Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013

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Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013
Henniges

Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013

Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013

Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013

Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013

34 pictures

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Everyone on the roadside is excited.

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The big moment after a journey of several hours: the ferry reaches the port of Douglas, the island’s capital. Entering a completely strange world.

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John “King of the Mountains” McGuinness with red socks in the company of his buddies: Despite his 20 victories, the likeable superstar is completely down to earth and always ready for a chat.

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Mister “Superstar involuntarily” did not make it again: Guy Martin was completely disappointed after his fourth place in the Senior TT.

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Done and happy: Anyone who has come through the race knows how happy you have to be in the here and now.

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Family event: racing atmosphere, adventurous people, crazy toys and finally something going on on the island.

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Super organized: Metzeler’s tent city on site offered 600 free sleeping places for all those who had installed Metzeler tires on their bikes. By the way, nobody checked it.

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Ute and Peter Wilmsmann from Halver have been coming to every TT every year since 1976, Ute even worked as a marshall for a few years.

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Tony East among his 68 bikes.

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Sharp contrast: Alex and Sascha are here for the first time. But not for the last time, as both emphasize in unison.

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Unfortunately, this nice young man can’t help you in an emergency.

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In recent years, the Tourist Trophy has had to contend with a decline in the number of participants.

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Of course, the grid girls couldn’t be missing either.

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Girls are always sought-after photo models.

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The results are also impressive.

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Fully tattooed, super nice and talkative: party people and race fans.

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There’s no such thing as impossible: Anyone who travels to the TT like this is a real fan and has the right girlfriend.

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Dangerous for sucking, some complain, the atmosphere is unbeatable, others rave – fans are very close to the race and very close to the track.

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Everyone is a winner: The few who make it onto the podium, and all the others if they just get off the track safely.

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A fan who has a tattoo on their back that shows racing legend Joey Dunlop wants an autograph from Joey’s nephew Michael – normal madness.

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Tranquil, idyllic, magical – there are many descriptions that apply to the sleepy Isle of Man.

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Allegedly delicious: French fries with cheese and dark sauce – a hit on the island.

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Without preparation, nothing works at the Tourist Trophy.

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The Tourist Trophy has been held on the island for 106 years.

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The obligatory old VW bus should of course not be missing.

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Shortly before the start of the race: Marshalls sweep the track and collect every little pebble from the asphalt.

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Radiator grille figure for a motorcycle.

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A Yamaha XT 500.

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“The atmosphere at the Tourist Trophy is just indescribably awesome,” shouts Trisha and throws herself in front of the camera. Because of the beautiful weather, her family – all of them TT fans – sleep in the open air.

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Crowds wherever he appears: Connor Cummins, local hero and popular figure of the Isle of Man – here writing an autograph.

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Likes to watch, allowed to watch – Connor Cummins’ friend Zara, her best friend and Connor’s mother Carole (from left).

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The Austrian Horst Saiger starts for a team from Liechtenstein. In the Senior TT, the champions’ race, the newcomer achieved a remarkable 23rd place in the overall standings – a huge success for him and his team.

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Policeman Anthony is relaxed. About imitators and speeders, he says: “Everything has become calmer, the boys more civilized”.

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Right in the middle instead of just being there: flying past the spectators standing along the route at over 250 km / h.

to travel

Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013

Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013
How was it actually for the MOTORRAD editors?

Quite a few associate the TT races on the Isle of Man with death. The opposite is the case … A report about the race, the island, the people:

Rolf Henniges

07/29/2013

The annoying honking comes abruptly. From somewhere down in the belly of the ferry. Worried looks on deck. “Idiotic alarm systems,” someone shouts. “Definitely from a BMW”, another, “you have to be careful that it doesn’t honk the battery when it is empty. Otherwise, pushing is the order of the day. ”Loud laughter on the ferry, which is 90 percent filled with motorcyclists and rocks it from Heysham, England, to Douglas to the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. The air on this day in June is crystal clear. It smells of salt, space and anticipation.

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A crystal blue sky spans the Irish Sea like a dome and provides a view that is generally only known from freezing winter days. But it is unusually warm on this day in June, the atmosphere on board is relaxed, lively, you could also call it chilled in new German. Or deeply peaceful. A peace that not only prevails during the four-hour crossing on the ferry, but – and critics can hardly believe this – will be maintained during the entire two weeks of the race. On 14 days in which the sleepy island wakes up from its deep sleep and mutates into a motorcycle Mecca for around 45,000 bikers from all over the world. On those 14 days a year that condemn the opponents of the traditional race: From the point of view of many Security Apostles, the motorcycle races that have been held on the island for 106 years are the forecourt of hell. A permitted and tolerated suicide that claims new victims every year – so far 240 racing drivers have had fatal accidents. An anachronism similar to medieval jousting, which leaves injured and dead behind – including howling widows and screaming children.

