Just over a week ago, riders were competing in the first international road race of the year – the North West 200. Now, they’re over at the Isle of Man preparing for the TT. Since the Highways Light Locomotive Act was passed in 1904, the Isle of Man TT has grown to be the most famous road race in the world. Celebrating its centenary in 2011, the Isle of Man has seen many road racing legends tackle the 37 and 3/4 mile Mountain Course.
Joey Dunlop holds the record for most wins – 26 – but has John McGuinness closing in on it. The Morecambe Missile has 20 wins (and most podium finishes of anyone) but a wrist injury that held him back at the North West 200 could prevent him from making any strides towards closing in on the record this year. McGuinness also holds the outright lap record – recorded as 17:11.572 (131.671mph) in 2013. In terms of manufacturers, it is Honda who have won the most TT races. Josh Brookes is the fastest ever newcomer, recording a speed of 127.726mph in 2013.
Last year, Michael Dunlop won four races – including the Senior TT – while James Hillier won the lightweight class. Michael Rutter was once again victorious in the TT Zero electric bike race. While it looked like Dunlop would be sitting out the 2014 season, a deal with BMW ensured he would be competing. He heads to the TT off the back of two wins at the North West 200 in the Superstock and feature Superbike class. His brother William won his first international Superbike race, at the NW200, so will no doubt be hoping to continue his success in the next fortnight. He is riding for Tyco Suzuki alongside Guy Martin who is still chasing his elusive first TT win. Making a return to the TT are Ryan Farquhar and Keith Amor who were also riding at the Tandragee 100 and North West 200. Farquhar reached a milestone 200th national road race victory at Tandragee but failed to pick up any silverware at the North West. Elsewhere Cameron Donald will be riding for Norton, after signing a three year deal, as the team look to return to the front of the pack. The Australian rider, who has won twice and been on the podium ten times, has moved from Wilson Craig Racing, with his vacated bike being filled by previous fastest TT newcomer Jamie Hamilton.
Other riders to look out for include Ian Hutchinson, who won five races in a week at the TT in 2010, who has made his competitive return to road racing after a long road to recovery. Bruce Anstey is looking to maintain his 100% podium record at every TT for the past 11 years. He has finished on the podium at least once at every North West 200, Isle of Man TT, and Ulster Grand Prix for the last eleven years and won a race at the North West last weekend. Rutter ran well at the North West, picking up a couple of podiums and leading a number of the races. He has won four races at the TT in the past. Other riders who impressed at the North West include Lee Johnston, who won both Supertwins race, Dean Harrison, Brookes and Manxman Conor Cummins.
The TT is tinged with sadness this year, following the death of Simon Andrews. Paul Shoesmith is producing stickers and raising funds in honour of Simon’s memory.
Please note that all times are subject to change. Saturday night’s practice was cancelled due to bad weather. This has been rescheduled for Monday evening, to fit in with the already planned practice sessions.
Monday 26th May
- 6.15pm – Solo newcomers speed controlled untimed laps
- 6.30pm – Sidecar newcomers
- 6.45pm – 7.55pm – Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
- 7.55pm – 8.50pm Sidecars
Tuesday 27th May
- 6.20pm – 7.05pm – Superbike/Superstock/Supesport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
- 7.10pm – 7.55pm – Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomers (all Solo classes)
- 8pm – 8.50pm – Sidecars
Wednesday 28th May
- 6.20pm – 7.55pm – Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
- 8pm – 8.50pm – Sidecars
Thursday 29th May
- 6.20pm – 7.15pm Sidecars
- 7.55pm – Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomers (all Solo classes)
- 8pm – 8.50pm – Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
Friday 30th May
- 6.20pm – 7.10pm Sidecars
- 7.15pm – 7.50pm – Supersport/Lightweight/Newcomers (all Solo classes)
- 7.55pm – 8.25pm – Superbike/Superstock/Supersport/Newcomers (except Lightweight)
- 8.30pm – 8.50pm – TT Zero Challenge
Saturday 31st May
- 4.40pm – 5.40pm Supersport/Lightweight
- 5.45pm – 6.30pm – TT Zero Challenge
Saturday 1st June
- 11am – Superbike TT Race 6 laps
- 2pm – Sidecar TT Race 3 laps
Monday 2nd June
- 10.45am – Supersport TT Race 4 laps
- 2pm – Superstock TT Race 4 laps
Wednesday 4th June
- 10.45am TT Zero Challenge 1 lap
- 12.00pm TT Supersport Race 4 laps
- 2.30pm TT Sidecar Race 2 – 3 laps
Friday 6th June
- 10.15am – Lightweight TT Race 3 laps
- 1pm – Senior TT Race 6 laps