Feature: Isle of Man TT Super sports

There is an island with no limits that is host to arguably the most dangerous motorcycle race in the word. Since its inception in 1904 and the first T.T race in 1907, to date the island has seen on average of 2 deaths per year, between 1907 and 2009 (at the end of 2009 TT races period) there have been 231 deaths during official practices or races on the Snaefell Mountain Course. The long winding course with over 200 bends and corners covering 37¾ miles or 60.4 kms. Riders can reach up top 180 Mph (290 kph) over the mountain and average 130mph or 210kph over the circuit. Unlike short circuit races, the TT races are extremely dangerous because of the high speeds on very narrow, twisting streets and roads  lined by stone walls. 

Many motorcycling hero’s and legends have been made on the island such as Irish man, Joey Dunlop winner of  26 TT titles and English man John McGuiness with 16 victories. It has been the ultimate proving ground for many modern motor cycles.

12 Czechoslovakia Riders and one Czech Rider have completed in the TT over the years. In 2009. Michal Dokoupil is the last rider in row of Czech road-racers who raced on Isle of Man.  His 600cc machine developed a Technical problem on the 3rd lap in second race ending his fantastic performance, highlighting his great racing talent following races on the Irish road circuits. He won at Kells and Dundrod and did three Top10 times in the  Ulster Grand Prix.

It has to be said that road racing culture is on the increase here in Slovakia with many Slovak bikers making the trip this year to visit the Mecca of motorcycle road racing. Given the popularity of sports bikes and  the new Slovakia Ring located close to Bratislava not top mention the attraction of Pezinská Baba Hill with bikers, who knows maybe Slovakia might soon have the up and coming Rossi’s and Dunlops of the future.

Back on the island, Thursday saw a fine display of the spirit of the TT, the race original scheduled for Wednesday was postponed due to rain and run instead on Thursday saw Gary Johnson win his first ever TT win in the second Isle of man TT Supersport race. He stormed over the 4 laps astride his East Coast Honda CBR600. and finished 8.4 seconds ahead of 16 time IOMTT winner John McGuiness also riding a Honda CBR600.

When the race got underway, many were expecting a top performance from Supersport race-1 winner Michael Dunlop son of the latew Robert Dunlop. But the Street Sweep Yamaha YZF-R6 IOMTT rider had some problems and was forced to stop at Ballacraine to make some adjustments on the bike. Dunlop’s first lap was over 45 minutes.

In the mean time, Johnson was screaming over the IOMTT Mountain Course,  with the English  rider averaging an impressive 125.587 mph (202.18 Kph) on his first lap,  the race action was dominated by McGuinness, Martin, Cameron Donald (Honda) Bruce Anstey (Padgetts Honda) and Dan Kneen (Mark Bloom Racing Yamaha); all four were separated by only six seconds.

By the second IOMTT Supersport lap, Johnson was 15 seconds ahead of McGuinness, who completed his 50th TT race Thursday. The lead group would spread apart a bit heading into the final lap, with Donald almost 11 seconds behind Johnson. But just when he looked to be taking second, Donald’s Honda had some problems resulting in him  retiring from the race.

This gave second to McGuinness, with Martin taking third. Rounding out the top five were McGuinness’ teammate Keith Amor and Supersport 1 race-winner Anstey, respectively.

There was a bit of controversy, though. Many IOMTT riders reported that red flags were not displayed correctly at Ramsey and Union Mills, which brings into question the race results.

With his second-place finish, McGuinness now has 76 points. McGuinness, who won Saturday’sDainese 6-lap Superbike race, leads his teammate Amor by 17 points.


  1. Alec, 🙂 you’re welcome and thanks for the comm’s

  2. Thanks Noel. I’ll pass the info on.By the way did you realise there was also a TT course in Wales during the fifties. Mynydd Eppynt ,near Sennybridge ,was, and still is, an all arms military training range with an interesting selection of bends and curves. Jack Daniels and Geoff Duke raced Nortons there and even a young John Surtees showed up on several occasions. Dixies corner is a legendary name amongst thousands of soldiers who have trained on the upland moorland.Nowadays it’s better known as a car rally venue.From a Slovak point of view it’s relevant because of the International six day trial Gold vase winning Czechoslovak team/ 1948 I think / .of which most of the riders were Slovak. Significant because the machines they rode were only 125 cc capacity. Check out http://www.silverdragons.co.uk

  3. Thanks Noel for an interesting article. Some Slovak boys are asking if it is still possible to ride a closed TT circuit before the event starts. They are used to riding the Pananonia ring in Hungary, and now the Slovak circuit – though by all accounts it is very fast!

