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ISLE OF MAN TT - Virus Tourist Trophy | (Official Documentary)

Mar 29, 2022
I have always wanted to ride a motorcycle. As a child I had a dream that when I get home, there is a box waiting for me and inside is a motorcycle. I don't know why. Nobody in my family had anything to do with motorcycles. It's different now. When I'm at home and I think about what I'm doing, I realize that it's not very smart and it makes me nervous. He can separate me from my family forever. But when you have something that influences you so much, that is so deep within you that you don't bring it out but have to experience it, then you feel magically drawn to it.
isle of man tt   virus tourist trophy official documentary
You live much more intensely. every moment. Every second you are with your loving family. You taste them, you enjoy them. You appreciate life so much more than if you just made the time every day. Nothing can stop you when you have true passion. That's what it is to me. The Isle of Man TT. I don't think you can explain it. Once you've been here, it's the island itself, the mood and all the excitement. You get goosebumps right away. There is something magical on the island. That is why it is simply "Isla Mágica" for us. It's really crazy what's going on here.
isle of man tt   virus tourist trophy official documentary

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isle of man tt virus tourist trophy official documentary...

You sit by the road and the cyclists literally clap with you. Where else can you have this? You don't have time to think "Oh, am I nervous? Oh, what could happen?" When this starts, it's better to come out and say "stop." The Isle of Man is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea. Right between Ireland and England. It has about 90,000 inhabitants, but during the two weeks of the TT, that almost doubles. The ferries are full, the planes arrive. Unless it's foggy. The course has been held like this since 1911. The race has existed since 1907 and the first three or four years the course was different.
isle of man tt   virus tourist trophy official documentary
The Tourist Trophy was created because there was a speed limit in England. Something like, I don't know, 20 or 30 miles on public roads. Of course, all racing was on public roads at that time. Nobody wanted to run with that speed limit. On the Isle of Man, there was no speed limit, speed ban or whatever. And that's why people came here. They started and have been racing here ever since. All the inhabitants also participate fully. That means they are building grandstands in their own garden and invite you in for tea or coffee. You have to think, 60 kilometers from a racetrack and nobody feels disturbed.
isle of man tt   virus tourist trophy official documentary
Unthinkable anywhere else in the world, but here they live it. Road closures every day for the entire fortnight. You can't just pull your car out of the driveway: "I'm going to go shopping" or something. They see it for themselves and they live it. I find those people fascinating and super cool. So this is not just a

