Report – Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man

Table of contents

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Kaschel

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man

30th pictures

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Borner

1/30
The motorcycles, the drivers, the island, the press: a wild mix at the TT. Michael Dunlop as the title hero on the new R1 and on the old BMW (center) in the race.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Streblow

2/30
A spectacle – also for the audience.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Borner

3/30
… no longer on a Yamaha, but on the previous year’s BMW

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
2snap / Tim Keeton

4/30
The man to beat? Michael Dunlop …

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

5/30
It was the oil consumption: Penz chief mechanic Gordon Unger has good contacts in the paddock around the world.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

6/30
The bike to beat? No problems with the R1 in series trim.
Oil consumption not measurable.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
monster

7/30
The man to beat! Ian Hutchinson enjoyed his victories like the monster girls. No wonder with the story.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

8/30
Beyond the spectacle: View of the Irish Sea between Douglas and Ramsey.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Kaschel

9/30
In the middle of the spectacle: View of the route at Cronk-y-Voddy, the embankments form the air fences.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Kaschel

10/30
Jonathan Rea in an interview.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
monster

11/30
Before the first TT round of their lives: Jonathan Rea (right) and teammate Tom Sykes.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

12/30
Interview with John McGuinness.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

13/30
In a good mood and eloquent: John McGuinness at his Fireblade.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Kaschel

14/30
Belinda and Richard look after the Metzeler tent village, Ian Hutchinson, James Hillier and Guy Martin rely on Metzeler tires.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

15/30
High-speed relaxation: Beyond the track and its heroes, the TT is the most relaxed motorsport event in the world.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Kaschel

16/30
Team Penz13.com (from left): Gordon Unger, Michael Rutter, Stefan Kuhn, team boss Rico Penzkofer and the honorable places six, ten and eleven. It continued in Suzuka…

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Kaschel

17/30
The press also reports, of course.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
monster

18/30
So we know it: John McGuinness, the Fireblade and …

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
monster

19/30
… the winning champagne.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

20/30
Find the difference: just the old TT expert, here the Isle of Man newcomer.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

21/30
Creg-ny-Baa and the end of the mountains: if you stop here, the wild chase is almost behind you.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Borner

22/30
Where the air burns: The Manx man Connor Cummins gave a mighty flame. And still ended up under “also ran”.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

23/30
In rank and file: If you want to get on the ferry in Liverpool, you are not alone. And the prices at TT are almost twice as high as usual.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

24/30
Been there for a long time: The men from Gruseleck have been coming since 1981. Everyone knows them, everyone likes them – for the TT they are part of the island.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

25/30
Very close to the madness: Anyone who blows up here has well, well over 200 things on it. And probably hardly notice it.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Borner

26/30
… The BMW S 1000 RR has been on the island for a long time thanks to Michael Dunlop.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
triumph

27/30
The sun boy and audience favorite: Guy Martin has been a star since the film “Closer to the Edge” – even without a TT win …

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

28/30
Race around the clock: When the races are over and the camp is good, the television delivers the pictures of the day.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

29/30
The series S 1000 RR – an amazing machine. Can always do more than the driver. Especially here, where she can really run.

Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
Henniges

30/30
The best places: Our guides know you. If you want to be there: Isle of Man 2016, from 02.06. until June 12, 2016.

Sports & scene

Motorsport

Report – Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man

Report – Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man
It’s a man’s world

While the drivers slowly opened up the TT course during the training week, England and Ireland discussed intensively whether Michael Dunlop could even be beaten on the new R1. The pressure on him was immense. On us too. We had to go there.

Stefan Kaschel

08/03/2015

The language is sometimes as martial as the event. At least if you only have the sporty side in mind on the Isle of Man. “How Milwaukee Yamaha weaponized the R1 in two months” headlines Bikesport News, a magazine that focuses exclusively on motorcycle racing in England. Michael Dunlop, the serial winner of the past few years, and the new Superbike wonder weapon, the Yamaha YZF-R1, prepared by the top team from the British Superbike Championship: Although there were always clear favorites on the Man, the role of favorites was rarely more clearly occupied.

