stroke Lightweight TT in 2012 and has been instrumental in the class since inception – Image Ray Oliver
Ian Lougher

I think more the marrier, I’d love to see more bikes and manufactures on the grid. I might be shooting myself in the foot with my Paton team, but we need more bikes on the grid. In America the MT-07 looks competitive, and it will be interesting to see what Aprilia does with their bike and the cost. We take a bit of flak for having an expensive bike, but you don’t have to do anything it’s ready to race out of the box. When we first went racing we didn’t do any testing as the bike was too loud, we just turned up and went. Yes it’s expensive but a top level bike like Jamie Cowards is upwards of 30k, close to 35k. Hopefully we can get going and have full grids of 2021.”

Derek McGee
Derek McGee – 2018 Lightweight TT

Source: MCNews.com.au

Diamond Races | Isle of Wight to host new road race festival

Another Isle seeking to become a road race mecca

By Dan Walker

On an island known for its remarkable coastline and just two hours from central London door to door, the Diamond Races is set to take place on a 12.4 mile-long course in the south of the Isle of Wight. No long passage across the Irish Sea required for this one as the Isle of Wight is only just over half an hour by ferry with your motorcycle but if travelling without wheels then the crossing can take as little as ten-minutes by hovercraft.

Shining a spotlight on the island’s natural beauty and on roads already acclaimed as being some of the best and most enjoyable in the world, the planned road-race boasts a course through the picturesque villages of Chale, Kingston, Shorwell and Brighstone as well as a fast 5-mile coastal stretch along the military road.

Diamond Races
Preliminary Video Showcase

The new race meeting will be run under the strict event regulations stipulated by the sports’ governing body, the ACU (Auto Cycle Union), through which all UK motorcycle sport is administered. With road safety at the heart of the Diamond Races, the organisers will strive to highlight the paramount importance of safe road use, with meticulous attention paid to the safety of riders, spectators and officials, whilst incorporating a strategy to promote road safety.

This event has been developed in lockstep with the local Isle of Wight council and experts from the motorcycle racing fraternity, and both the Diamond Races team and the Isle of Wight council are excited to confirm the planned road race event will take place in October 2021, with two practice days on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the time-trial feature races staged on a Saturday.

The exact event date will be announced after the 2021 British Superbike calendar is published. Planned to become a regular motorcycle race meeting and end-of-season celebration, the event will take place a week after the British Superbike season wraps up at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, welcoming Superbike, Supersport and lightweight machines, along with a sidecar demonstration and an electric motorcycle category to follow in the future.

In addition to the feature races, there will also be a mass participation event for motorcyclists to take to the Diamond Races course, led by renowned road riders, to experience the thrill of road racing on safe, closed and controlled roads, which will also play a key role in promoting road safety and consideration to the Diamond Races audience.

The Diamond Races has a world-leading team behind it, not only with huge names from the motorcycle road racing industry, but also boasting a globally-experienced business team with notable digital, technology and event management expertise to make the event possible, and working in close conjunction with the Isle of Wight council to host the event with full local support. Some of the key players include Gary Thompson MBE (Isle of Man TT Clerk of the Course), Steve Plater (past Isle of Man TT Senior winner and ex British Champion), Neil Tuxworth (ex-Honda Racing Manager) as well as James Kaye (ex- British Touring Car Championship driver and Diamond Races co-founder) and Matt Neal (three-time British Touring Car Champion and Honda UK ambassador).

Paul Sandford – CEO and Co-Founder of the Diamond Races

As an Isle of Wight local resident, I am very excited to welcome motorsport fans from across the globe to this beautiful island, for what is sure to be an unforgettable weekend of racing action and entertainment for the whole family. The Diamond Races is the culmination of years of hard work, dedication and planning by the whole team, and we’re very lucky to have the best of the best involved with its setup. No stone is being left unturned in striving to deliver a spectacular event which we have every reason to believe will be a regular back-stop to the island’s tourist season and put the Isle of Wight on the international motorcycle road racing map.”

Steve Plater and James Hillier at a scenic part of the proposed race course on the Isle of Wight

This will be the first time in history that a professional road race has taken place on the Isle of Wight, and being within such easy reach of the 17 million people who are estimated to live in the UK’s heavily-populated London & South East region, the Diamond Races will attract both seasoned racing enthusiasts and first-time road racing spectators to the island. Away from the course, the Isle of Wight has many other attractions that families and holidaymakers can enjoy whilst visiting. Being held in October – traditionally the end of the tourist season for the Isle of Wight – Britain’s “sunshine island” will certainly benefit from a boost to the local economy with another pillar of entertainment to accompany the popular Isle of Wight Music Festival (June) and the long-established Cowes Week (August).

