Tag Archives: Real Road / TT

North West 200 shaping up to be a pearler

2023 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200

After almost not happening at all this year, the 2023 North West 200 is now shaping up as a ripper with a great field of road racing talent.

British Superbike Championship competitors, Glenn Irwin, Alastair Seeley and Richard Cooper are all confirmed to join Road Racing’s leading names during May 7-13 race week.

As the only between the hedges race the British championship trio currently compete in, their success around the famous 8.9 mile course provides the Northern Ireland event with a unique dimension not shared by any of the other major road race meetings.

Irwin, the winner of the last six superbike races at Portrush, has returned to the PBM Ducati squad for the 2023 British Superbike series. The Carrickfergus racer last raced with Paul Bird’s team in 2018, winning three times at the NW200 on the Italian superbike before scoring another big bike victory at Portrush in 2019 on a JG Speedfit Kawasaki. Last year the 33 year old scooped a Superbike double at the seaside meeting in the Anchor Bar and Merrow Hotel Superbike races on the Honda Racing Fireblade.

Alastair Seeley and Glenn Irwin at the North West 200 last year
Alastair Seeley and Glenn Irwin at the North West 200 last year

Alastair Seeley, the NW200’s most successful rider with 27 wins, won three races at last year’s event. After leading the opposition home in the Strain Engineering Supersport and Turkington Superstock races during a wet Thursday evening, the 43 year old also sealed victory in Saturday’s CP Hire Superstock contest. Seeley has reunited with Philip and Hector Neill’s TAS BMW team for 2023, campaigning a Milwaukee liveried BMW in the British Superstock series. He will also race that machine plus a Superbike-spec version of the M1000RR in the same colours at the NW200.

Richard Cooper made his North West 200 debut in 2019, finishing second in the CP Hire Superstock race to claim the leading newcomer honours. The Nottingham rider crossed the finish line first in both of last year’s Supertwin races but was disqualified because of a technical infringement with his machine. Cooper enjoyed the consolation of finishing on the podium of the Turkington Superstock race plus claiming second and third place finishes in both Superbike contests on a Hawk Racing Suzuki. The former double British Superstock champion will return to Portrush in May aboard a Boyce Precision Engineering by Russell Racing Yamaha for the 600cc races plus a still to be confirmed superbike-spec machine.

Over 100 entrants, including a line-up of international competitors from 13 countries outside the UK and Ireland, will take part in the Tuesday and Thursday qualifying sessions at this year’s North West 200 ahead of a nine race programme that includes three events on Thursday evening and five during Saturday’s main race day.

With Irwin, Seeley and Cooper all competing in the opening rounds of the British championship, they should arrive on the north coast in razor sharp form. Amongst the opposition awaiting them will be local favourite, Michael Dunlop. The Ballymoney racer will ride a Honda Fireblade in the Superbike class for the first time since 2013 as he retains his seat in the Hawk Racing outfit which has made the switch from Suzuki power this year. The 33 year old will also be Honda-mounted in his own MD Racing colours in the Superstock class alongside a R6 Yamaha in the Supersport division.

Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston, a Supersport race winner at last year’s NW200, and KTS Steadplan’s Jamie Coward will also make the switch to Honda power in the premier class.

The official Honda UK squad will be represented at the NW200 by veteran John McGuinness and new signing, Nathan Harrison.

The Milenco Padgett’s pairing of Davey Todd, a four-time NW200 runner-up last May, and Manxman Conor Cummins, will also return to action on Hondas in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.

Peter Hickman laid down a new NW200 outright lap record aboard the FHO Racing BMW last May. The Burton on Trent rider will be mounted on the same machinery this year in both the Superbike and Superstock classes. He will also ride a 675cc Triumph in the Supersport races and a PHR liveried Aprilia in the Twins events.

Hickman will be joined by new FHO Racing teammate, Josh Brookes, in both 1000cc classes. The Australian returned to the north coast event last season after an eight year absence, finishing on the podium in the feature Merrow Hotel Superbike event.

Josh Brookes joins Peter Hickman at FHO Racing BMW for the 2023 North West 200
Josh Brookes joins Peter Hickman at FHO Racing BMW for the 2023 North West 200

2019 NW200 Superstock race winner, James Hillier, will return to Portrush with OMG Racing Yamaha fresh from his successful completion of the arduous Dakar rally during the winter.

Kawasaki will be represented at this year’s NW200 by DAO Racing’s Dean Harrison who claimed a podium finish in the Superstock class last season. Harrison will also add some extra spice to the Supersport field as he partners Richard Cooper in the Boyce Precision Engineering by Russell Racing Yamaha team.

Michael Rutter pictured here at the North West 200 in 2022 on a BMW, this year he will be on a Honda RC213V – Image Ben McCook

31 years after making his NW200 debut, 14 times NW200 winner, Michael Rutter is set to thrill the north coast crowds in the Superbike races aboard the screaming RCV213-S Honda V4 machine in Bathams livery.

