Major new changes announced for Isle of Man TT
A number of major new changes have been announced that are set to revamp the Isle of Man TT.
Most notable next year is the introduction of live coverage of the event, while an expanded race programme from 2023 will include two Superstock and Lightweight Supertwin races, subject to consultation with the Manx public.
Under the proposals, the number of race days in 2023 will increase from four to six, with the Senior TT bringing the festival to a close in a new Saturday slot. The Lightweight TT will also become known as the Supertwin TT from next year, when the class will open up to accommodate more manufacturers.
A new rulebook will allow both Yamaha and Aprilia to compete in the category for the first time in the modern era and the regulations will permit twin-cylinder machines up to 700cc, such as the Aprilia RS660 and the Yamaha MT-07 and YZF-R7.
Announced on the day when the Senior TT should have brought down the curtain on this year’s TT races, the changes increase the air of expectation surrounding the return of the event in 2022 following back-to-back cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of Enterprise, promoters of the TT Races, on Friday revealed full live and uninterrupted coverage of the event will be available next year, showing every qualifying session and race via the TT’s new digital channel, which will launch next Spring. The live coverage will be accessible through a live pass and will be available to a staggering four billion internet users.
Original content will be available year-round, including an eight-part docuseries and a feature-length documentary film in the vein of fans’ favourite, Closer to the Edge.
Visitors to the Isle of Man will be able to enjoy the richest interactive experience they have ever had, combining the live sporting experience from their favourite vantage point with real time footage from around the course.
Running from Sunday, May 29 to Friday, June 10, the 2022 TT schedule boasts a number of small, yet noteworthy changes.
Qualifying once again stretches over six days, with the first qualifying session - a newly expanded session - getting underway on Sunday afternoon. Qualifying then returns to its regular evening time slot for four consecutive nights starting on Monday, May 30. The final session of the fortnight, however, now takes place on Friday afternoon, echoing the popular Thursday afternoon sessions of the past and giving competitors more time to prepare ahead of racing.
The most significant change is a revamped race-day programme, which will include a single warm-up lap for competitors each morning before racing gets underway. By replacing the midweek qualifying and practice sessions, the change allows for a more streamlined daily schedule with roads opening earlier than currently scheduled.
In 2023, the biggest changes in recent memory are set to be introduced with the launch of an expanded race programme.
Designed following feedback from thousands of TT fans, the new schedule would see the number of race days increase from four to six and the total number of races increase from eight to ten, with the introduction of a second race for the Superstock and Supertwin classes.
This new programme will coincide with the arrival of a brand-new, additional vessel for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, increasing travel capacity to-and-from the Island and allowing for more fans to visit the races.
There are also big changes afoot for the Sidecar class, with 900cc parallel twin-cylinder engines such as those found in the KTM 890 Duke and the BMW F900R permitted for the first time. In what will be the biggest shake-up in the class for three decades, the newly eligible powerplants will run alongside the 600cc four-cylinder and 675cc three-cylinder outfits that have long been the mainstay of Sidecar racing at the TT.
Also next year, a new TT Fan Park will provide fans with a TT experience like never before. Boasting full and uninterrupted live coverage on the big screen, fans can look forward to two weeks of entertainment including live music, signing sessions, games, competitions and more. The famous TT prize presentations will also be staged in the Fan Park.
TT 2023 RACE SCHEDULE*
SAT, JUNE 3
Monster Energy Supersport Race 1
3Wheeling Media Sidecar Race 1
SUN, JUN 4
RST Superbike TT
MON, JUNE 5
TUES, JUNE 6
RL360 Superstock Race 1
Bennetts Supertwin Race 1
WED, JUNE 7
Monster Energy Supersport Race 2
3Wheeling Media Sidecar Race 2
THUR, JUNE 8
FRI, JUNE 9
RL360 Superstock Race 2
SAT, JUNE 10
Milwaukee Senior TT
* 2023 TT race schedule subject to public consultation