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The road racing experts expect nothing less than a series of victories from the 26-year-old Irishman – and a new lap record. “How the hell do we beat Dunlop?”, BSN had asked a week earlier in a 30-page preview among the established road racers. Is it really possible to defeat him? The competitors were introduced should they reveal their recipes. How do you want to start it?

McGuinness wants to keep the pressure on Dunlop

Guy Martin, the crowd favorite and heartthrob, the eternal runner-up, always at the front, but unfortunately without a win so far, praises Dunlop’s constancy over six long 60-kilometer laps. His concept: follow suit. Bruce Anstey (45), the mad kiwi, nine-time TT winner and current lap record holder (average speed on this route through villages, towns, mountains and valleys, forests and meadows: unbelievable 213 km / h!) Is happy to go to Dunlop this time start and not as “his rabbit” right in front of him. He wants to turn the tables, use Dunlop’s phenomenal speed as a motivational injection on the first two laps, sit on his neck. And 43-year-old Tourist Trophy King John McGuinness wants to keep the pressure up on Dunlop.

The bricklayer from Morecambe has won the TT 21 times so far, has been married to the Honda Fireblade for longer than his wife and knows every bump by first name on the 60-kilometer circuit. But against Dunlop, the 26-year-old nephew of TT legend Joey Dunlop, he has had a tough time in recent years. “He really wants to win. And he has the balls, ”said McGuinness in an interview before the races.

Nobody cares about a failed dress rehearsal

Somehow, surprisingly, nobody cares about the failed dress rehearsal. Northwest 200, one of the many road races over in Ireland – that’s the final gauge just before the big duel. Alastair Seeley dominated his BMW and set the record for Michael’s father Robert (15 victories) with three more victories (twice Supersport, Superbike). His son only achieved second place in the first Supersport race, but failed with the R1 in the Superbikes with a technical defect. That Guy Martin and John McGuinness also followed – so be it. They are warming up, it was said. But Dunlop – he always wants to win. The technical problems could not be overlooked.

So: Dunlop, Martin, McGuinness? Or: BMW, Honda or Yamaha? The situation came to a head, you have to be there. With the right motorcycles, of course. BMW S 1000 RR, Honda Fireblade and Yamaha R1. The plan: We drive to Man, experience the bikes on site – and discuss the pros and cons of their and our emergency vehicles with the protagonists.

From Pforzheim to Douglas

Change of location: June 4th, eight o’clock in the morning, Rasthof Pforzheim on the A 8 between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe. Here we meet, our destination: Zeebrugge in Belgium. The ferry that will take us to Hull on England’s east coast starts from there at 7 p.m. We’ll be there the next morning. From there it is around 250 kilometers to Liverpool, from there the second ferry, arriving in Douglas at around eleven o’clock in the evening. You don’t even go to the Isle of Man for a short while, you travel there. And with a lot of like-minded people. Next to us in the queue for the ferry, we meet Stephane Mertens, the Belgian ex-racing driver. He’s never been to the TT and he’s really excited. On the way back we will meet him again, and we will be deeply impressed.

But first he is interested in the new Yamaha YZF-R1, which is mostly the focus of interest. How does she drive? Accurate, stable, great wheely control, plenty of pressure, this growling engine. “Michael should be able to win with that,” I say. Stephane smiles. “Yes, definitely,” he says. “But you never know in racing.” Of course he’s right. Email from Monster Energy press man John Close, who was supposed to fix the appointments with Monster drivers Dunlop and McGuinness. Monster is the title sponsor of the TT.


Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man


Henniges

If you want to get on the ferry in Liverpool, you are not alone. And the prices at TT are almost twice as high as usual.

“Everything’s fine with John, but of course it could be difficult with Michael now.” We don’t understand. No problem at all, they said the day before we left. In between a day on the motorcycles, a night on the ferry. What happened?