Irish favourites Adam McLean (JMC Roofing), Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW), Mike Browne (Burrows/RK Racing), Jeremy McWilliams (Bayview/ IFS Racing Paton), Paul Jordan (Prez Racing Yamaha and Kawasaki) and Brian McCormack (Roadhouse Macau BMW) will be in the mix across all the NW200 classes.

Jeremy McWilliams - Image by Jon Jessop
Jeremy McWilliams at the North West 200 in 2016 – Image by Jon Jessop

2019 Supertwin race winner, Stefano Bonetti from Italy and last year’s Twins victor, Frenchman, Pierre Yves Bian, will return to the NW200 grid in 2023 alongside a strong international contingent of competitors from the European Road Racing championship.

Finland’s Erno Kostamo and Germany’s David Datzer, the winner and runner-up of last year’s Macau Grand Prix will be joined. by Optimark Racing’s Matthew Lagrieve from France, Switzerland’s Lukas Maurer, Austria’s Julian Trummer and Kamil Holan from the Czech Republic.

Last year’s leading newcomer at Portrush, Gary McCoy, will also be back on this year’s NW200 grid alongside female competitors, Nadieh Schoots, Patricia Fernadez-West and Maria Costello.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Isle of Man TT start numbers announced and Davo leads them away

TT 2023 Top 20 seeded riders With just over 60 days to go, anticipation for 2023 Isle of Man TT Races has been ramped up a notch with the race organiser confirming the top 20 seeded riders for the 1000cc RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock, and Milwaukee Senior TT Races. Leading the field away at number […]

The post Isle of Man TT start numbers announced and Davo leads them away appeared first on MCNews.

Source: MCNews.com.au

All the fine detail on the live telecast plans for TT 2022

2022 Isle of Man TT Live Coverage

Prior to this year, the only way to catch the TT live has always been on the wireless, via Manx Radio, broadcasting as they always have since 1964.  But the TT is set for a revolution in 2022 with the first ever live telecast beamed across the world with over 40 hours of live coverage. Every qualifying and race shown live and uninterrupted.  

Isle of Man TT to launch own digital channel (TT+)

And at $14.99 GBP for the year, inclusive of access to 70 races in the archives from day one on the TT’s very own digital channel (TT+) , it looks like pretty good value, especially when organisers are promising no adverts. 

There will be 25 live camera crews, more than double the number that normally cover the TT, and two broadcast helicopters to help provide the footage.  However, no onboard footage will be used in the live broadcasts at this early stage of the operation. 

Matt Robers is a familar face and voice at the TT

Presenting the TT live broadcast is an experienced team, including TT regulars, Matt Roberts and Amy Williams, both hugely respected presenters thanks to their work in motorcycling and the Winter Olympics respectively. 

A new face to the TT, however, is Jennie Gow. The highly acclaimed journalist and broadcaster makes her debut covering the TT after a career spent working on the world’s biggest motorsport events such as Formula 1, MotoGP and Formula E.

Jennie Gow joins the broadcast team

Also joining the presenting team is regular BBC sport correspondent, Rick Faragher, who will be delving deep into the race awnings to bring you all the breaking news and behind-the-scenes developments.

The commentary team features TT regular, Dave Moore, who will be sharing the role of lead commentator with Andrew Coley, whose credits include FIA World Rally Cross, MotoGP and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Joining Dave and Andrew as pundits are double TT winners Cameron Donald and Steve Plater. 

Cam Donald
Cam Donald

The Isle of Man TT Races have always been a massive part of my life, firstly as a competitor and now as a member of the broadcasting team and it’s hugely exciting. Although I have to say I’m not sure what I’m more nervous about: working on a live broadcast or hurtling down Bray Hill on a superbike. They both get the adrenaline going and that’s what the TT is about, excitement. Living in Australia, I’ve been able to experience first-hand the potential of international broadcasting. It’s hard to believe a love of the TT is already so deep rooted across Australia thanks to existing television highlight coverage, so live coverage via TT+ will really broaden the opportunities in a lot of countries. It’s going to take the event to the next level and I can’t wait to be part of it.

Cameron Donald
Cameron Donald – TT 2014

Informing and entertaining fans since 1964, Radio TT will also make its return in 2022 with full live coverage of every qualifying session and race. The new-look radio team will have near-complete and continuous oversight of the whole course for the first time, thanks to the introduction of the live television broadcast. 

Following in the footsteps of motorsport broadcasting icons such as Murray Walker, Peter Kneale and Geoff Cannell, the TT’s radio coverage will be anchored by the highly respected Steve Day, whose voice will already be known to fans of MotoGP and World Superbike. Joining Steve in the control tower as chief-analyst is Chris Boyde, who has been commentating on Manx motorsport for years and has an unrivalled knowledge of the facts and figures behind TT racing.

