Archive for March, 2011

TT round-up 26/3/11

Posted: March 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Honda Legends team spent two days testing in Albacete. Keith Amor via Twitter declared himself very happy with the outcome. 24 hours later Twitter gave me one of those ‘I don’t believe it moments’ by revealing that Michael Doohan is going to ride a parade lap this year. We’ve had some fabulous names recently with Rossi, Lorenzo and Nieto but Doohan on the Mountain Course is right up there. He’ll be on the island from June 8-10. This week also saw the coming together of two formidable Northern Ireland talents. Adrian Archibald will ride for Ryan Farquhar’s KMR team this year. He’ll be aboard a KMR Kawasaki ER6 super twin for the 2011 roads season, although this class isn’t being raced at the TT – yet. Ryan has two of the much-discussed ZX10Rs for this year. He still has plenty of ambitions as a rider but it’s interesting to see how he is gradually morphing into a team owner. He’s hoping to run two riders at the MGP this year.


I posted the other day about Manx Radio engineer Bob Allison’s sterling efforts to improve my talkback access in the commentary box. Bob is doing a lot more than that – in fact when I rang him the other day on his mobile he was in the commentary box, hard at work rebuilding the entire system. Now this is no everyday event. Manx Radio has been using pretty much the same broadcasting kit in the TT tower since 1977, the first year after the FIM stripped the TT of its World Championship status. The same units that relayed my commentaries last year also sent to the transmitter Peter Kneale’s descriptions of Phil Read winning twice in 1977, Charlie Williams and Mick Grant winning too, and one Joey Dunlop winning a special race to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The longevity of this system has been recognised by the manufacturers Glensound who posted a news item about it on their website (click here).

Meanwhile it’s getting really exciting as the TT film nears release date.  The official trailer of  Closer to the Edge is now accessible on Youtube (click here). Premiere next month.


Posted: March 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Arai have unveiled a new TT helmet for 2011. The design pays tribute to the Mountain Course in its centenary year. If you’ve got any change left over from your ferry fare, rush out and buy one of the limited edition of 500 for £699.99. More info and images here.

TT ROUND-UP 19/3/11

Posted: March 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

TT News this week:

Michael Sweeney (MGP Junior winner 2010) got his season off to a flying start by winning both races for Supertwins and 400s at the first meeting of the year, at Bishopscourt last weekend. Michael was aboard his Suzuki 650. It hasn’t been such a good week for Tim Reeves – Tim announced

Tim Reeves. pic: Mark 'Wally' Walters

his retirement from F1 sidecar racing having failed to nail enough funding for this summer’s campaign. He’ll still be on the island, aboard his F2 600cc machine gunning for his first TT win.

Regulations for the MGP were published on Tuesday. Closing date for entries is June 11th. The 2011 schedule breaks new ground with the Newcomers off on their own at 5.30pm on Saturday August 27th, what used to be the end of Practice Week. The festival concludes with the concurrent Classic SBK and Junior Post Classic on the afternoon of Friday September 2nd with the Senior MGP in the morning.

The Manx Government wants to create a TT ‘world series,’ by organising or franchising events with TT branding overseas.

Dan Hegarty was one of five TT newcomers who visited the island assisted by the Mike Hailwood Foundation last weekend. Dan should have made his debut last year riding Yamahas but pulled out after being injured at Thruxton. A larger group of 18 prospective MGP riders is due over this weekend. No doubt it won’t be long before their names are added to the 23,325 archived on the revived MGP database unveiled this week. 

The Times published a very significant feature on Monday. It consisted of two articles. The main one gave a fascinating insight into the character and mindset of Guy Martin and Conor Cummins, pulling no punches in describing what both men went through at TT 2010 but doing so without taking any quasi moral standpoint or throwing up hands in horror. It was a really good, solid piece of journalism. Alongside it was a shorter piece about the TT3D movie Closer to the Edge. Both pieces were penned by Rick Broadbent who did a great job.

And Subaru will supply the official TT course cars for the next three years. The deal was finalised this week. One of the spin-offs (not literally, I hope) will see IOM rally star Mark Higgins driving a Subaru on a closed-roads lap.


Posted: March 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

A good week just got even better. Bob Allison, Manx Radio engineer, has just told me he’s got me a brand new talkback system for this year’s commentaries. For the first time I’m going to be able to choose what part of our output comes into my headphones. Most of the time I’ll be hearing our main output but I can select any of our various sources if I need to – Glen Helen, Ramsey, pitlane, press room, roving mic. Fantastic. It’ll really help me to keep across everything that’s going on and make sure the listeners are kept bang up to date. Does it mean I can switch off the producer? Bob hasn’t fixed that option yet (hope Eunice doesn’t read this blog, only joking!). Bob’s also going to fix up new speakers in our commentary box so people who don’t have headphones can hear what’s happening. All good progress. Just over two months to go. Yes!!

Do you know how many riders have competed in the MGP? I do! It’s 23,325. And the number of miles their machines have covered totals 3,190,109.73. This is not because I’m the class swot. The info comes via the indefatigable Phil Edge who announces that all these stats and more are now accessible at the new MGP database

Drink it in: MGP 2010


Posted: March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Michael Dunlop 2010. Photo:


The TT is a brand now, in case you didn’t know. The IOM Govt wants to boost the event’s earning power by finding a solution to the inconvenient restriction that the IOM TT takes place only on the IOM. Now they’re looking to export the ‘brand’ by offering to stage TT races anywhere in the world. Presumably Snaefell is not part of the export deal. And the marshals?

The Govt today invited expressions of interest from potential partners. Joking aside, it could be a good idea, just as long as they somehow prevent the other nations’ health & safety wallahs from finding out about it.