Stars of motorsport line up to hail revitalized Isle of Man TT Races as race records broken in every solo class 19 June 2009
- Steve Plater takes overall title as nine different riders feature on podiums
- New outright lap record for John McGuinness - Molyneux takes back race record in only Sure Sidecar Race
- Carreira the fifth fastest newcomer of all time
- Tinmouth becomes fastest female around the course - Worlds first clean emissions Grand Prix sees fastest lap of 87mph
Motorsport stars last week lined up to hail the resurgence of the Isle of Man TT Races as the event concluded at the weekend. The fortnight-long event finished with all of the race records being broken as well as a new outright lap record by John McGuinness.
Legendary commentator Murray Walker, whose father won a TT in 1931 and who first commentated on the event for the BBC in 1949, reflected on his visit to the Isle of Man this year. He said;
The high points of my trip to the Isle of Man were the honour and privilege of starting the PokerStars Senior TT and my first ever time at Bray Hill during a race, as Ive always been in the commentary box before. I knew it was incredible but it far exceeded my most extreme expectations. I always thought that everyone who rode in the TT was a superman but now I know they are. I had the strongest feeling possible that the TT has very definitely turned the corner and now has a very bright future.
Moto GP star Valentino Rossi, who visited the Island during the Dainese Superbike Race and completed a lap of the course with 10 time TT champion Giacomo Agostini, commented in his own inimitable fashion:
Its a great track. Incredible, fast, funny for the bike. To go flat out you need a lot of technique and bravery. For the riders who do this race it is like a battle against the TT. Its different to Moto GP. It is very dangerous and is not possible to make a mistake. Its impressive.
Bradley Smith, Britains most successful grand prix rider since Barry Sheene, got his first taste of the TT with ex-TT racer and Manx man Richard Milky Quayle. Quayle gave Smith a guided tour of the 37.73 mile Mountain Circuit in a race officials Jaguar. Smith said:
It was unbelievable just to have that opportunity. It was really special to go round with Milky. You watch it on the TV, but you just dont get a true impression of what they actually do. I was surprised by all of the blind corners and the undulation of the track. I think these guys are amazing specialists.
The racing saw Lincolnshire rider Steve Plater take the overall title when Ian Hutchinson slid off at Quarterbridge on the final lap of the Pokerstars Senior Race. Hutchinson, who took the Relentless Supersport 1 and Royal London 360 Superstock titles, went into the final day with a 19 point lead from Plater for the Joey Dunlop TT Championship Trophy, awarded to the best aggregate total across the five solo races. The solo manufacturers award also went to Honda.
Nine different riders featured on the podium in the solo classes on the Mountain Circuit, where all of the race records were broken. The new race record holders are; John McGuinness in the Superbike TT with 1 hour 46.07.16 at an average speed of 127.996mph, Ian Hutchinson in the Supersport (1:12.56.58 at 124.141mph) and Superstock (1:10.57.54 at 127.612mph) and Steve Plater in the Senior TT (188.8.131.52 at 128.2278mph). Ian Lougher also celebrated a double in the Lightweight and Ultra-Lightweight TT with victories and new lap records of 96.051mph (125cc) and 102.531mph (250cc).
There were also new lap records in the Supersport class for Bruce Anstey (17.53.32 at an average of 126.549mph) and Ian Hutchinson in the Superstock class (17.26.88 at 129.746mph). John McGuinness broke his own outright record with a new speed of 131.578.
Jenny Tinmouth became the TTs fastest female rider with a new lap record of 116.835mph, shattering the previous record held by Maria Costello. Her achievement was made even more credible by the fact that it was her first experience of competing around the Mountain Course. There were also notable newcomer performances from Luis Carreira with a time of 122.062mph which put him fifth on the all time list of fastest newcomers. Steve Mercer (121.362mph) and Ben Wylie (120.786mph) are 7th and 9th respectively on the same list following their exploits this year.
In the Sure Sidecar class Dave Molyneux won the only race, following the cancellation of the second race after a racing incident. He set a new race record of 58.59.28. Nick Crowe and Mark Cox had the consolation that their lap record of 116.667, set in 2007, remained intact. The Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom posted a notable fastest lap time of 110.615mph as newcomers making them the second fastest newcomers ever.
This years TT also saw the debut of the worlds first clean emissions motorcycle race. Sixteen machines attempted to complete a lap of the course and a very credible ten went round in the first practice. A further one was able to qualify outright in the second practice and special dispensation was given to three others to start. A total of nine machines completed a lap of the course, with the fastest lap time of 87.434mph being recorded by Rob Barber with Team Agni. The open class was won by Chris Heath from US based Electric Motorsport.
A number of other trophies were awarded during the TT. Conor Cummins took the Gavin Lee trophy awarded to the best performance by a Manx resident in the Senior TT with his stunning second place. Mark Miller was awarded the Iceman Trophy, in memory of Swedish rider Joakim Karlsson, for most meritorious performance by a non-UK resident with his 11th place finish in the Dainese Superbike and 12th place in the Royal London 360 Superstock.
The Martin Finnegan Trophy for the fastest lap by an Irishman, donated by the Martin Finnegan Supporters club, went to Adrian Archibald for his best lap of 128.883mph in the Dainese Superbike race. The Frank Cope Trophy for most meritorious performance given the seniority of a competitors age went to Dave Madsen Mygdal. A total of 2090 practice laps, equating to 78,856 miles and 1423 racing laps (53,689 miles) were completed during the 2009 TT Races.
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