Reporting from pit lane will be Isle of Man radio personalities, Chris Kinley and Beth Espey. Chris will need no introduction to TT fans, having covered the event since 2003, while Beth is likely to be a new voice to race fans. An expert interviewer, she brings an instinctive understanding of how proud the Isle of Man is of its greatest event.

IOMTT David Johnson Superbike Pits HondaImage
David Johnson in the pits on the Superbike at TT 2019

The TV and Radio broadcasts will also benefit from an expanded team of pundits who will be working across both platforms. Former TT competitors, Mark Miller, Horst Saiger, Jenny Tinmouth and Patrick Farrance, will be joined by leading journalist, John Hogan, and current TT competitor, Maria Costello MBE, with each providing some respective expert analysis and unique insight.

There is also expected to be an eight-part DocuSeries produced and expected to air early in 2023 in the same vein as Formula One’s highly successful ‘Drive To Survive’ series and the newly announced MotoGP Unlimited production.   An annual feature length documentary is also promised each year and expected to air around October.

All these initiatives should help propel the TT to new heights in the years ahead.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Interview | TT Business Development Manager Paul Phillips

2022 Isle of Man TT

We chat to TT Business Development Manager Paul Phillips about the big news concerning the new TV package for the 2022 Isle of Man TT.

Trevor Hedge: From us guys that come from the other side of the universe to attend the TT, with the live coverage, do you think it might reduce the amount of people who might go the extra yard to travel to the TT?

If you maybe corner some of the aspects of the crowd with the live coverage, like some groups of Aussies, and the Kiwis together, and then for them to talk to the people back home and say ‘We’re here having fun’, maybe that will help lift the profile in regards to the experience of actually being there and spur more people to make the journey..?  Maybe the fan interaction could be a really big part of the live coverage, to still encourage people to come to the TT and spend money on the Isle of Man?

Michael Dunlop wins Supersport Race One - TT 2018
Michael Dunlop in Parc Ferme after winning Supersport Race One – TT 2018

Paul Phillips – TT Business Development Manager

“I think done well, live coverage of sport does not turn fans away from it, quite the opposite, it brings fans to the event, all successful sports worldwide are broadcast live, the attraction is that if it’s done very well, that experience is great, for a device or box in the corner of your living room, but the best thing is to be there and experience it yourself.

“The risk factor is you do a bad job with your broadcast and you take something like the TT which is so exciting and so visceral, and do a bad job of that, and we have seen that in other sports, and that was one of the reasons for me personally, that I’ve often resisted opportunities for the TT to be broadcast live, previously because my concern was that it wouldn’t be done to a standard that would have been good enough. I think the point at which we go live, which as it turns out is 2022, it has to be done well, and I’m confident that we are doing it well, with the appropriate level of investment, the appropriate scale and ambition, this is not fan cam, this is not live streaming, this is not a couple of fixed cameras, this is a really big production.

IOM Mountain Triumph
Riders await the mountain section of the Isle of Man TT Course being opened to public traffic, there are no speed limits! Pictured is the Triumph Explorer Trev piloted around the course in 2018

“In terms of fans, fans are important to the TT as you well know, and Australians who are coming in increasing numbers, can quite frankly be set in motion with the TV distribution.

“Josh Brookes and now David Johnson has a huge following with the TT with fans, when he finished on the podium in the Superstock race of the last TT, typically there was a lot of drunk Australians around the winners enclosure making a huge noise and that’s fantastic.”

IOMTT David Johnson Supertock Podium HondaImage
David Johnson on the TT podium in 2019

“That experience and that atmosphere, there is no winners enclosure in motorsport like there in the TT, there’s a number of different emotions going on there, there’s happiness, there’s celebration, there’s gratefulness, that people have survived two hours of such high risk racing, and if you watch our coverage of that, none of that is conveyed, it’s clipped down, it’s got to fit that short broadcast period.

“I watched the 2018 Senior TT finish, from the moment Peter crosses the line to the moment he came off the podium, because we recorded that live for a test in 2018, and that’s a different experience to what we’ve broadcast on the television. All the raw, real emotion there and you know, I stand there at the winners enclosure of the TT every time and think to myself, ‘there’s nothing like this in motorsport.’

IOMTT Senior Post Dean Harrison
Dean Harrison greeted by his family in Parc Ferme after taking victory in the 2019 Senior TT

“The winners enclosure is a bit of back slapping and handshakes, but this is mental, and I’m really excited that we’re going to be able to show that properly for the first time, uninterrupted.

“I got no issue that people will stop coming to the TT because it’s a live broadcast, I think we’ll expect more and more people will want to come.

“The whole broadcast strategy is that we’re concerned about the size of our audience, we’ve got gaps, generational gaps, we’ve got territorial gaps in our audience, where we simply are not visible in those countries, whereas now if you have an internet connection in Timbuktu, you can watch from the first bike in qualifying, to the end of the Senior races, that’s a major deal.” 

