Isle of Man TT Review
Following the thrilling series of races in 2009, when all of the solo race records were broken and a new outright lap record was also set, the Department of Tourism and Leisure has announced that the main 2010 TT Race program will remain unchanged. However, the Billown TT Races will no longer form part of the TT Race program as the race organizers have decided to concentrate resources on the core mountain circuit races in 2010.
Visitors to the 2009 TT Races were treated to the fastest laps in history, the visit of Moto GP star Valentino Rossi as well as witnessing the first TT win for the latest member of the Dunlop dynasty, 21-year-old Michael Dunlop. The crowds also saw the fastest ever female lap of the course from newcomer Jenny Tinmouth.
As in 2008, nine different riders featured on the podium in 2009 with Michael Dunlop scoring his first TT win, following in the footsteps of uncle Joey and father Robert. This win is expected to take the number of former winners returning to the Island to contest the 2010 solo TT races to 11.
John McGuinness confirmed his position as one of the greatest TT riders of all time by moving to outright second place in the winners list with 15 TT victories, behind only Joey Dunlop's 26 titles, passing the great Mike Hailwood, while Dave Molyneux moved further ahead at the top of the all time sidecar list, extending his titles to 14, four ahead of second placed Rob Fisher.
Qualifying week starts with a Free Practice session on Saturday 29th May 2010 and runs until Friday 4th June. Race Week begins with the Superbike and first Sidecar Race on Saturday June 5th. Monday 7th will see the Superstock and first Supersport Race classes, which saw some of the closest racing in 2009. The second Supersport and Sidecar Races are scheduled for Wednesday 9th June with Race Week culminating in the blue riband Senior TT on Friday 11th June.
The race organization is currently developing plans for another zero carbon emissions race on the Isle of Man in 2010 and the slot has been provisionally scheduled on Wednesday 9th of June following the Supersport and Superstock TT Races.
Classic racing motorcycles will make a welcome return to the TT in 2010 with the Suzuki 50th Anniversary Lap of Honor and the TT Classic Parade scheduled for the morning of Senior Race Day.
Both events will feature racing machines manufactured before 1998 with capacity for a total of 200 entries across both events. Entries are invited and will be reviewed by a committee featuring representatives from ACU Events Limited and the Department of Tourism and Leisure. Any revenue derived from the Suzuki 50th Anniversary Lap of Honor and Isle of Man TT Classic Parade will be used to fund the future development and safety of the TT Races.
Martyn Quayle Speaks... Minister for Tourism and Leisure
"We are operating in a tough financial climate and have therefore decided to concentrate our resources on the core race program that is proving so popular with fans. We are again delivering a thrilling racing experience, with many fans and media commenting that the TT Races are now as strong and exciting as they have been in living memory. We believe that with the return of the classic parades that there is now something for all motorcycle enthusiasts."
Photography by Stephen Davison at Pacemaker Press International