Welcome to the greatest motorcycle road race in the world. As we head into the second century of one of sport’s most iconic institutions, the message is quite simple – it’s here to stay and it’s going to get bigger and better!
When those original pioneers pushed, pedalled and rode their machines around the St Johns Course back in 1907, they would have had no idea what a major part of history they were participating in and it’s highly likely that none of them would have thought it would still be in existence today, 101 years later. Since that fi rst 10-lap, 158 mile race, the Isle of Man TT races have developed into a brand that is known from one end of the globe to the other and its worldwide identity is second to none, a proud and unique achievement that has done more than stand the test of time – it has gone from strength to strength.
Today’s world is awash with rules and regulations, a world in which we are told what we can and cannot do, a world where the powers that be do all they can to suppress freedom of choice but the TT stands fi rm and resolute. Whilst it will always have its critics, the magnetic attraction that it possesses to both riders, manufacturers, sponsors and race fans alike will always pull more strongly than any form of bureaucracy telling us the opposite.
The 2007 Centenary TT was an undoubted success, a huge celebration where we all looked back at the fi rst 100 years and acknowledged all that had made it good and everything that had been instrumental in getting the event to where it is today. However, whilst we all allowed ourselves the opportunity to look back at times gone past, it also gave many of us the opportunity to look forward and see which direction the TT would turn for the years ahead. Even last year, some ‘doom and gloom’ merchants were talking about it being the beginning of the end for the greatest road race of them all but thankfully, and rightfully, that thought couldn’t have been further from the truth and the organisers have used the unqualifi ed success of TT2007 as a springboard for the future and to propel the races to even greater heights.
The Manx population continue to embrace the TT with warm hearts and open arms welcoming all those that make the trip across the Irish Sea each and every year paying homage not only to the races but also to the Island itself. Whilst the two and three-wheeled action is undoubtedly the focal point of the event, people also visit the races for the Isle of Man itself and it remains a unique, beautiful and traditional place where we all feel welcome and at home. The dawn has now broke on the second century of the Isle of Man TT Races and we can guarantee that no one will be disappointed with the 2008 event. The racing sees a line up that is second to none with the combination of teams and riders proving that the strength in depth and the importance of the TT is as high, if not higher, than it has ever been. Levels of professionalism mirror that of a world championship event and with event sponsorship, investment and promotion also at new highs, the event is being broadcast to an even bigger audience.