Something that would have been considered simply impossible in modern professional racing (and the best road racers are all professionals). Michael Dunlop had decided in the middle of the stormy training week, on Thursday morning, after just three training rounds, not to fulfill his contract with Milwaukee Yamaha. Instead, he intended to compete on his BMW S 1000 RR from the previous year. What a slap in the face for the Japanese. The title on the official TT programs, all the gazettes that showed it on the red R1 in Milwaukee trim, the baseball caps, T-shirts, jackets that are sold by the thousands on the Isle of Man and throughout England and Ireland – everything is wasted. And our story? Done suddenly.

Paddock open to everyone

But why? Nobody really knows on the ferry from Liverpool to Douglas either. We arrive late on Friday evening and only have to move into our tent in the Metzeler tent village in the local sports stadium. The next morning, before the first Supersport race, the first fragmentary information. John Close speaks of technical difficulties with the Yamaha. Okay, the hard throttle response bothers us on our Yamaha YZF-R1, but the BMW is convincing across the board. But do you want to change team and brand? We have to go to the paddock. This has been open to everyone for years, as have the tents and trucks of most teams. The best-known German team is that of Rico Penzkofer (www.penz13.com) on site. There they traditionally maintain close contacts with Michael Dunlop, who even started for “Penz” at the Frohburger Dreieck. They have to know something, after all, Gordon Unger, the chief mechanic at Penz13, is at home in the paddocks of this world. Of course, Gordon knows – and puts the scandal into perspective. Michael’s Yamaha burned so much oil that his former teammate John McGuinness, who drove after him in a cloud of blue smoke during training, warned him by phone in the evening before a start. There was talk of a liter of oil per lap. And of insufficient performance. 

Not enough power? With over 200 hp on a country road course? “This course is so special,” explains Gordon. “Think about it, we’re driving the superbikes here at an average speed of well over 210 km / h! On normal country roads, mind you, sometimes of poor quality. With potholes, thoroughfares and millions of bumps. This is only possible because it goes a lot straight ahead and you constantly give full throttle. That sounds crazy, but nowhere do you need as much power as here. Here practically only full throttle is driven! ”Perhaps that is a bigger problem for the Yamaha with its crossplane concept than for the others. The extreme pressure fluctuations caused by the pairs of pistons descending very quickly one after the other could press too much oil from the crankcase into the airbox – maybe. An official statement is not available. Milwaukee boss Shaun Muir asks himself, however, “whether three laps are enough to finally test a motorcycle”. Michael Dunlop’s reply: “I’m not here for the money. And I’m not here for the fame. I’m here to win a race. “

DVD with Guy Martin “Isle of Man – TT – Hard at the limit”


Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man


Henniges

Very close to the madness: Anyone who blows up here has well, well over 200 things on it. And probably hardly notice it.

But he doesn’t. Instead, two win first, who were not in the focus in view of these dramas, but who everyone here treats: Ian Hutchinson (35) and Bruce Anstey (45), both TT legends, both in the extended circle of favorites, but both with very different ones TT story.

One of them – Hutchy – was the only driver to win all five races so far in 2010 (two times Supersport, Superstock, Superbike and Senior TT). And less than three months later, he almost lost a leg in a race at Silverstone and survived 30 operations over the next few years. He is back this year, won in Macau, drove strongly in the Northwest 200, dominated the TT training sessions with ease. He wins both TT Supersport races (on a Yamaha YZF-R6), the Superstock race (Kawasaki ZX-10R), and is also second in the Superbikes and third in the Senior TT. An impressive record.

Bruce Anstey since 1996

Just like Bruce Anstey’s. He has been with us since 1996 and has won nine times – but only ever in the Supersport class. This year the time has finally come. His lead over Ian Hutchinson is just under eleven seconds after six laps or almost 365 kilometers in the Superbike run. A value that impressively demonstrates how hard they are operating at the limit between pasture fences, avenue trees, angular walls and house walls. Incidentally, Anstey won on the Padgetts Honda, including the old lady Fireblade – which leads directly back to the beginning of this story.