virus

that has infected me. This is a

virus

that probably affects everyone here. So we have to say thank you very much to everyone. The TT is of course legendary, the so-called Tourist Trophy. Not at least for the guys who won here.
The most legendary of all was, of course, Joey Dunlop with 26 wins, followed by my friend John McGuiness with 23 wins. There are some young people coming now. I think Michael Dunlop already has 18 wins. Yes, you can feel it right away: the spirit is still here and it will always be here. I hope this continues for a long time. The TT course is called the Snaefell Mountain Course, named after the mountain it runs over. It is about 600 meters high. Here we probably start at 30 meters on Glencrutchery Road. 37.7 miles equals 60 kilometers. The really big difference between the "Mountain Course" and a normal race track is just how I would describe it.
It is three dimensional. You have to think of everything. The jumps, the wind, the light and the shadow. Everything affects you. And the track, where are the wet spots? It's so easy to get off track. Once you hit the throttle at the wrong time, you shift at the wrong time and the power comes on at the wrong time, then the bike does a wheelie at 280 km/h going almost vertical. Because the headwind is already very strong. Closing the gas for a very short time means at least losing seconds. Because the speed is very high and you have to keep the speed.
This makes a difference to a normal race track where you see everything. Here most of the corners are blind. You brake into a corner that you can't even see. You turn around a corner where you can't see the apex. The road is full of potholes. You can't come from outside, because there are sewers or big potholes. You have to find your vertex somewhere with a point on the outside. A lamppost, a tree, anything. There is my vertex. But you have to visualize it, you have to picture it in your mind. And then you often find yourself in a corner that has a big bump.
Right after a few corners you have to straighten the bike out because you are jumping at speed. And those are the things you can't find anywhere else in the world. That makes everything just unique. You always have to be completely focused, stay focused. Once you lose it, it's over. It's about to start with something you can't imagine. It's called Bray Hill. It's just amazing. Down there, especially if it's windy, you have to fight your way down. Long twisty descent and not so easy to get the bike back and forth with 300k`s Always have to go through the middle of the road which is steep and you go through the middle and "Whapp" - it draws you in because just the path falls outwards.
So you have a raise that helps you or a second later you have to fight it. Then down at the end of "Bray Hill" there is a compression that you go through with 290-295 kph. Stay here on the footpegs for easy biking. Eyes closed and through. The suspension is completely block. The tires are squeezed. And squeeze your eyes a little too. And the sphincter too! When you're done, go straight to Ago`s Leap. That means going back to the footpegs because the bike does a lot of wheelies. You still have plenty of speed with you, even if you lose a bit through compression, but still 270-280kph on the clock.
Wheelie again and then forward. The next key point is the braking for "Quarter Bridge". There you can say again, this is part of the TT course experience. We brake for a curve that we do not see. While braking we have to open the throttle, accelerate again to make a jump that is in the braking zone. He closes the throttle, hits the brake again, and then we see "Quarter Bridge." - the place where we started to brake 400 meters before and jump in the middle of the braking zone. Now we are here, Ballaugh Bridge. It's only second gear, 60kph, but you jump because it's just a big tip.
You get here at 300, braking hard, back in second gear, over the lead, try to keep the jump short, the bike is still pretty stressed. The frame, the tires, the chain, everything gets stressed, but you try to stay calm so you can accelerate immediately. So you pull through. Second, third, fourth, fifth, up to sixth gear. It's crazy! At the end of Ballaugh, there is a left turn, which we take at 270 kph. Very bumpy, bad asphalt. The bike is super nervous. It's a blind turn again, I know, the second light pole is in front of the apex. As you pass, the bike prances.
I have to put the bike straight because just after the corner there is a jump. That means I hit the air at 160 mph. It really depends on it landing well now. So I need to jump right. If I have the bike completely straight, I land well. But that's almost not possible because the corner is so undulating and bumpy that I always go a little bit. And that's such a scary place because you don't really know if you're going to make the right leap or not. And that's a bit... Now we're getting closer to the K-Tree. We will leave here at 250 - 260 km/h at full speed.
It's a bumpy incline so the bike just bounces. You just have to keep the throttle up, no matter what. Full throttle is the safest alternative. Get out of here, stop on the right and then turn left past the K-Tree and now it's time to be careful. There is a footpath that stretches over the road for a meter. Like a curve around the K-tree. You can't see that. You think there is a blue ball and you can pass it. No, there is a trail next to it! That means you have to ride from the outside with a lean angle and full throttle, preferably on a light wheelie, then the bike stays quiet.
And the next two corners are absolute terror. It's really one of the trickier places here because it's so rough and undulating it's scary. The bike prances. You have the best control if you don't try to take control. So: relax, stay calm. Gas is the best. Throttle, through and the same for the next two corners. And then comes the turn where I crashed - Uh! Although everyone says that it is forbidden to fall here. I've crashed a few times. Youthful exuberance. Milntown, arrives in 4th or 5th gear - turn right. I have my mind completely focused on the guy in front of me.
I hit the gas too soon, then hit the curb on the left. So: the rims broke, the tires popped, Horsti jumped off the bike. That was with 230 - 240 kph. I was extremely lucky. I hit the last bale on the right side and then he said, "Boom." I then slid down the road for about 150 meters. The motorcycle too. I was then taken in a rescue helicopter to Nobles hospital with some broken ribs and toes etc. It wasn't that bad, but it could have been worse. You'd think we're in Windy Corner, but that's up ahead. No, we are in the bungalow.
To the right, where Joey Dunlop looks down. One of the keys in the mountains is to know which way the wind is coming from and in which turns it pushes you where. On the mountain, everything goes almost at great speed. Very very fast. We got here in fifth gear approaching the Bungalow. Back to 2nd gear, left, right, stomping on the gas, back to 6th gear, 270-280 km/h, hard braking again. Here is a place where you have to fight the wind before it comes down. On the straight, you often drive in a banked position because the wind pushes you a lot.
On the next turn the exact opposite happens. You turn left and the wind pushes you. You have to step on the accelerator just in time. It is really difficult". The colleague here mastered it better. With rain, wind and almost snow. From there he descends to Douglas. Wind Corner. Important, very important, keep your concentration high. You are only safe when you return to the paddock. Don't think "I've done it". It's downhill and I'm going back to Douglas. No, also the last turn could take you out. So focus, stay upright, go full throttle and head home to the paddock!
