The Deadliest of All Motorcycle Races - Isle of Man TT

Modified On Dec 1, 2015 By Pradeep Shah

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Known as the oldest races in the world, the Isle of Man TT is also the world’s most dangerous motorcycle race that makes it stand out among the various racing events. The event takes place every year in the first week of June along with several other biking events. From 1949 to 1976, the event was a part of the FIM Motorcycle World Grand Prix Championship but due to safety issues, it was separated and continued to be a part of the TT Formula 1 championship from 1977 to 1990. From 1989 onwards, the Man of TT was being developed by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism as part of Isle of Man Festival and concludes on the Friday of race week.

The races are done on 37.75m long Snaefell Mountain course since 1911 and this circuit is still in use. The course is basically a public road that is closed for two weeks every year for the races and involves narrow stretches, roads surrounded by buildings and trees and around dangerous cliffs along with over 200 bends. 248 fatalities have been reported during this race till date including numerous deaths and a total of 7 riders died in the year 1970 only after which heavy concerns were raised over the event. The Sunday that falls between the Practice Week and Race Week is named as “Mad Sunday” on which many people ride on the course.

The current format of the race is “clutch start” and the competitors start the race at an interval of 10 seconds. A rider is eligible only if he possesses a valid National Entrants or FIM Sponsor's Licence for Road Racing. In the superbike TT category, any machine with the following specifications can participate:

  • Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 4 cylinders 4-stroke
  • Over 750 cc up to 1000 cc 3 cylinders 4-stroke
  • Over 850 cc up to 1200 cc 2 cylinders 4-stroke

The base lies in maintaining the average speed over a lap. The best average speed was set by Mr. John McGuinness who registered a whopping 131.578mph. With 23 victories, he is the second all-time winner after Joey Dunlop who grabbed the victory 26 times. Once the races are concluded, an official Isle of Man TT vehicle roams all over the track displaying the signal - Roads Open. As it passes through each point, the road reopens for public use. Despite the number of deaths that occur each year, riders participate in the event with full enthusiasm and passion. Obviously, there is something that is more precious for them than the fear of death that keeps them going.

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