To Michael Dunlop, Guy Martin and John McGuinness. And to the question of whether it is the bikes that make the winners here. Certainly not the Yamaha R1 this year. Dean Harrison finished as the best R1 driver in 11th, 13th and 31st. And the BMW S 1000 RR, which was a guarantor for victories under Dunlop last year, is almost empty this time. The Northern Irishman finished second in the Superstock race, fifth in the Senior TT and, through no fault of his own, fell on the last lap of the Superbike race because someone had crashed in front of him.

John McGuinness wins the Senior TT

And Guy Martin on the new S 1000 RR, the Tyco BMW? He was eliminated in the first lap of the Superbike race, and after a tough battle he finished fourth in the Senior TT and seventh in the Superstock class. Was it the material? If you ask us, don’t. Because our S 1000 RR is convincing all along the line. Incidentally, as so often, Martin did not appear for the interview.

There remains John McGuinness and the Fireblade. Both do what they have done so many times. They don’t make big words, they gather, take a breath, and then strike. On the old lady, John wins the most important race of the week, the Senior TT. Sets an incredible new lap record with an average speed of 213.562 kilometers. “What are the strengths of the Honda?” We ask. “Stability and durability,” replies John. Two down-to-earth characteristics that undoubtedly apply not only to the Honda, but also to himself. And they are very important on this island and its “crazy” races.

Interview: Jonathan Rea


Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man


monster

Before the first TT round of their lives: Jonathan Rea (right) and teammate Tom Sykes

“It was totally crazy”


Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man


Kaschel

Jonathan Rea in an interview.

If Monster Energy is the main sponsor, then other motorcycle greats from the racing world should not be missing. No problem for the superior Superbike World Championship leader Jonny Rea. He lives on the island. Together with Tom Sykes, he drove the closed course for the first time at this year’s TT.

MOTORCYCLE: Jonny, that was your first lap on the closed track today. How was it?

Jonathan Rea:  It was totally crazy.

MOTORCYCLE: How fast did you go?

Jonathan Rea: To be honest: I have no idea, because we drove after a marshall. I can appreciate it. Maybe an average of 100 miles an hour.

MOTORCYCLE: And how did you feel about it?

Jonathan Rea: Oh, it’s really cool. Now I understand why so many of the drivers love to come here. Imagine that they close your home track and you can drive like on the racetrack. It’s absolutely insane.

MOTORCYCLE: Can you imagine starting here?

Jonathan Rea: No, that wouldn’t be anything for me. You have to imagine: I’m absolutely competitive in the Superbike World Championship right now (laughs). But if I came here, I would have to work for years to become competitive again. For me, the Superbike World Championship is the most important thing. Road racing is a real spectacle with a great atmosphere.

MOTORCYCLE: Are the boys here heroes or are they totally crazy??

Jonathan Rea: It’s a mix. Somehow, of course, they’re not normal. One mistake in this game – and it can end badly. On the other hand, those who win here are real heroes. For these two weeks, but also for eternity.

MOTORCYCLE: There are many who do both. For example, John McGuinness drove the British Superbike Championship, drove in the Endurance World Championship and here. What do you think is more difficult: Switching to the racetrack as a road racer – or the other way around?

Jonathan Rea: I think the guys who come off the track are good at both disciplines. But those who come off the road are not always the best circuit drivers. That calls for a different mentality. The fundamentals of going really fast don’t matter on the road. The aim here is to minimize the risks, not to use the last centimeter of the route. That’s why I believe that road racing is easier with racetrack experience than the other way around.

Interview: John McGuinness


Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man


Henniges

In a good mood and eloquent: John McGuinness at his Fireblade

“The Honda is a top bike”


Report - Tourist Trophy 2015 on the Isle of Man


Henniges

Interview with John McGuinness

2014 was an epidemic year for John McGuinness, a wrist injury set him back. In 2015, however, he wants to know again. Physically fit again, he is still a long way from being scrapped. And, as always, is he willing to give interviews? Like this one before the races.

MOTORCYCLE: John, have you ever thought about trying a BMW?

