Isle of Man TT – Finally a Race Day.

Sunday morning it was almost a surprise when at sunrise, there was actually sun. The forecast wasn’t great but the first Superbike Race was set to go!

Although there is a law that always the government to close down the roads for an event, this is rarely done on a Sunday and like today, the roads weren’t closed until afternoon after people had gone to church and returned.

I have been up at the Grandstand / Paddock area several times but the energy is different for race day. There is an excitement, a nervous energy in the Parc Ferme. The mechanics are making final adjustments, the pit crews in their Nomex suits are filling the gas tanks and others are bringing tools and tires to the pits.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Fuel is loaded manually by each rider’s team.

In practice riders are sent out in pairs. On race day they go one at a time at 10-second intervals. There are numbers on the grid for teams to stage their rider´s bikes. Many of the drivers do not appear until the final moments, trying to avoid the ITV4 TV reporters roving through the grid with microphones.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

#1 awaiting Davo Johnson on his chrome Norton 1000

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

Motos 6, 7 & 8, wait for Michael Dunlop, Conor Cummins and Guy Martin

Davo Johnson is #1 on is the crome Norton Superbike, patiently waiting for the start of the 2017 Isle of Man TT. The top 20 positions are pre-assigned based on prior performance. Numbers 21 and beyond are based not the weeks qualifying times.

Davo is reving is engine, the starter’s hand lifts from his shoulder and he is off! The 2017 TT has finally begun.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

The 2017 Isle of Man TT is finally under way.

One by one they roll up to the line, pause a few seconds under the hand of the starter and then the Superbikes roar to life.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017Superbike Race

The nervous seconds on the way to the line. Dan Kneen, William Dunlop, Steve Mercer & Martin Jessopp. 

Today’s 6 lap event is 226.4 miles and requires 2 pit stops. Once all the riders are off there is a strange silence over the crowd in the grandstand. There are no big screen TV’s for the crowd to see the race, there is no electronic scoreboard and there are no beer vendors in the stands yelling Beer Here!

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Derek Shiels burns out of the start gate.

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Daley Mathison on his BMW 1000RR

There is the announcer on the PA with the same broadcast as people are listening to Manx Radio TT, there is the score board where the times and positions are written by hand and hung by Boy Scouts and in the pits, tanks holding the gas are gravity feed. While the machines are high tech, this racing in the rawest form.

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Dean Harrison in for his first pit stop.

The view from the top of the Control Tower shows there is a very fine line between speed and disaster.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017RST Superbike Race

170 mph past the pits at the end of lap 1, flying between the pits and the Douglas Cemetery.

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Dean Harrison, Ian Hutchinson and Peter Hickman make up the podium for the superbike race.

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This is TT title #15 for Ian Hutchinson on his Tyco BMW.

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