Having just recovered from my 8th annual trip to the Isle of Man, and already planning for next year’s endeavor, it’s time to look back on what was, by any measure, one of the great TT fortnights in the storied 108-year history of the event. And, to premiere the 2015 edition of the Motorcycle.com TT Review video, five minutes of sights, sound and motion from the greatest motorsports event on Earth.
Before the meet began, we took a look at some of the big stories likely to unfold for the 2015 TT. Let’s take a look and see how those storylines actually played out
We’re not there yet! While the speed increases were incremental, John McGuinness blew past Bruce Anstey’s record set in 2014 with a 132.701-mph lap, covering the 37 ¾ mile circuit in 17:03.567. Let those numbers marinate for a bit. Yes, it’s ridiculous.
Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop and Steve Hillier also turned in 132-mph laps, and there were dozens of 130-plus-mph laps run across the meet. So, the trend is faster, with more riders capable of running speeds that were unthinkable not long ago. The next great goal is the sub 17-minute lap, and the odds are it will happen in 2016.
Indeed they did. Ian Hutchinson made a spectacular comeback after nearly five years of rehabilitation from crash injuries that almost resulted in amputation of his leg. He won three races at the 2015 TT, truly one of the great comebacks in motorsports history.
The scuttlebutt leading into the 2015 TT fortnight was that 21-time TT winner John McGuinness’ reign as King of the Mountain was likely over. Well, you have to call him 23-time TT winner now, as he took not only the TT Zero win on the Mugen electric machine, but capped it all with a spectacular and emphatic win in the Senior TT, complete with a new outright lap record for the Mountain Course. At 45 years of age, McPint still has it in him.
He did fine. He didn’t win his first TT, but the popular and occasionally controversial road racer and TV personality finished fourth in the Senior TT and took a spot on the Supersport podium with a third-place finish on the Smith’s Triumph Daytona 675. He adapted well to his new Tyco BMW and is still one of the best road racers on the planet. No clue as to where the mercurial and talented Martin goes from here, but truck mechanic/road racer/Top Gear host wouldn’t be a bad way to live.
A qualified yes. Victory’s surprising entry on the Brammo-based machines added a good dose of intrigue, and attention was paid.
The machines are faster, teams and riders are enthusiastic, race fans are coming around, and the technology is relevant. But the general murmur was that until the electric machines can do more than one 37 ¾ mile lap at race speeds, there will be an asterisk next to the TT Zero as a full-fledged TT race.
There was very little chatter about the subject on the island during the TT. No doubt the IOM government and a number of promoters are looking to create a global series of TT-branded races to begin in 2017, culminating at the IOM TT each June. I say it happens, but I wouldn’t bet the contents of my TT savings box on the long-term viability.
We hope you enjoy the Motorcycle.com 2015 TT video. See you next year for TT 2016!