Peter Hickman
Peter Hickman – Senior TT Winner 2018

Trevor: Emotion is the biggest part of it, and if you can convey that, that will definitely make for a winner and make the audience much bigger, like you say you did that test run, and I’ve been in parc fermé myself at the TT a few times, and its just awesome, if you can convey all that emotion and elation on to people’s screens you’ll definitely be on a winner.

IOMTT Senior Podium Harrison Hickman Cummins
2019 Senior TT Results
1. Dean Harrison / Kawasaki
2. Peter Hickman / BMW +53.062
3.. Conor Cummins / Honda  +58.879

A: “One more thing that came into my mind, is that not getting stuck into F1, but everybody here has watched the F1 DocuSeries ‘Drive To Survive’. My wife who is not into F1 at all, really enjoyed it, I really enjoyed it, the production values are superb and it’s great.

“The opportunity we’ve got with the TT, we don’t have that budget, shock-horror, we don’t have a million pound an episode to make it, but when I watch it, I think this is great, these guys are great, but Jesus Christ our guys are so much more interesting. With the history and the spectacle, and quite frankly the full cast of weird and wonderful characters that the TT attracts – and it always does – that’s the great opportunity for us.

“While we may not have the same money to invest that F1 does, obviously… I had this conversation with Toto Wolff no less, who is obviously embedded in F1 (he is Mercedes F1 Team Manager), and the thing he said about TT, he loves TT and has been to TT, he said it’s the authenticity that’s just not there in other forms of motorsport, that is in the TT. If we can capture that and put that on the screen around the world, we have a real fighting chance of doing a good job.”

Tim Reeves/Mark Wilkes - Image by Stephen Davison
Sidecar competitors Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes – TT 2018 – Image by Stephen Davison

Source: MCNews.com.au

Classic TT changes its name and shortens from 14 to 9 days

2022 Manx Grand Prix

The Manx Motor Cycle Club and Department for Enterprise have today confirmed plans for a ‘new look’ Manx Grand Prix in 2022.

It follows a review undertaken by both organisations earlier this year, working closely with other stakeholders critical to the delivery of the event including the TT Marshals Association, Manx Road Racing Medical Services and ACU Events Ltd.

The review was designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Manx Grand Prix, which is set to celebrate its centenary in 2023. Factors considered as part of the review included:

  • Analysis of the delivery costs and the benefits to the local economy
  • The impact road closures required to stage the event had on residents and businesses
  • Safety risk management
  • The provision of sufficient marshalling cover for the full event duration
  • Fan, media and industry relevance, and the continuous need to attract new fans
Classic TT Junior Lee Johnston
Lee Johnston – 2018 Classic TT

The new look for the event will bring to an end the use of the Classic TT designation, with a five-race programme planned featuring a range of classes for modern and classic machinery all held under the Manx Grand Prix title.

The Manx Grand Prix Races for modern machinery will be more closely aligned to the Isle of Man TT Races, with the Senior and Junior Races, for Supersport and Supertwin machines respectively, operating to similar (but not identical) specifications as seen at the TT, giving riders the opportunity to achieve their goals on the TT course.

The Classic Manx Grand Prix races will build on the Island’s reputation for high profile classic motorcycle racing, with the world’s best teams and many of the leading TT competitors expected to take part.

The duration of the event will reduce from fourteen days to nine in 2022, starting on Sunday 21st August and culminating on Monday 29th August (August Bank Holiday). This reduction will ensure sufficient marshalling cover can be provided for all qualifying sessions and races, whilst reducing the overall net cost of the event to the Isle of Man taxpayer and lessening the impact of road closures on local residents and businesses.

The Manx Grand Prix will also follow the Isle of Man TT Races by adopting the new Safety Management System being introduced for racing on the Mountain Course, which is aimed at driving safety performance across all areas of the events.

In a further development, the Manx Motor Cycle Club have also appointed ACU Events Ltd as race organiser, who have fulfilled the same role at the Isle of Man TT Races since 2008.

The Manx Motor Cycle Club will retain ownership of the Manx Grand Prix brand and lead the administrative delivery of the event, whilst the Department for Enterprise will continue to provide the funding required to stage the event, provision of facilities, infrastructure and logistics, in addition to assuming responsibility for event marketing and promotion.

A spokesperson from the Manx Motor Cycle Club said: “Having continually evolved since its inception in 1923, these latest set of developments announced today for the Manx Grand Prix mark an exciting, new chapter for the famous event.

“Ensuring its long-term sustainability, we have acted not only to address the challenges that the event faces, but also to inject new energy into both the look of the event, to which we believe will lead us to a successful future that stretches long beyond the centenary event in 2023.

Classic TT Junior Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter – Classic TT 2018

Rob Callister, Political Member with responsibility for tourism and motorsport, commented: “Having played an important role in our visitor economy for almost 100 years, I greatly welcome the developments announced today with regards to the Manx Grand Prix.