John McGuinness: No, but maybe I should (laughs). But seriously: I have a contract with Honda and we hold the lap record in Supersport, Superstock and Superbike. And I believe that Honda has put together a top package here. I’ve worked with Honda for ten years, have had the same mechanics for ten years and Dunlop tires for ten years. I don’t think I should change that.

MOTORCYCLE: Have you ever missed traction control on the Fireblade??

John McGuinness: No not true. We tried traction control here at the TT. We then expanded it again because it is so “bumpy” here that it is constantly regulating. That costs you speed. Five or six years ago we used traction control. Not since then. It may all be great for civilian use on the road, traction control, ABS, heated grips, blah, blah, blah, different mappings … – that’s all okay in civilian life. You don’t need it to race here.

MOTORCYCLE: What do you think of Michael Dunlop and his move from Yamaha to BMW. We were very surprised. And we heard you drove behind him and called him that evening to warn him?

John McGuinness: Yes, I was behind the Yamaha and saw all the blue smoke. This is not a good thing and it is not safe either. Michael is a winner, he doesn’t want to develop motorcycles at this stage, he wants to win races. He doesn’t care about politics. For him, the only option was not to ride the motorcycle because he didn’t feel safe.

MOTORCYCLE: Yes, but usually there are contracts?

John McGuinness: Of course there are contracts, and when Michael says this Yamaha sucks, it’s not good for Yamaha’s business. But Yamaha finally released him from this contract. Oh, you’d better ask Michael and Yamaha, I don’t know either … but if I weren’t happy with a motorcycle, I wouldn’t ride it either. 

MOTORCYCLE: But you’re happy with your Honda?

John McGuinness: Yes, I am. It’s not the fastest on the straights, but the overall package – that is, durability, stability, grip, steering precision: all good!

MOTORCYCLE: Where is it particularly good, where not so good?

John McGuinness: It’s the really wavy pieces, for example from Ginger Hall to Ramsey, with the many jumps – it’s really good there, very stable. From the start to Ballacraine there is a little lack of top speed, maybe even in the mountains – but everywhere else it is really good.

MOTORCYCLE: Who is your favorite this year, who has put together the best package?

John McGuinness: Ohh, the Fireblade and I are a good package …

MOTORCYCLE: We mean besides you?

John McGuinness: At the moment, Ian Hutchinson is very strong on his Kawasaki, also mentally. After five years of all these operations, he is finally fit again. He’s really strong. However, we haven’t seen the real strength of some drivers here in practice. From Gary Johnson, for example, from my teammate Connor Cummins, from Guy Martin, from Michael Dunlop …

MOTORCYCLE: Also on the BMW, with which he has not yet trained?

John McGuinness: It doesn’t matter to Michael. He’ll be quick. But actually I don’t think about the other drivers, I think about myself. I’m number one, I have to drive as fast as I can – and see what happens. We have two pit stops … you have to arrive first. It’s a tough job, it’s exhausting.

MOTORCYCLE: Do you always give 100 percent out there, sometimes 105 or 95 percent. How is that? 

John McGuinness: I’m trying 99.9 percent. But seriously: there are a few slow corners out there where you can risk a fall. But then there are also an awful lot of awfully fast corners. So it’s good to have a little in reserve. Maybe five percent? It’s hard to tell, and everyone has their own style, is quick in different places. You can then read off the sector times. But if you want to win here, you have to be strong everywhere.

MOTORCYCLE: What about the fear? Doesn’t it come with age?

John McGuinness: (laughs) No, that’s not a problem for me. I’m 43 years old now and I feel like 21 inside! And here (pointing at his stomach) maybe like 51. But seriously: I feel passion, I am motivated. When I’m happy and have confidence in the bike, I can really accelerate. And right now I feel really good.

MOTORCYCLE: Last question: you also competed in the World Endurance Championship with the TT Legends Team. It was certainly not always easy among all the circuit specialists. Did you still have fun??

John McGuinness: Of course, I always enjoy racing. Perhaps I wasn’t the fastest, but I stayed seated – in contrast to many a young French colleague.

John, good luck for the next races and thank you very much!

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