Almost half-way between Ireland and Britain is an island like no other. Because it’s here, on the Isle of Man, where the TT is held. The world’s most spectacular road race. Since 1907 the TT has made stars out of the fearless riders brave enough to take their machines and themselves to the limit on this unforgiving course. With the event on pause this year, we look back at a few of our favourite TT moments.
Donald and Anstey’s Supersport battle
The last lap of 2012’s first Supersport race will go down in history as one of the closest battles in TT history. In front was New Zealander Bruce Anstey with fellow Australasian Cameron Donald chasing hard. But it was on the last lap of the 37 and ¾ mile race when things got really exciting. Donald was edging closer and closer. One mistake from his opponent and he would sail into the lead. When the chequered flag came, Donald was less than a second behind Antsey. It’s the second closest finish in TT history.
Peter Hickman’s record lap
2018 was a great year for Peter Hickman. Not only did he bag his first-ever TT win, taking the Superstock title, but he finished it off by grabbing glory in the big one – the Senior TT. Along the way he set the fastest ever lap record of the TT, at a staggering average speed of 135.452mph. Passing Dean Harrison on the final lap, Hickman cemented not only his reputation as a road racing legend but has officially made the TT the fastest road race on the planet.
Joey’s 2000 Formula 1 win
At the age of 48, in his 32nd year of racing, Joey Dunlop showed he still had what it took to conquer the TT. The unassuming Ulsterman was a veteran of the course and over his lifetime has clocked up 26 wins. But it was at this, his last TT, when he really showed that he was still the man to beat, masterfully guiding his poor-handling Honda VTR SP1 to take the win in the Formula One race. He secured two more wins during that fortnight. Sadly, Joey was killed at a race in Estonia a month later. He remains the TT’s most successful ever rider.
David Jefferies – Mad Sunday
Mad Sunday is a fan highlight that comes in the middle of the TT and allows thousands of bikers to tackle the course on their own machines on closed, one-way, speed limit-free roads. It’s a chance for fans to imagine they’re John McGuinness for a moment. There’s plenty of fan videos of Mad Sunday on YouTube. But for the real deal you must watch the late, great David Jefferies hop on his bike and go for a lap, showing everyone else how it should be done.
John McGuinness – the 130mph man
John McGuinness is a name that needs little introduction. He’s the second most successful rider at the TT with 23 wins and 47 rostrum places over a stunning career. He’s also the first ever rider to break the magic 130 mph mark. In the event’s centenary year, he took the lead in the Superbike race and lapped the 37-mile course in just over 17 minutes, smashing the record in the process. He continued to set the bar high for the next few years. The Motul-backed rider is now starting his own team in the British Trioptions Ducati Cup, but he hasn’t hung-up the overalls just yet: he was due to compete at this year’s TT.
Picture credits: Stephen Davison, IOMTT, FoTToFinders, Pacemaker Press Belfast, Honda TT Legends