Leading up to both the 2018 and 2019 TT Dean Harrison and Peter Hickman were billed as the ones to watch.
Indeed they were worth watching, that is if you could possibly turn your head fast enough to keep them in sight. Dean turned in a fastest lap of 134.918 and Peter set the record with a lap in the 2018 Senior TT of 135.452, mere seconds difference over a lap of the Mountain Course.
On the first night of practice, I had my favorite spot to get the riders coming over Ballagarey. My son Jon was with me shooting video and after a few riders when by, Dean came flying over the hill and Jon looked at me and said, That Dean Harrison guy share is fast. Yes everyone is fast but when a few of the top riders go by, they actually are noticeably faster.
Although I am a BMW guy, it was great to see Dean pick up a win in the Senior TT and a couple of other podiums as well.
A favorite comment from the 2019 race was when I asked my friend Harry (age 6) what is favorite motorbike was, he emphatically said “Powasaki.” With Dean’s consistently fast time, all I can say is Powasaki indeed.
WOW – it has happened, I am on the plane headed home and the last three weeks have flown by like the motorbikes hitting the end of the Sulby straight, and the 2019 Isle of Man TT is in the books.
My hope is it will be remembered not for the rainy days but the incredible skills of the riders, the tireless efforts of their crews and the perseverance of the marshals as they were at their stations waiting for the racing to commence, only to have another day canceled.
There is a spirit to the Isle of Man, part of it comes from the community that is part of nature of living on an island and part is showing off for the TT. For weeks before the riders, crews and spectators arrive homes along the course and throughout the island are trimming hedges, painting homes and preparing to show off the Isle as the it becomes the center of the Road Racing universe.
I am truly one of the lucky ones, I have had pleasure of making some amazing friends over the last three years.
Rob, a Deputy Sector Marshal and good friend.
Pete & Jen, my amazing hosts who set an high bar for making visitors feel like family.
Allan ‘Kipper’ Killip, who began as a Traveling Marshal in 1962
Jim Hunter, a Traveling Marshal (#2)
Malcom Wheeler, who with his wife Julie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at this year’s TT, where they had spent their honeymoon. Malc was on the podium 3 times in the mid-80’s.
Trevor Denning, Deputy Chief Technical Officer
A Senior TT Party that starts the day with bacon baps and has an amazing view of the course.
A 50th surprise birthday party,
Dozens and dozens of dedicated marshals.
And of course the riders –
And with the mighty come the fallen, I had also gotten to know Dan Kneen who was killed in 2018 and Daley Mathison who perished in a crash this year. No one will every really know what happened, but all should remember the amazing spirit and skills of these two young riders, who passed doing that they loved.
For 2019, we have also had the chance to see the newest Superbike how it would fare alongside the time and race tested machines. The all new BMW S1000RRmade its TT debut and quickly proved to be the fastest cat in the jungle.
Needless to say, there are a lot of stories to share. I hope that if you follow my blog, you will come and see for yourself what has enticed generations of motorcyclist to make the pilgrimage to the Isle of Man.
Stay tuned, my plan is to post a new blog every Tuesday and Thursday for the next few weeks or until I run out of things to share.
Please send me a questions or topics of interest you have and I will try to respond.
WOW – two days in a row! That, in and of itself is enough to bring a smile to visitors to the 2019 Isle of Man TT. With a positive forecast Gary Thompson, the Clerk of Course created an ambitious schedule of racing and practice to run throughout the day and evening. Roads closed at 10:00 AM and reopened for 90 minutes between 4:30 and 6:00 to allow people to get home for work and then closed for another evening race.
The first Superbike started just a few minutes late due to a non-race related medical incident.
I spent the morning and afternoon at the iconic Ballaugh Bridge, just past the 17-mile mark. Where I have shot in the past and know the marshals.
Having had some issues with his Superbike at Sunday’s practice combined with turning in some of the fastest sector times of the week on his Superstock bike, on Sunday night Peter’s Smith Racing crew turned his Superstock bike into a Superbike. One of the really cool parts of the rebuild is that Peter’s new S1000RR – had a Road Bike Engine in it!
After being a few seconds behind in the initial sectors, Peter consistently gained time on race leader Dean Harrison.
A red flag after a tragic incident on the course shortened the race, Hickman was in the lead and declared the winner.
The good weather and celebration was muted due to the tragic death of Daley Mathison on the third lap of the course. I will have another post about Daley next week.
A rain day today but the forecast and the schedule look good for Wednesday.