“This key event contributes a significant £7.1m to the wider Manx economy and, when combined with the Isle of Man TT Races, accounts for £44m of visitor spending, which could be supporting up to 815 jobs in the island’s economy. It was therefore crucial that, together with the Manx Motorcycle Club, we undertook this review to identify ways that can help us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the event ahead of its centenary in 2023.

“As the event enters a new and exciting phase, working alongside all key delivery partners, we are committed to ensuring its future success, supporting the Manx Motor Cycle Club and the other organisations involved for many years to come.

Classic TT Qualifying Horst Saiger Conor Cummins
Horst Saiger & Conor Cummins – 2019 IoM Classic TT

Manx Grand Prix 2022 classes

  • Senior Manx Grand Prix (For Supersport machines)
  • Junior Manx Grand Prix (For Supertwin machines)
  • Lightweight Manx Grand Prix (For GP250cc and Moto 3 machines)
  • Senior Classic Manx Grand Prix (For Classic machines up to 500cc)
  • Superbike Classic Manx Grand Prix (For Classic Superbike machines)

Manx Grand Prix 2022 schedule*

  • Qualifying

Sunday 21 August
Afternoon – Qualifying

Monday 22, Tuesday 23, Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 August
Evening – Qualifying

Friday 26 August
Morning – Qualifying

Friday 26 August
Afternoon – Race 1

Saturday 27 August
Morning – Race 2
Afternoon – Race 3

Monday 29 August
Morning – Race 4
Afternoon – Race 5

*Full schedule and road closure times to be confirmed in January 2022 following Department of Infrastructure and COMIN approval

Source: MCNews.com.au

Ulster Grand Prix returns for 2022

Statement from the Revival Racing Motorcycle Club

The world’s fastest motorcycle road race, the Ulster Grand Prix, will return this summer after a two year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event will be promoted by the Revival Racing Motorcycle club and will be staged on August 16-20 at the Dundrod circuit.

We understand the unique appeal of the UGP to riders and fans alike, and we are delighted to bring racing back to this famous track.

Ulster Grand Prix Dundrod Superbike Hickman
Peter Hickman leads Dean Harrison at the Ulster GP in 2019

It’s been a very uncertain time for the sport because of Coronavirus and we can’t wait to hear bikes roaring down the Flying Kilo again this summer.

We are indebted to the volunteers at the Ulster Grand Prix for their collaboration and continuing hard work to stage this famous race in its centenary year.

More details of the week long race programme will be announced soon.

Ulster Grand Prix Dundrod Superstock Hickman Todd Cummins
2019 Ulster GP Superstock Podium – Hickman P1, Todd P2, Cummins P3

Source: MCNews.com.au

North West 200 Race Week set for May 8-14, 2022

North West 200

Motorcycle road racing action will return to Northern Ireland’s north coast in 2022 with the North West 200 race week festival on May 8-14.

The world’s leading road racers will renew their acquaintance with the famous 8.9 mile Triangle road circuit that links the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine after a two year enforced absence caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. It will also be the first international road race to take place since action at all the world’s leading events came to an abrupt halt in March 2020.

Although the pandemic stopped the race action over the past two seasons, the management team of Coleraine and District Motor Club have been working hard to ensure the structures and support that underpin the North West 200 have remained in place for the day when we would be able make this announcement.’ Club Chairman, Stanleigh Murray, said.

The North coast road racing festival has also been given a major boost with fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils, the event’s title sponsors in 2019, maintaining their commitment.

Michael Dunlop - Image by Jon Jessop
Michael Dunlop – Image by Jon Jessop

We are delighted to have retained the support of our loyal title sponsors.’ Murray said.

To have the backing of fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils, two of the Province’s leading companies, gives us confidence as we plan the return of one of Northern Ireland’s major sporting attractions.’‘We are delighted to once again be title sponsors of the International North West 200.’ fonaCAB’s William McCausland said.

After a challenging two years for the sport and the event, it’s fantastic to see it back on the road race calendar and we look forward to an even bigger and more exciting race week in May 2022. Our sponsorship continues our long association with the North West and maintains our commitment to giving back to our customers and communities by supporting motorcycling and sport at all levels across Northern Ireland. Here’s to a fantastic 2022 event!’

It’s fantastic to welcome the return of Northern Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event, the NW200.’ Gary Nicholl of Nicholl Oils said.

The Nicholl Family and all of the team at Nicholl Oils are delighted to continue as one of the title sponsors for road racing’s premier event. It has been a long two years without any motorbike racing in the North West and Nicholl Oils are looking forward to May 2022 and welcoming all the teams, riders and fans back to the beautiful Causeway Coast.  The organising team at the NW200 have worked tirelessly to ensure the return of the race and the positive impact that the Race Week festival will have on our local economy. They have overcome hurdles that could have seen the demise of this famous race and they fully deserve the support of us as sponsors, our local council and fans.’

The return of the event will provide a huge boost for the Northern Ireland economy after two bleak summers of lockdown with the North West 200 festival attracting a global television audience of millions and tens of thousands of visitors to the north coast area each May.

