Now anyone that throws their leg over a motorcycle and rides it has to be slightly crazy. The guys that race the TT must be clinically insane.
I love watching motorbike racing from moto gp through world superbikes, British superbikes right down to club racing. Im quite fortunate to live fairly close to Snetterton circuit where I have been to see the British superbikes and lots of club racing. All of the tracks that these races take place on are focused on safety. Run off areas, gravel traps etc all around the edges. All designed to minimise fatalities and help to slow riders down if they fall off.
The bikes these guys ride are like mini rocket ships capable of speeds well over 200mph. The kit these guys wear is made from specially designed materials to minimise injury if they fall off. Modern leathers even have airbags fitted in them. It’s still going to hurt if they do come off though.
Now let’s get to the Isle of man TT. This isn’t raced on a circuit with run off areas, there are no gravel traps. This race is run on the everyday roads on the island. The top riders race at average speeds of 132mph average speed!!! They race inches away from walls, buildings and trees, insane!!
Not surprisingly there have been many fatalities over the years since the first race was held in 1907.
Here are the official figures….
Between 1907 and 2019 there have been 151 fatalities during official practices or races on the Snaefell Mountain Course, and 260 total fatalities (this number includes the riders killed during the Manx Grand Prix, and Clubman TT race series of the late 1940s/1950s). In 2016, 5 riders died on the course during official practices or races, bringing the total number of fatalities to 252. There were six fatalities among competitors in the 1970 Isle of Man TT, making it the deadliest year in the history of the event.
So why do these guys choose to do it? Well that is something only they can answer im afraid. All I do know is that if I had my life over again, I would love to race motorbikes. Not sure about the TT though. I’d leave that to those insaner than myself (yes they do exist).