Like an addiction

In short: road racing is a sport that should be forbidden! Because the drivers not only endanger themselves, but also the spectators who are applauding them close to the edge of the track. However, few of those who cursed the ban ever set foot on the island during the TT. Which reminds of Alexander von Humboldt. He once said: “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have never looked at the world.” The world, in this case the Tourist Trophy, is a racing event that took place for the first time in 1907 and, with a few exceptions, is held again every year at the beginning of June. Of the 45,000 visitors, an estimated 40,000 are long-established TT fans who keep coming back and sometimes tell stories that would ennoble a book. Fans like the guys from Duisburg, for example, who pitched their tents in the rain in 1981 looking for a campsite on a meadow near the famous Gooseneck section. And continue to do so today. The owner of the meadow provides the Duisburgers with “their storage space”, Insiders also under “Horror Corner” known, available again and again since then. For 32 years.

TT can be addicting. If you ask addicts from the circle of recurring people who, with glassy eyes, are already making plans for next year’s TT during the return trip on the ferry, they all refer to the engine-laden atmosphere and that unconditional brotherhood that you can join simply by buying your ferry ticket is recorded. And not infrequently someone grumbles: “Why? Why don’t you go see Bray Hill. Stand up. And look.” You don’t say more. Bray Hill.

The fascination of Bray Hill


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Everyone on the roadside is excited.

Bray Hill, a section of the route shortly after the start and finish, is located in the middle of the island’s capital, Douglas. It is the first serious difficulty of the 60.73 km long route, a circuit that consists of normal island roads. After the drivers, who start every ten seconds, have pulled their machines up into fifth gear from the start, they thunder over a hilltop – Bray Hill – and fly through a depression. Anyone who has neither informed themselves nor seen films in the run-up to their first TT visit and stands here for the first time after the ferry spat them onto the island, gets a brief cardiac arrest: Even as an experienced motorcyclist, you stand there, gawking goose-skinned, eyes and Mouth open and gasping for air. After explanation. According to words. Because what the racing drivers are doing here is almost unbelievable. Seems almost – no, even almost – impossible.

Horst Saiger, IDM-experienced, hardy, a self-confident Austrian who starts with his Kawasaki in a Liechtenstein team, in 2013 for the first time ever, describes the encounter with Bray Hill as follows: “You come up the mountain at well over 230 km / h down and try to hit the point that determines the ideal line for the next 300 meters – a twelve centimeter wide strip of asphalt between the manhole cover and the curb. This turn-in is also the bottom of the valley. Here the chassis goes fully into compression. Sparks spray, the asphalt is filing the engine cowling, it compresses you brutally. Then you thunder up the mountain again. But the road is derogatory here on both sides. If it takes you too far to the left, you have to take off the gas, otherwise you will get to know the walls of the villa gardens. ”Bray Hill is only one of well over 50 critical points on the TT course with its well over 240 corners. The question arises, does one have to be crazy to start here?.

One becomes aware of the value of life


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Everyone is a winner: The few who make it onto the podium, and all the others if they just get off the track safely.

If you want to understand TT, you have to compare. Because it has about as much in common with normal motorcycling as the hiker marching across the Alb has with a Himalayan mountaineer. The TT is the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world, the eight-thousander for mountaineers. You can’t go any higher. And that’s what makes it so magical. Because man and machine are challenged to the extreme. Because there are no run-off zones or gravel beds and the current average speed lap record is still just under 212 km / h. Driven by 41-year-old John McGuinness, an English bricklayer, now a semi-professional racing driver, who currently holds the record among the living with his 20 TT race victories.

And John is far from crazy. He’s calculating. Says he would never give 100 percent, always drive with brains. John is human, admits that he prefers to crumble before every start, to the toilet, scared shit. Usually wipes tears of joy from his eyes after every race. And he is prepared, reports on meticulously mowing his garden one last time before every TT, checking insurance, and cleaning up the house thoroughly. For the case of falls. In case you never come back. Back to his wife and two children. Back to life. A gift that we perceive far too seldom as such. Only when we are dirty or we have escaped danger by a hair’s breadth do we become aware of the value of life again.

Full concentration on the race


Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013


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The Austrian Horst Saiger starts for a team from Liechtenstein. In the Senior TT, the champions’ race, the newcomer achieved a remarkable 23rd place in the overall standings – a huge success for him and his team.

Every race from which you return safely is like a rebirth for the drivers, teams and relatives. Because the drivers are superhuman. Conquer fear. Defying the route. Fighting with the motorcycle. And experience a time that could not be lived in a more eventful or intense way. The TT has been a memorial in life for 106 years. If you ask the islanders for their opinion on the TT, especially the accidents, the answer is succinct: “They did what they wanted to do.” They did what they came here for. What they lived for. And they died doing what they had the most fun.