Source: MCNews.com.au

John McGuinness back on Fireblade for 2022 IOM TT and NW200

10 – 14 May – North West 200
28 May – 11 June – Isle of Man TT Races

Honda has today confirmed that ‘TT Legend’ John McGuinness will return to Honda machinery in 2022 lining up alongside Glenn Irwin on the roads, as the team looks forward to debuting the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at both the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT races.

John McGuinness

John, who needs no introduction to road racing fans, has a vast and hugely successful history with Honda, having won 12 of the 20 TT wins the CBR1000RR Fireblade has amassed, where Honda still holds the accolade of the most successful manufacturer in the history of the Isle of Man TT Races, with 189 wins, 65 clear of their nearest rival.

John returns to Honda with the brand celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade. Updates to the 2022 Fireblade centre on mid-corner acceleration and drive, plus an iconic colour scheme in homage to the original ’92 Fireblade, which John will line up on at the TT as the ‘Morecambe Missile’ celebrates his 100th TT race start.

John McGuinness

What can I say really, it’s like coming back home to the family! I’ve been in talks for a while with Neil and Harv and it’s just something that feels right; it’s the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade, I’ll be 50 years old and also celebrating my 100th TT start, so it feels like it’s meant to be. I’ve enjoyed a lot of success on the roads with the Honda and worked with Harv back in the day with HM Plant Honda, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the set-up and getting going. I had a little go on the Fireblade earlier this year and was impressed with it on-track, so looking forward to getting on the roads and seeing how it goes. It’s going to be a special year with everything going on and also just getting back to the North West 200 and the TT and everyone racing there again – I can’t wait to get stuck in!”

John McGuinness

Joining John on the roads is four-time North West 200 Superbike race-winner and TT newcomer Glenn Irwin. Originally due to have made his Isle of Man debut in 2020, Glenn has had to wait two years with the event being cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic, where with no international road racing, Glenn has been developing the Fireblade SP in the British Superbike championship with multiple wins and podiums.

John McGuinness and Glenn Irwin
Glenn Irwin

Finally, I’ll be making my long-awaited TT debut with Honda! We’re now more familiar with the new Fireblade and the team is more familiar; I like to have home comforts as such and continuing with the bike and the same team I think puts us in a better position with frame of mind. We still have no targets set and no expectations for the Isle of Man TT, we’re going there to learn and enjoy. It’s incredible to have someone like John as my teammate on the roads, he’s someone I have looked up to and is probably the second greatest TT rider after another Honda-man Joey! To have that opportunity to be able to learn off him, and able to be part of the team, see everything first-hand and to learn off him experiencing the ‘McGuinness-factor’ is something I am really excited about! On the flip side, we go to the North West 200 where we can work together and I think we can realistically set targets there – I would love to achieve Honda’s first international road race win on the new Fireblade at the NW200 and add to my Superbike wins there. We’re fully aware we’ve not been there in a few years, but like everyone else, we’ll go, and we’ll do our homework. For sure the Honda team are the best to go road racing with, and BSB, and hopefully we can find out feet during practice and if we’re feeling confident look towards adding to the NW200 wins.”

Glenn Irwin won in BSB this season on the Fireblade SP

The Honda Racing UK team will be taking part in both the Superstock and Superbike classes at the NW200 and IOMTT Races, as well as the blue-riband Senior TT, which John last won in 2015 aboard the Fireblade.

Havier Beltran – Team Manager, Honda Racing UK

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to work with John on a deal for 2022, it’s going to be an exciting season for us all with the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade and John’s 100th TT start, and for him to do this back with Honda just made complete sense. Honda has so much history with John at the TT and 12 of the 20 wins for the CBR1000RR Fireblade have been with him, so for us all this is very much a homecoming. We also have Glenn, who will finally make his debut at the TT, which has been a long time coming, but we’re all really excited for this and to see how he gets on. There’s absolutely no pressure on Glenn, it’s about learning and finding his way at the TT, and with John’s experience, I don’t think he could ask for a better teammate to learn from. From a Honda point of view, this will be Honda UK’s first time back at both the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT races since 2010, so we’re all excited to get back on the roads with the new Fireblade.”

John McGuinness
Neil Fletcher – Head of Motorcycles, Honda UK

“We’re absolutely delighted to be returning to the international road racing programme following the challenges of the last few years, particularly as 2021 would have been the 60th anniversary of Honda’s first TT win with Mike Hailwood in 1961. Quite simply, the Isle of Man TT has been an integral part of Honda’s DNA and to continue this story with a returning ‘TT Legend’ like John who can also help and support Glenn in his first year is a really exciting period for us. With all the success that John has had with Honda, it only feels right that his 100th start on the Isle of Man is on the latest Fireblade. We are also really looking forward to heading to the North West 200 and are confident the combination of Glenn and John aboard the latest Fireblade will be at the sharp end having both won the race on multiple occasions. I’m thrilled that our 2022 racing plans, including the recently announced BSB rider line up, is now complete and I just can’t wait for both the roads and short circuit seasons to get going!”

