The Isle of Man TT 2012 Festival came to a rather sad end on Saturday, thankfully though it wasn’t due to a serious injury or a death in this notoriously dangerous festival of motorcycle racing. The disappointing end was down to an all-to-familiar nemesis of bikers in the British Isles: the rain.
Throughout Friday the course was thoroughly soaked by the unpleasant weather conditions. On Saturday the showpiece event, the PokerStars Senior TT, suffered serious delays. A plan was put in place to run the race over 4 laps instead of the traditional 6, however after a late course inspection the decision was taken to cancel the prestigious event. Aside from World Wars and the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak this was the first time the historic race had to be cancelled.
The inspection was carried out by Clerk of the Course, Conor Cummins and legendary Isle of Man TT rider John McGuinness. Speaking after the decision had been announced McGuinness said:
“I think it was the right decision to cancel the race today. I’d love to be here tomorrow waiting for the sun to shine so we can race, but that’s not an option and for me, the track just wasn’t quite right. Racing my favourite bike here, starting at the front and possibly winning races is the best thing in the world, but I’m also really nervous about riding the big bikes in patchy and damp conditions. It’s disappointing for everybody but tomorrow’s another day and we’re already looking forward to next year.”
When a motorcycle road racing hero like John McGuiness admits to being nervous about riding on a track with damp patches it should really make less experienced riders think about their own riding. Even innocuous looking damp patches can seriously reduce the amount of grip a bike has. Motorcycle insurance providers like Hastings Direct are all too familiar with the number of accidents in which damp conditions play a part. So just remember to take it easy and be careful in the wet.
Luckily the final day of the event wasn’t a complete washout as the BikerPetition.co.uk Lightweight TT (originally scheduled for Friday) went ahead on Saturday evening. The reintroduced Lightweight class bikes were deemed safe enough to race as they aren’t as quick as the big bikes and the lower weight means there isn’t as much lateral force put on the tires.
One man who was particularly happy to see the race go ahead was eventual winner Ryan Farquhar. The Irishman was favourite going in to the race and justified the bookies faith in him with a storming session in which he won the race by an impressive 28.99 seconds. Rounding out the podium were James Hillier (2nd) and Glen Helen (3rd).
While many people will be disappointed that the showpiece event never took place, most would likely agree that on such a dangerous course rider safety must be of paramount importance. Here’s hoping that the weather is kinder next year and we can see a new Isle of Man Senior TT champion.
Do you think that cancelling the event was the correct decision? Did you head out to the Isle of Man for the Festival? What were the fans saying about the decision? Let us know in the comments section below.