Mad motorcycle mania on Man
HEAVEN, OR HELL: That depends on the ride you have on the country roads of the island. This is the start line for the 2012 Isle of Man TT Races – yes, that's the sun trying to break through...
Author: DAVE FALL
Sports fans, whether they are of the tennis, rugby or football persuasion, will surely have been frustrated by the frequent rain-delayed fixtures this past weekend but spare a thought for what’s been happening on the Isle of Man this past fortnight – the motorcycling road-race capital of the world.
For the first time in the event’s history the Senior TT race, the grand finale, of TT fortnight was cancelled… the first time ever and due to heavy rain. Given that it’s supposed to be summer in Europe, they certainly seem to be having a tough time of it. Other races were shortened, some postponed for hours, not the best time to be without an umbrella and raincoat!
MAD KEEN ON BIKES
Outside of the EU, the island is simply known as Man, and is completely independent to the point of having its own parliament and its own currency. More than a century ago it was quick to recognise the advantages of hosting international motoring events because, outside of France, road racing – motorcycles or cars – was banned.
And yet this tiny little island midway between mainland UK and Ireland received more visitors than before for the TT (Tourist Trophy) races – most being mad keen on motorcycles and bringing them over on ferries – the only way to get across the Irish Sea (you can also fly, but not so much fun).
With racing starting in earnest on Saturday, June 2 it was race favourite John McGuinness (Honda) who took top honours in the Dainese Superbike event. McGuinness was followed over the line by Cameron Donald (Honda), and Bruce Anstey, who was also Honda mounted. This was race win number 18 for McGuinness, slowly but surely closing the gap on record holder Joey Dunlop (26 wins).
On Monday, June 4, it was again McGuinness who took the chequered flag in the Superstock race, fighting off a strong challenge from Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki), but it was Michael Dunlop (Kawasaki), who ultimately took second spot. The second race of the day (Supersport 600cc) saw Bruce Anstey (Honda) take top spot from Cameron Donald (Honda), and William Dunlop (Honda). Number 19 for McGuinness.
FIRST CANCELLATION IN 100 YEARS
Wednesday, June 6 and the heavens opened from the start line, across the mountain and back again… it was going to be one of those days. Racing eventually took place with lots of interest in the SES TT Zero (electric bikes). It was TT stalwart Michael Rutter (Motoczysz Elpc) who managed to be the first to achieve a 100mph (160km/h) lap and collect a R130 000 reward offered by the Isle of Man government, while actually setting a lap record of 104.056mph. Runner up was John McGuinness (Mugen Shinden) with Ryan Farquhar on another Motoczysz Elpc third.
As mentioned earlier, it was the first time ever in TT history (100 years) that the Senior TT due to take place on Friday, June 8, had to be cancelled due to the atrocious weather experienced on the island. The final race for 2012, the Lightweight TT, was postponed for the day and only took place on Saturday, June 9. Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) took the chequered flag from James Hillier and Michael Rutter – all Kawasaki mounted.
Selected results (solo machines)
Saturday, June 2
Superbike TT Race
1 John McGuinness, 1000 Honda, 1:46:03.06, 128.078mph
2 Cameron Donald, 1000 Honda 1:46:17.92, 127.780mph
3 Bruce Anstey, 1000 Honda 1:47:00.22, 126.938mph
Monday, June 4
1 Bruce Anstey, 600 Honda, 1:12:55.92, 124.160mph
2 Cameron Donald, 600 Honda, 1:12:56.69, 124.138mph
3 William Dunlop, 600 Honda, 1:13:17.80, 123.542mph
360 Superstock TT Race:
1 John McGuinness, 1000cc Honda, 01:11:29.65, 126.657mph
2 Michael Dunlop, 1000cc Kawasaki, 01:11:37.45, 126.427mph
3 Ryan Farquhar, 1000cc Kawasaki, 01:11:42.41, 126.281mph
Wednesday, June 6
Zero Challenge, distance, 150.92 miles
1 Michael Rutter, 2012 Motoczysz Elpc, 21mins 45.33sec, 104.056mph.
2 John McGuinness, Mugen Shinden, 22mins 08.85sec, 102.215mph
3 Mark Miller 2012 Motoczysz Elpc, 22mins 23.97sec, 101.065mph
Supersport TT Race 2:
1 Michael Dunlop, 600 Yamaha, 01:13:17.76, 123.543mph
2 Cameron Donald, 600 Honda, 01:13:31.02, 123.171mph
3 Ryan Farquhar, 600 Kawasaki, 01:13:50.37, 122.633mph
Friday, June 8: Senior TT race cancelled to rain.
Saturday: June 9
Lightweight TT Race:
1 Ryan Farquhar, 650 Kawasaki, 59:29,57, 114.155mph
2 James Hillier, 650 Kawasaki, 59:58,57, 113.235mph
3 Michael Rutter, 650 Kawasaki, 1:00:03,61, 113.077mph