John McGuinness

Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade TT wins history

Senior TT

  • 2006 John McGuinness
  • 2007 John McGuinness
  • 2008 John McGuinness
  • 2009 Steve Plater
  • 2010 Ian Hutchinson
  • 2011 John McGuinness
  • 2013 John McGuinness
  • 2015 John McGuinness

Superbike TT

  • 2006 John McGuinness
  • 2007 John McGuinness
  • 2009 John McGuinness
  • 2010 Ian Hutchinson
  • 2011 John McGuinness
  • 2012 John McGuinness
  • 2013 Michael Dunlop
  • 2015 Bruce Anstey

Superstock TT

  • 2009 Ian Hutchinson
  • 2010 Ian Hutchinson
  • 2012 John McGuinness
  • 2013 Michael Dunlop

Source: MCNews.com.au

New Safety Management System for TT Mountain Course

Isle of Man TT

The Isle of Man TT’s new Safety Management System (SMS) has been unveiled, aiming to drive safety performance, and safeguard the future sustainability of the iconic event, a move likely aimed at proactively fending off pearl-clutchers who are increasingly closing down anything remotely dangerous.

IOMTT Superstock Peter Hickman
Peter Hickman on his way to Superstock TT victory at the 2019 Isle of Man TT

The SMS ushers in a new, systematic approach to managing risk, encompassing organisational structure and policies; hazard identification and mitigation; third party assurance; and the promotion and communication of standards.

All areas of the event have been subjected to careful review under this new process, which is designed to ensure unnecessary risks are mitigated. To fans watching worldwide the SMS won’t always be noticeable, but to teams, riders and those working on the event its introduction marks the beginning of a significant change in culture.

Supersport Qualifying - Isle of Man TT 2018
Supersport Qualifying – Isle of Man TT 2018

A range of new initiatives resulting from the SMS will be rolled out in time for TT 2022. Changes will be delivered across much of the organisational structure, bringing numerous benefits and further investment to a number of areas, including race management; regulations and standards; accident response and investigation; marshalling; medical provision; and paddock infrastructure.

TT Production Manager, Nige Crennell, has led the SMS project. Nige joined the TT organisation in 2018 after a career in the RAF, first as a Tornado pilot and more latterly in aviation risk management. Working with a range of stakeholders across Isle of Man Government and the wider TT organisational network, Nige took full advantage of the two-year hiatus to start the journey and ensure that when the TT resumes in 2022, it does so from a much stronger position.

Nige Crennell – TT Production Manager

“For the TT to be sustainable in the long term we have to be able to manage effectively the risks associated with the event and protect against reputational damage. This isn’t about making sure that everyone is wearing the right kind of hi-vis jacket. It’s about clearly defining roles and responsibilities. We want to be confident that everyone involved is doing their job to the best of their ability and has all of the tools and training required to do so.”

Josh Brookes
Josh Brookes – 2018 Isle of Man TT

Fellow Manxman, Doctor Gareth Davies, has also played a significant role. Doctor Davies is one of the Chief Medical Officers for the TT and, until very recently, was head of London’s Air Ambulance, leading teams in the response to London’s major incidents: the Paddington, Southall and Potters Bar rail disasters, the 7/7 bombings, and the terrorist attacks at Westminster and London Bridge. Whilst Doctor Davies will continue with the TT’s own Air-Med provision, his decades working in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) have helped to shape much of the project.

Gareth Davies – Chief Medical Officer

“It’s been an incredible process and one I’m proud to be part of. There may be some mourning for some of the more outdated and makeshift elements of the TT, but you can’t apply professional excellence without making changes ­– and that’s the business we’re in. There’ll be new generations of TT fan who will embrace what we’re doing and will support it wholeheartedly. I’ll be proud to hand over this new version of the TT to the next custodians, which is all we are.”

The SMS is a comprehensive process without an end point. Below is an overview of the most notable changes planned for TT 2022 and their benefits.