That’s how the drivers see it. And this is how their relatives see it. John McGuinness once said: “Then you stand at the start, the engine howling, your eyes forward, concentrated, nothing more than the race in focus, and the guy taps you on the shoulder – the sign for the start. You think: Maybe that was the last person who touched me alive. ”The last person. Nothing is as uncertain as the future. And hardly anything is more moving for motorcyclists than the atmosphere of the TT. There is no place here for lies or rip-offs. Neither on the track nor off. It is home to consideration and lust for life. About terms like honor, heroism, adventure and – closeness. At no really important race track in the world do spectators get as close to their stars as in the TT paddock. And experience them as people like you and me.

The sympathy of the participants


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John “King of the Mountains” McGuinness with red socks in the company of his buddies: Despite his 20 victories, the likeable superstar is completely down to earth and always ready for a chat.

The always serious Michael Dunlop, this year four-time winner in five races, gives you his ice cream to cool off. John McGuinness crouches on a rickety camping chair with a beer belly and unabashedly in red socks, tugs at his T-shirt with the imprint “Forty, fat but very fast” and does not avoid a chat. Connor Cummins, the 24-year-old local hero and almost national hero, dawdles through the paddock on a moped, and you can literally feel how embarrassing he is to be famous. Only Guy Martin, curly-headed with sideburns as if from a bad pornography and with an English that sounds like too long, flees from his fans and himself. “Hart to the Limit”, a film about the TT 2010, in the Guy Martin took on the leading role, was in England the most commercially successful documentary of all time. And involuntarily turned Guy into a star who keeps wondering why he doesn’t finally win.

The proximity to the superstars who do not think they are what makes the TT human. Friendly. Attractive. And the Manx radio, the station that broadcasts large sections of the track through loudspeakers with little music but all the more information about the race, creates an unusual but extremely exciting atmosphere. Manx-Radio not only provides viewers with weather forecasts and background information about the TT, but also gives a captivating description of the races live. Each section of the route has a name so that the audience can see where the drivers are. Old hands in TT know exactly what it means when stars like Cummins, McGuinness, Rutter, Hutchinson or Dunlop compete for victory at certain passages.

It’s usually not about wheel-for-wheel duels, but rather about ripping off fractions of a ten-second lead. While the top pilots beat their up to 230 hp monsters across the course and reach top speeds of up to 330 km / h, drive their bikes through four to five meter wide aisles, jump over bridges, skilfully avoid bumps and bumps and advance Stop blinking with concentrated concentration, some spectators wonder how it is even possible to memorize all the dangers of the almost 61,000 meters. They did what they wanted to do.

Actually a place of peace


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Crowds wherever he appears: Connor Cummins, local hero and popular figure of the Isle of Man – here writing an autograph.

When there was a fall on Bray Hill on June 8, 2013 in the first round of the Senior TT, the race of around 80 best drivers, and the race was stopped, the island was quiet. Listening to the voice from the loudspeakers is reverently tense. A fall can mean anything. But after the radio announcer announced that the pilot got up and walked away from the crash site without outside help, frenetic cheers set in around the route. One hoots. You clap. One listens. It’s the renaissance of radio. A touch from the good old days.

A breath that everyone immediately feels when they are only one kilometer away from the racing action. Because the Isle of Man is a bastion of silence, the cradle of idyll and peace. Not only on all the race-free days of the year, but also during the TT. Less than a kilometer from the circuit, the island welcomes you as it has probably done for centuries. Lonely trees combed by the wind on the southeast serve as poor shade donors for flocks of sheep, which are prevented from running away by stone walls, the sight of which gives the feeling that they were piled up in the distant past. Closely shaded, connecting paths of all sizes lead to all corners of the 572 square kilometer island. Ends at picturesque estates, secluded bays or endless, hilly, rocky grassy areas on which sheep look like freckles. It’s hard to believe that a couple of motorcyclists a few hundred meters as the crow flies are fighting a life and death duel.

They did what they wanted to do


Tourist Trophy Isle of Man 2013


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Tranquil, idyllic, magical – there are many descriptions that apply to the sleepy Isle of Man.

In the meantime, due to the history, there is hardly an islander who grew up without a TT. The event is an integral part of the culture. Christmas, Easter, Tourist Trophy. Including the invasion of the bikers and 3000 volunteer route marshals who travel to the event from all over the world to do their part to make this great event as safe as possible. The death of Yoshinari Matsushita, a Japanese racing driver who died earlier this year, shows that this is almost impossible. Or the eleven spectators, some of whom were seriously injured in the accident on Bray Hill. The downside of the TT, no question about it.

But where there is shadow, there has to be light. Ultimately, it is up to you to attend the races. And to become one with an event at which an illusion becomes reality for two weeks: every biker becomes a brother. To feel up close how emphatic, stirring and fulfilling real life can be. Life far from Playstation or the deceptive security of a well-planned and safe everyday life. They did what they wanted to do.

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