Dave Stewart – Isle of Wight Council

We have been working behind the scenes for quite some time now with event specialists looking into the feasibility of such a race meeting, and we are very excited that we can announce another first for the Isle of Wight. We are committed to developing and expanding the island’s economy and this event is sure to thrill local enthusiasts as well as attract visitors from the mainland and indeed northern Europe, which will help to extend the island’s tourist season and provide another boost to our economy in the final quarter of the year. Our emphasis will be on the safety of the event and I am pleased that the organisers are keen to work with us in the coming weeks and months to promote safe motorcycling here on the Island.

Introducing the Diamond Races, the all-new road racing festival set to be hosted on the Isle of Wight in October 2021.

Spectators can look forward to being thrilled at the sights and sounds of machines circulating the picturesque course from a series of temporary grandstands that will afford spectacular views of this dynamic sport.

More details can be found at www.diamondraces.com

Source: MCNews.com.au

Ian Hutchinson returns to BMW and TAS Racing

Ian Hutchinson back on S 1000 RR

When motorcycle road racing finally resumes a familiar face will make his comeback on the BMW S 1000 RR: Ian ‘Hutchy’ Hutchinson (GBR). The 16-time TT winner returns to the TAS Racing team, with Team Principal Philip Neill, with whom he will compete in international road races and the British championship under the new banner of SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad. The project is being supported by BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

Ian Hutchinson TT

Ian Hutchinson TT

Ian Hutchinson, TAS Racing, 2016 Isle of Man TT

Hutchinson joined the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family in 2016 and competed for TAS Racing in road races and the Superstock class of the British Superbike Championship. Right at the start of the season, Hutchinson won the Superstock race at the North West 200 on his BMW S 1000 RR. Next was the Isle of Man TT, at which he not only won the Superstock TT, but also set a new Superstock lap record.

Hutchinson claimed no fewer than three victories on the RR at the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix and set a new world record when he topped the 134-mph mark in the event’s second Superbike race. In setting an average speed of 134.089 mph, he was crowned the ‘World’s Fastest Road Racer’. ‘Hutchy’ was no less successful at the racetrack that year. He won two races and claimed a total of nine podium finishes in the Superstock class of the BSB. Hutchinson was one of the favourites for the title, despite missing a round that clashed with his road racing commitments.

Ian Hutchinson Ulster GP

Ian Hutchinson Ulster GP

Ian Hutchinson, TAS Racing, 2016 Ulster Grand Prix

“For a road racer the TT is the main goal and we won there,” Hutchinson explained looking back. “But we did the same at the North West 200 and also took three wins in a day at the Ulster Grand Prix. That day at Dundrod included earning the accolade of world’s fastest road racers with a 134mph lap. We took Superstock wins on the TAS Racing prepared BMW S 1000 RR at all three major internationals in 2016 and we also got that all-important Superbike win to finish the season on a high.”

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson – 2016 IOM TT

As well as those successes, another thing stands out in BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Bongers’ memories of that 2016 season: “It was in the Superstock race on the Isle of Man, when he set the lap record. Back then, his lap – from a standing start – was only a few seconds slower than Peter Hickman when he subsequently set his new Superbike lap record on a flying lap. That was extremely impressive – a highlight.”

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson – IOM TT

At the 2017 Isle of Man TT, Hutchinson first won the Superbike race, before claiming a dominant victory in the Superstock race. He was also one of the hot favourites in the Senior TT, and was looking to get his third win of the week. Unfortunately, however, he crashed and fractured his left femur. That resulted in another break from racing, but ‘Hutchy’ once again fought back. “It is remarkable how determined and motivated he is, not just to come back and compete, but to challenge for victories,” said Bongers.

Ian Hutchinson - RST Superbike victor at IOMTT 2017

Ian Hutchinson - RST Superbike victor at IOMTT 2017

Ian Hutchinson – RST Superbike victor at IOMTT 2017

Hutchinson was back in action on the BMW S 1000 RR last November, when he appeared at the 2019 Macau Grand prix for Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee with SMT team. “The preparation time was extremely short, and you only have a very limited amount of riding time in practice in Macau. For that reason, we did not have particularly good results,” said Bongers.

