Each year the Isle of Man, situated off the coast of the UK, becomes host to one of the most exciting motorbike races in the world.
Running since 1907, the Isle of Man TT races are not for the faint-hearted: competitors must race through the landscape of the Isle of Man, navigating challenging roads and dangerous conditions. It is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous courses with bikes reaching speeds of over 200 mph.
The most famous and successful rider of TT history is Joey Dunlop, who won the TT races a record-breaking 26 times since his debut in 1977. Sadly, Joey died after a racing accident in 2000, and the world subsequently mourned one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. However, the Dunlop legacy lives on through his brother Robert and nephew Michael, who have become record breakers themselves.
The 2016 race
In 2016, thousands of spectators travelled to the Isle of Man to spectate another record-breaking year. Michael Dunlop followed in his uncle’s footsteps for pushing boundaries in the sport. Piloting the BMW S1000RR he topped every super bike session. It had looked as if Ian Hutchinson of BMW was the man to catch, however he couldn’t match the speed of Dunlop.
The Northern Irishman made history by becoming the first rider to lap in under 17 minutes, he also smashed John McGuiness’ record from the 2015 PokerStars-sponsored Senior TT with a best outright lap of 133.393 mph. Dunlop also won the closing race, making it is 13th TT title.
Record numbers of visitors and competitors expected.
Not all the glory should go to Dunlop; Hutchinson also achieved greatness, winning the Superstock TT riding his BMW S1000RR. He also won both Monster Energy Supersport races for the second year in a row.
Sadly, this was also the deadliest TT year since 2000 with four riders losing their life after accidents. Riders go into the Isle of Man TT knowing its dangerous reputation, however losses are always heavily received and a slow lap of honour is performed to remember those who have lost their lives on the track.
Looking forward to 2017
2017 is set to be another great year for the Isle of Man TT, with record numbers of visitors and competitors expected to make their way across the channel to be part of the action. Entries for the 2017 TT have not yet opened, however we surmise that Dunlop, Hutchinson and McGuinness will put in sterling performances, and hopefully shatter some records in style.
Planning your trip to the Isle of Man TT should start now, as it can be challenging to match up travel and accommodation. The event will be held from Saturday 27th May to Friday 9th June 2017, races take place during the latter half of the event, with evening practice sessions keeping you entertained for the first half.
There are many companies who will help plan your visit to the Isle of Man TT, such as IOM TT breaks, which is the official travel partner. It is sensible to go through one of these as many hotels don’t take bookings via any other channels during the TT season.
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the island to enjoy the race in person, be sure not to miss the off-track entertainment such as the vintage bike shows and live music. Or, if you’re simply enjoying the event from the comfort of your home, we’re sure the thrilling race will be enough to keep you entertained.