Phil Read winning at the 1967 Isle of Man TT
Phil Read winning at the 1967 Isle of Man TT, with technology coming a long way since
  • Organisational Structure
    • Greater clarity between Promoter, Race Organiser and Governing Body
    • Greater clarity around all roles and responsibilities
    • Greater oversight throughout the new structure
    • Greater consultation and collaboration across the entirety of ‘Team TT’
    • Establishing more effective communication channels between all parties and volunteers
    • Up-scaling the organisational team to mitigate key person risks
  • Course Oversight
    • Race Control redesigned and rebuilt for TT 2022
    • Installation of electronic red flag system, partnering with F1 and MotoGP supplier
    • Bespoke GPS tracking system (Tested at TT 2022, mandatory for TT 2023)
    • Installation of CCTV, giving race control more oversight of the TT Course
  • Marshalling the Mountain
    • Root-and-branch review conducted of role and scope of marshal organisation
    • Closer working relationship with the Race Organiser
    • Ensuring common standards with assets in the UK and Isle of Man
    • New-look marshal training designed and created with key personnel
    • Investment in marshal training, including two new online modules
    • Investment in IMC training tools, including two sidecar fabrications
    • Largest-ever marshal training programme to roll out ahead TT 2022
  • Equipment for Marshals and Medics
    • Investment in Air-Med provision, fitting out helicopters with latest equipment
    • Investment in Air-Med welfare, with provision of new welfare unit
    • Investment in medical response with acquisition of a fast-response vehicle
    • Investment in 60+ marshalling posts, upgrading and replacing equipment
    • Investment in marshal PPE, including essential fire safety gear
  • Accident Response
    • Race Control to gain complete oversight of TT Course
    • Digital red flag system and GPS tracking to aid accident response
    • Air-Med helicopters fitted out for improved medical fit
    • Availability of a fast-response vehicle
    • New common standards applied for marshals training
  • Accident investigation
    • Comprehensive change in culture to accident investigation
    • Improved response to any external enquiry
    • Introduction of a proactive accident reporting process
    • Introduction of an incident lessons timeline (6hrs / 12hrs / 24hrs)
    • Inclusion of pre-accident factors in investigations
    • Analysis of accident timeline and chain of events to drive decision-making
    • Analysis of accident and near-miss data to drive decision-making
    • Collected organisational intelligence to drive decision-making
    • Use of CCTV, in-car cameras and body cams to supplement evidence
  • Rider PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)
    • Increased PPE standards for leathers, boots, gloves and body armour
    • Introduction of FIM helmet homologation standard for TT racing
    • Creation of a technical team, trained for oversight of standards
  • Race Regulations
    • Reduction of starters in each race (50 in 1000cc classes, 60 elsewhere)
    • More exclusive field to drive higher standards and professionalism
    • Change to single start (no longer pairs) for Qualifying
    • Longer afternoon session to open Qualifying, easing pressure on teams
    • Final qualifying moved to the afternoon, ensuring longer preparation and recovery time
    • Single-lap warm-up on race days to give riders feel for course conditions
  • On-Site Care
    • Acquisition of a new, state-of-the-art, medical centre to be located on-site
    • Beginning the journey to establish an event-specific medical code
    • New drug and alcohol protocols (zero tolerance) and testing programme
    • Sports-science research project initiated with University College Isle of Man
  • Rider Welfare
    • New protocols to care for the mental health of riders
    • Introduction of ‘chill-out’ zone, gifting riders time and space
    • Access to trained occupational therapists
  • Pit-lane Operation
    • Larger pit boxes, accommodating four-person crew
    • Fire safety cover for all teams
    • Alterations to pit entry and exit with wireless timing system
    • New railings to assist with the filling of fuel dispensers
  • Paddock Infrastructure
    • Extensive maintenance programme
    • Parc Ferme doubles in size
    • Digital information screens
    • New time-keepers’ units
    • Redesigned winners’ enclosure

Source: MCNews.com.au

Manx GP and Classic TT under extensive review with a view to renewal

Classic TT & Manx GP facing post-Covid sustainability review

With Covid continuing to wreak havoc around the world on various events, the Manx Motor Cycle Club and the Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise have revealed that they are conducting a collaborative root and branch review of the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT events.

Classic TT PracticeQ McGuinness Rutter
John McGuinness and Michael Rutter at the Classic TT

The Manx Grand Prix has offered amateur riders the opportunity to compete on the famous TT Mountain Course for almost a hundred years, and is set to celebrate its centenary in 2023. Many former Manx Grand Prix competitors have gone on to enjoy success at the TT and in world championships.

The Classic TT meanwhile has run since 2013, quickly establishing itself as the world’s premier road racing event for classic racing motorcycles, attracting a host of star riders and exotic machinery since its inception.

Classic TT Qualifying Horst Saiger Conor Cummins
Horst Saiger & Conor Cummins – 2019 IoM Classic TT

The review will consider a number of factors linked to the successful delivery of the events including the organisational structure, operational resource and safety risk management, as well as scheduling, event duration, race classes, marketing and communications. The review will also assess the impact that staging these events has on the local community.

The Manx Motor Cycle Club and the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise are committed to delivering sustainable events that are viable in a post pandemic world. It is anticipated that if there are any changes made that would impact on the 2022 events, these will be communicated by the end of the current calendar year.

Classic TT Practice John McGuinness Paton
John McGuinness – 500 Paton – 2018 Classic TT

Contributions have also been welcomed, with those wishing to do so able to visit the following link – https://bit.ly/MGP_CTT_Survey.

Peter Maddocks – Chairman of the Manx Motor Cycle Club

“The world has changed and continues to change in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and we need to be prepared to adapt as we bring these events back in 2022 after a two-year hiatus to ensure their future success and sustainability.”

Source: MCNews.com.au