SYNETIQ BMW S RR Ian Hutchinson

SYNETIQ BMW S RR Ian Hutchinson

SYNETIQ BMW S 1000 RR, Ian Hutchinson

Hutchinson now returns to the BMW Motorrad Motorsport family as a rider for SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad, and Bongers is certain that they can add to the success story together. “He feels right at home on our package. We have also modified our BMW S 1000 RR so that we have the gears on the right side. He has already ridden at a few tests and is still extremely quick. I am confident that he is a podium contender at the road races. And if we have enough time to test – which will hopefully be the case – then he can certainly challenge for the top step of the podium in Macau.”

Ian Hutchinson Macau GP

Ian Hutchinson Macau GP

Ian Hutchinson, 2019 Macau Grand Prix

And what expectations does Hutchinson have? “I enjoyed working with the whole team. It was a good relationship. The same core people are still there, so I see no reason why we cannot pick up from where we left off,” he said. “Having prepared so well in January and February I’m ready to race as soon as it is possible again.”

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson

Ian Hutchinson
Image © Double Red Photographic
Source: MCNews.com.au

Classic TT now also a victim of Coronavirus | Officially cancelled

The Isle of Man Government and the Manx Motor Cycle Club, the race organisers of the Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix, have taken the joint decision to cancel this year’s Classic TT presented by Bennetts and Manx Grand Prix, which were due to take place between the 22nd August and the 4th September on the Isle of Man.

The decision to cancel both events has been taken following consultation between the Department for Enterprise and race organisers, the Manx Motor Cycle Club, taking into account the emergency measures including current border controls and travel restrictions caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Peter Maddocks, Manx Motor Cycle Club Chairman

‘We were asked, as race organisers, by the Government whether we were confident that the event could take place purely from a logistical and operational point of view this year. Although we were confident that we could provide the officials, the situation around other key personnel, such as marshals and medical personnel could not be guaranteed. Additionally the availability of event critical contractors and whether the infrastructure and equipment could even reach the Isle of Man in time is also an area of great uncertainty.

‘We also took into account the levels of pre-event practice the riders would have had to enable them to effectively take on the unique challenge that racing on the Mountain Course represents. All of these factors were considered and ultimately formed the basis of the decision that, from an operational point of view, the event had to be cancelled this year. Even though we are all in uncertain times the Club is looking forward to planning a return to the mountain course in 2021.’

Classic TT PracticeQ Pits

Classic TT PracticeQ Pits

Classic TT
Source: MCNews.com.au

2020 Isle of Man TT cancelled | Classic TT unaffected for now

2020 Isle of Man TT cancelled

Organisers of the Isle of Man TT Races have announced today that the 2020 event has been cancelled, as the Department for Enterprise for the Isle of Man made the tough decision, stating the announcement it designed to allow spectators, businesses and entrants to deal with the cancellation, while protecting the Isle of Man’s residents.

IOMTT Qualifying Sunday Conor Cummins

IOMTT Qualifying Sunday Conor Cummins

Conor Cummings – 2019 IoM TT

See the full official statement below:

Isle of Man TT Races cancel 2020 event

As organisers of the Isle of Man TT Races, it is with deep regret that we must cancel the 2020 event. We share in the disappointment of having no TT in this year, but whole heartedly support any decision that helps to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of all residents, riders and visitors.

Staging the TT is no small undertaking and it simply wouldn’t be possible without the assistance, support and goodwill of countless businesses, organisations and volunteers. We will be talking to each and every one of you over the coming days and weeks about our next steps, but would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Both the Isle of Man and the TT Races have a long, incredible history, and have time and again proved to be as strong and resilient as they are unique. With the continued love and support of all TT fans, we can be confident that the greatest road race in the world will soon return and light up our lives once more.

Isle of Man Government Statement

The Council of Ministers has taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Isle of Man TT Races which were due to take place between 30th May and 13th June. The decision has been taken following confirmation that the Island has stepped up its measures to protect the population against the pandemic.