    1. On Mad Sunday the mountain section is closed to all except bikes with a one way system in effect, so that’s as close to riding the circuit as they will get under race conditions, as such. The remainder of the circuit can be ridden at anytime.
      Speed limits have to be observed through the towns and villages etc. But where the end of limit sign appears , there are no and I mean no limits. However be aware that the roads are public and they will meet oncoming traffic and tractors pulling out of fields etc. There is a short circuit on the island at Jurby and I believe you hire can drive a Double Decker bus on it, good for a laugh.
      Anyway if they are planning a trip let me know, I might join in 🙂 also if they ride the route the TT takes; they will see where it is possible to give it socks and where its not..
      The Manx G.P is at the end of August, it does not have the massive International festival that the TT offers but its well worth a visit.
      But seriously a few laps of the route is a definite must before letting rip. The TT circuit and a short circuit are two totally different beasts. My last trip to the island on a bike, I used my FJR 1300, I got zipped at 155mph (max speed of the bike) on the mountain, I was on the limiter and another guy just sailed past me, so you need your senses about you on the TT route especially on the mountain and the Veranda. By the way those lovely green hedges are not really hedges, most of them are actually stone walls covered in grass. There are none of these or trees on a short circuit, I am not trying to pontificate, but road circuits are not forgiving like short circuits. But they are more fun!

      1. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ………All sounds so terribly exciting Moel . How did you view paint drying as a hobby ?

        1. You tell me George 🙂
          You seem to be the self professed expert on everything and nothing.

  4. ‘bleating from the sidelines’ is actually called free speech.

    Indeed, so a person’s also expressing his right to free speech if he claims to find some of this bleating nothing but pointless, egotistical bullshit.

    As you also rightly say, not always a need for hugs and kisses.

  5. James , I guess you enjoy ‘being on the road’ the weekend, with that brown nose of yours ?

    Whether a subject is of interest to me or not, I’d always respond in a respectful, witty, but critical manner. In this case, I did not ever mention the writer’s efforts, just their chosen subject matter. I would also respectfully would point out that ‘bleating from the sidelines’ is actually called free speech, something you feel must be package with smug toast-mastering and lots of hugs & kisses and never mind there diddums .

    Some people do drink from the fountain of knowledge, but you James ,just gag and gargle.

  6. Just to see this debate from a different angle :

    Family and friends who’ve visited me when the hockey championships have been on have been surprised to find that the event even exists, let alone that it has much of Slovakia glued to its TV screens for a couple of weeks. The point being that it gets no media coverage whatsoever back in the UK. If it did, though, there’d be some interest, not a huge amount perhaps, but enough to justify the effort.

    The same with this TT article. It’s not my subject of choice, nor is American football, which has also been covered on here. But does that matter? No, because I would bet that those who do like these sports and read the articles will enjoy them and appreciate what’s gone into them.* I bet there’ll be a few such people, Slovaks or ex-pats. Even if not, well, guess the Daily can publish on any subject it damn well likes.

    Oddly enough, I was also ‘on the road’ this weekend and saw, among plenty of other motorbikes, a group of perhaps 12-15 people riding Harleys. My interest didn’t extend to stopping and demanding to know where they were from, where they were going etc but, given that this was central Slovakia, it might be fair to suggest they were Slovaks touring Slovakia.

    You would know, of course, George, as you know absolutely everything else. I, like everyone else, just bow down at the fountain of your knowledge.

    *Worth coming back to this point too. I know what it’s like to love a subject and try to write an article on it. It takes a lot ; skill, dedication and much more. Whether the subject is of interest to me or not, I’d always respect the writer’s efforts. Far more than I respect pointless bleating from the sidelines.

  7. If you don’t see bikes here George you are either blind or you never get out. Even the Slovak Police are riding Bmw’s and Honda’s these days and are actually quite accomplished riders.
    The number of motorcycles registered in Slovakia has risen from 58,141 in
    2006 to 81,931 in 2009 alone according to TISPOL, and that was three years ago. Maybe they have Klingon or Romulan cloaking devices,which are as fictitious as many of your comment. Strangely enough in 2009 Ireland had under 40,000 registered motorcycles, LESS than half that of Slovakia.

    As for seeing only bikes with foreign plates maybe that’s because you actually live in caravan on a lay-by on the side of the highway.
    This being the case, you are most definitely one of those who cannot see the wood for the trees.

    1. Noel you do make me laugh 🙂 At you of course , not with you .

      Actually I did see three motor bike on my trip to my country house ( well actually a chateau, 8 bedrooms, with sauna and swimming pool ) when I traveled to Eastern Slovakia the weekend . Three bikes on a sunny weekend and in a 1000 klm round trip , is hardly the ‘many’ from the group of hero’s you describe. I did not include police bikers in my observation , but I again I saw none of these fellows either ? Are you sure you got your figures correct ?

      However, given that only you and I are the only ones interested in commenting on this utterly irrelevant to Slovakia article, of IOM TT racing, then I can only suggest that perhaps, I am right in my view and you may be wrong here? Everyone, even you Noel, can be gifted. Some like me however, just open the package much sooner.

  8. It would be nice if reporting on this website was kept balanced and relevant ?

    As stated on another thread, this is really has nothing to do with Slovakia ? I thought this was a community newspaper for Slovak news , events etc, not the IOM holiday I had ?? The links to Slovakia are very tentative and only because a few CzoSk ‘s once rode motor bikes in the TT race in last 50 years , oh and perhaps just a few actual Slovaks may have actually attended this event? Although you don’t mention if you met any that were there for the race or rather than were just working in the Hotel, as bar tenders or chambermaids ???

    The only motor bike riders I ever see in Slovakia are normally not Slovak and are passing through , to either to Brno or Budapest or beyond ??

    Given all the potholes on Slovak road currently , riding my push bike is dangerous enough , without riding a two wheeled motorised machine .

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