Isle of Man TT: Did you know?

How much do you know about the Isle of Man TT?

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 1:41 pm

First held in 1907, the Manx motorcycling marvel has become the most famous road racing event in the world, with legendary riders such as Agostini, Read, Hailwood, Dunlop and McGuinness writing their names into the history books with their performances around the unique 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

Sadly, the Manx roads around the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course aren’t reverberating to the sound of racing motorcycles again this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s all systems go for the return of the TT in 2022.

In the meantime, we’ve put together some fascinating facts about the iconic Tourist Trophy races for a little touch of TT nostalgia to help fill the void.

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John McGuinness has won 23 races at the Isle of Man TT.
John McGuinness has won 23 races at the Isle of Man TT.

TT FACTOIDS

* John McGuinness has more podiums in the solo classes that any other rider, with the Morecambe man standing on the rostrum 47 times in front of the famous Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road. His last top-three result came in the 2019 TT Zero race, when he finished second behind Mugen team-mate Michael Rutter.

* The late, great Joey Dunlop has 40 podiums to his name, the last of which he achieved in the 2000 Senior TT, weeks before he was tragically killed in a racing crash in Estonia. Joey won three races at the 2000 TT to increase his record haul of victories to 26 – a benchmark that still stands today.

* Joey set his fastest ever TT lap at 123.87mph in his final ever TT race in the 2000 Senior on the Vimto Honda SP-1.

* British Superbike contender Peter Hickman remains the fastest newcomer ever at the TT, lapping at 129.104mph in 2014 on the Ice Valley BMW in the Senior TT, finishing in 11th place.

* Hickman is now also the outright lap record-holder following his blistering speed of 135.452mph on the final lap of the 2018 Senior, which enabled him to pip Dean Harrison for a dramatic victory on the last lap of the race.

* Derek McGee from Mullingar has the honour of being the fastest Irish newcomer at the TT, lapping at 122.898mph in 2015 on the Wilson Craig Honda – the 11th quickest newcomer lap ever.

* Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop has won 19 TT races in just 11 years, clinching his debut win in the second Supersport TT in 2009 and adding his most recent success in the Lightweight race in 2019.

* Dunlop earned back-to-back four-timers in 2013 and 2014 and has sealed wins across all the main solo classes, including four in the Superbike TT, three Senior victories, seven in the Supersport class, three Superstock triumphs and two in the Lightweight race for Supertwin machines.

* Ulster rider Dunlop's remarkable TT record also includes race wins for six different manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, BMW and Paton.

* Dunlop holds two lap records in the Supersport (129.197mph) and Lightweight (122.750mph) classes and also recorded the first sub 17-minute lap of the TT course from a standing start in the 2016 Superbike race on the Hawk Racing BMW, establishing a time of 16m 58s (133.37mph). It was also the first 133mph TT lap.

* Michael Dunlop's fastest TT lap was 133.962mph on the final lap of the 2016 Senior, which is the third quickest lap ever behind Peter Hickman (135.452mph) and Dean Harrison (134.918mph).

* After Michael, the next quickest Northern Ireland rider around the TT course is his brother William, whose speed of 130.853mph on the Tyco Suzuki in the 2014 Senior race places him 15th overall among the fastest riders ever, narrowly ahead of Lee Johnston, who lapped at 130.851mph in the 2015 Superstock race.

* Waterford’s Brian McCormack is currently the fastest TT rider from the Republic of Ireland with a lap of 128.812mph.

* In 2018, Bradford’s Dean Harrison set the fastest ever lap from a standing start at 134.432mph on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki in the Superbike TT. It was also the first 134mph lap of the Mountain Course. Harrison was forced out of the race with a clutch problem whilst leading.

* The first 100mph TT lap was recorded in 1957 by Bob McIntyre. Further milestones followed with the first 110mph lap in 1976 set by John Williams, while legendary Scotsman Steve Hislop broke the 120mph barrier in 1989.

* David Jefferies shattered the 125mph mark in 2000 before John McGuinness memorably celebrated a Senior TT victory in style with the first 130mph lap at the Centenary TT in 2007.

* The cancellation of the TT in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic was the first time the event did not run since 2001, when it was called off as a result of the foot and mouth agricultural outbreak. A second successive cancellation this year represents the first time the TT has not run in successive years since World War Two.

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