Laurence Skelly MHK – Minister for Enterprise

“The decision to cancel has not been taken lightly and all options including postponement and delaying the decision have been considered in detail. Representatives from the Isle of Man Government will now discuss the implications with all relevant businesses, stakeholders and individuals affected by this cancellation, which it recognises will be significant. With the visitor restriction in place for the foreseeable future we wanted to make the decision now to give businesses, visitors and all involved stakeholders time to manage the impact going forward. The Isle of Man, and the Isle of Man TT, are faced with unique challenges regarding COVID-19 and making this decision will provide certainty to teams, competitors, sponsors and stakeholders of the event and to visitors across the globe. The decision also aims to provide reassurance for our residents and healthcare professionals that the health and well-being of the Isle of Man’s residents is the single biggest priority and focus of this Government.”

The Department for Enterprise will, in due course, issue full refunds for all Official Tickets including Grandstand tickets, Hospitality Packages and other Official Event Experiences purchased through iomttraces.com.

The Department’s Motorsport Team is continuing to work with the Manx Motor Cycle Club for the successful delivery of the 2020 Classic TT Races and Manx Grand Prix which is due to begin on 22nd August 2020 and will continue to review the delivery of the event against prevailing global conditions.

The Department for Enterprise and Treasury are looking at various options to support businesses affected by the cancellation and will be introducing a range of support measures, the first of which will be announced in Tynwald tomorrow.

Riders react to Isle of Man TT cancellation

Conor Cummins

“I’m genuinely gutted that TT 2020 has been cancelled. A lot of prep has gone on behind the scenes in readiness of the event taking place. That said, everyone’s health and wellbeing comes first so i totally understand why the decision has been made. There will always be another day and all we can do now is look forward to TT 2021.”

IOMTT Senior Conor Cummins

IOMTT Senior Conor Cummins

Conor Cummins

Davo Johnson

“Not the best news to wake up to… As a professional rider and it looking like there are not going to be many races to do, if any at all, in 2020 this causes a huge problem for me… I’m not the only one effected by this and there are others worse off than me. Time to make a plan and get through this shit situation. Thanks Alan and Paul at OMG Racing and all my loyal sponsors for sticking by me. Let’s focus on 2021 I suppose…”

IOMTT David Johnson Supertock Podium Cam Donald HondaImage

IOMTT David Johnson Supertock Podium Cam Donald HondaImage

Cam Donald congratulates Davo Johnson on his maiden TT podium in 2019
Source: MCNews.com.au

Aussie Rennie Scaysbrook to make TT debut in Supersport

Scaysbrook to race Supersport TT

Reigning Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion Rennie Scaysbrook will make his debut at this year’s Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, riding for the highly experienced PRF Racing team.

The Australian will ride a GSX-R600 Suzuki and will contest both of the four-lap Monster Energy Supersport races held this June.

Son of former racer and highly regarded competitor and journalist Jim Scaysbrook, who himself competed at the TT in 1978 as team-mate to Mike Hailwood on an NCR Ducati and again in 1980 and 1984, Rennie has recently established himself as one of the best competitors in the challenging Pikes Peak competition.

The 37-year old immediately impressed on his debut in 2016 when he finished in a stunning second place on the 12.42-mile course, which is comprised of some 156 corners up to the Colorado Mountain’s summit of 14,115 feet.

Scaysbrook finished runner-up again in both 2017 and 2018 behind the late Carlin Dunne but, riding an Aprilia Tuono Factory, went one better last year when he posted a time of 9m44.963s during the 97th edition of Pikes Peak.

That was 14s quicker than his previous best time and broke the previous record set in 2017 by Chris Fillmore of 9m49.625s. He’s also one of just five riders to post a time under ten minutes on the famous climb.

King of the Colorado Mountain, Scaysbrook, who is Road Test editor for Cycle News in America, will now turn his attention to another mountain, specifically the 37.73-mile Mountain Course with PRF Racing who have been competing on the island since 1995.

TT organisers still hoping to stage the event

With the Isle of Man mirroring the UK’s move into a ‘delay’ phase on its response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Island’s Health Minister, David Ashford, has moved to reassure residents and visitors that the Island is prepared to respond.

Questioned on how Coronavirus might affect the TT, Mr Ashford reiterated that no decision to cancel the event had been taken, and with several months to go until the start of TT 2020, time was on the side of the Department.

Referring to postponements and cancellations of major global sports events, Mr Ashford told Manx Radio that a decision on whether to hold the TT was not imminent, but that the situation remained under close review.

Mr Ashford further reiterated that current scientific evidence did not support the idea that visitors to a country represented the most significant threat of spreading infection.

Source: MCNews.com.au