There are some key places like that. Probably 250 around the loop. Our team, the technical team, is made up of Angus and Matt Greenall on the mechanical side. Father and son, who also have their own team, the Greenall Racing Team. They do the mechanics together with Ian. Ian Wright is their friend and is always with them. Then we have my great son, the great junior, Thomas. He makes the tires and everything around them. Then we have Robin. He makes chassis and also different things in data recording, he changes the chassis and also works on electronics. Then of course we have Tamara, she always helps us here and there.
So that we always have something to eat and drink, which is enormously important. And of course, selling t-shirts and so on. Make sure some money comes in. Organize everything behind the scenes. What is a tremendous relief for me is that I know we can trust our mechanics 100%. They do their job very well and I am very grateful to have them. That they put so much time and effort into us. Of course, Bidi does that too. Bidi works in construction, selling t-shirts. She prepares my helmets. He is responsible for making sure I have everything I need in the pre-departure area.
The week of training runs as normal so that we only arrive with the bikes perfectly prepared. We go outside and see how they behave. I always say, stupidly put, somewhere it fits around the course. It doesn't matter how you set it up. I start in four classes, three of which are on my own bikes. And this is the fourth class I've traveled. My Supertwin ride is a Paton 650 from ILR. That's Ian Lougher Racing. Ian has won 11 TTs. Sponsored is Mark Coverdale's bike. This is a Paton with a Kawasaki 650 engine inside. It is very loud and not slow either.
We had a high speed of 150+ miles. It's not easy, it's really not easy. If it's something bigger, I ditch the bike and get on one of the other bikes, Super Stock or Super Sport. I go back in. If it's something we can change quickly, then we change it quickly and try it again right away for a direct comparison. So we worked our way through, getting the best out of all the different bikes is hard, because it always takes some time to get used to the different bikes. No motorcycle rides the same. Either you get lucky and it just comes out of the FF and you can work on little things or you have to start with a very unstable bike.
Try to get it to stabilize first. That is very important, the bike must not start to wobble, wobble, shake the handlebars. On the other hand, it must remain at hand. So these are two things, these are opposites. Finding that is incredibly difficult, there are no similar conditions. There is no circuit in which you always go toleft, right, left, right in combinations of curves at 280 km/h. And then you have bumps, ripples, and maybe a little bit of moss inside. We try to make the bike easy to ride. That goes well around the corner. To get confidence and a lot of feedback from the bike.
It's very easy to lose concentration or think, "Oh, I'm getting easy." And then you make mistakes. I could have just as easily happened to me this year for taking it too easy. I went out on the first lap with the superbike. I was going down the mountain and I was only rolling at 80%. Turn in, to the left, to the left again. It is not a complicated place at all. But, I didn't mean it and I went too far. I was so, so close, so close, and I would have crashed 200+ on the mountain. Maybe along the way, maybe I would have fallen over the side.
It wouldn't have been funny in any case, but it can happen that fast. And therefore you have to be 100% focused. So with the Supersport, we'll just see if we can do something together, that works better. We made the seat a little higher and a little steeper so I don't have to hold onto the handlebars. Then we make the front of the bike a bit taller. But we do less "preload". Because it feels very hard when braking. On the other hand, we make it higher so that you can go around the corner more easily. And then you start looking for seconds left on the lap time just by getting the bike right into the corner and turning it.
You would need endless laps, of course. It is very important to have a flying spin. That means I start from a standstill and if the bike feels good with a full 24-litre tank then I do the second lap. Full throttle from start to finish, going down Bray Hill at 300km/h, now I have less fuel, I only have 12 or 13 litres. That is the crucial point to get a good grid position for the race. The first 20 are seeds and from the position 21 depends on the result of the practice. The fastest in position 20 on the grid is number 21 and so on.
The biggest problem in practice was the extreme wind. A few turns up the mountain, you could hardly turn. The bike didn't go to the other side of the road because the wind pushed you. That is extreme, you enter and the bike reacts normally. The curve then turns, and from the center of the curve, the wind pushes you over the white line toward the earth. Yes, it goes very fast. You have to hold back a bit. Everyone is working on it for the whole week of practice, if it's not raining! Because then we don't ride. fuel consumption.
We have tested it now and it worked once. We handled the two laps with ease and the bike doesn't start to stutter. Yes, from this point of view we are prepared. Now I'm looking forward to eating something and drinking and then I'll go to the physio for a while. Nothing can prepare you for what is happening within you. The tension inside you. It all builds up to the big moment. Nervousness and tension increase minute by minute. And you get distracted Sign of the second race: 30 minutes before the start, I am totally absorbed. I concentrate, I prepare my body and my mind.
Full concentration on the "Mountain Course" I take a deep breath. I try to distract myself by going over all the technical stuff again. Is everything ready on the bike? Do I know where my pit stop area is? Do I get through the first few corners well? Everything goes through my head a hundred times. I do all this just to distract myself from my stress. And one time, I get to the point where I can get rid of all the nervousness because my total focus is on this beginning. And then it can start for me. Great job.
He passed the Nook and lost half a minute safely. That ruined my day. No, I'm so upset. Such an error must not occur! It's just that if I drive a little faster, a little harder on the brakes, a little more aggressive, then the rear wheel starts to jump. So I couldn't brake hard enough, I couldn't get in. But other than that, it's just an amazing track. And head up the mountain with the R1. I have to say it again. You show up and "baaam baam." You think you're tearing the asphalt under you backwards. You think when you look back, it's like a comic.
The whole road will pile up like this. Is awesome. I'm already looking forward to next time! I've learned a lot now and yes, I've had to struggle a bit. We're not there yet with the configuration we want to be in. But 16th, a second behind 15th, isn't too bad with the big mistake I made. We were prepared for the worst. It was almost no practice. I have to say again that it was a big problem for us, because we are here for the first time with the new bikes. This is a track that needs a very good set-up.
Otherwise it won't work. It will not work! I now look forward to a relaxed cold beer and then something nice to eat.

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