We know that regular MO readers are fans of the Isle of Man TT. Friend of MO, Andrew Capone, gives us annual posts from the event, and the analytics tell us that they are very popular. So, the release of the feature-length documentary film Tourist Trophy should spark more than a little interest among the fans. Over the course of 90+ minutes, viewers get the opportunity to get to know some of the variety of riders taking part in the 2022 Isle of Man TT.
John McGuinness MBE is no stranger to anyone who has followed the TT, and on the cusp of his 100th TT race start, the 50-year-old legend opens up to the camera concerning his life on the Isle. At the other end of the TT experience continuum, TT rookie but known-quantity short course racer, Glenn Irwin, brings viewers into the world of what preparation is involved when riding a first TT, amid high expectations from his British Superbike Championship career (runner-up in 2022 BSB). Throughout the film, we learn of the experiences of Mike Russell in his attempt at completing every race of the event – including sidecars. And speaking of sidecars, the film spends some time with the dominant brother duo, Tom and Ben Birchall, who continue to be the class of the field. Finally, perhaps the most interesting of the racers covered, Peter Hickman, the fastest rider ever around the TT Mountain Course, spends a good deal of time on camera discussing what the TT means to him.
While the action sequences are jaw-dropping, coming to life on the big screen in my living room in surround sound, perhaps where documentary filmmaker Adam Kaleta provides the greatest service to the viewers is in how the film humanizes the participants. They don’t sugarcoat the risks, nor do they play them up, either. While I have watched all of the major documentaries about motorcycle racing in all its forms, none have made me feel I have gotten as close to understanding what drives the riders to put it all on the line on the 37-mile Mountain Course.
Where the riders in other films feel more rehearsed, the comments in Tourist Trophy feel genuine and natural. Perhaps it is because the event itself places less of a wall between the racers and the fans. Case-in-point, Peter Hickman spends lots of time meeting the fans, taking photos with them, and signing autographs. Hickman seems to genuinely enjoy the interaction with the public and spends more time with them than the typical signing of a hat on the way from the team enclave to the pit box you often see in MotoGP, for example.
Hopefully, you’re interested in watching this film, and if you are, I’ve got good news for you. Starting at 7:30pm (GMT) on Wednesday 23rd November, you can stream Tourist Trophy for free. TT+ is using this to kick off the subscription drive for the 2023 TT+ Live Pass. Next year’s event has been expanded to ten races, and TT+ subscribers can watch all of the excitement on their TVs or favorite devices. In fact, for a limited time, TT+ subscribers can experience the 2023 event for the 2022 price of £14.99 ($17.81).
If you call yourself a motorcycle racing fan, you owe it to yourself to watch Tourist Trophy as soon as you can.
Can anyone ride the Isle of Man TT?
In a word, no. Per the rule book, the minimum requirement for UK residents is a National Licence issued by the ACU or the SACU for at least twelve months prior to the closing date for entries, while other participants must have an FIM International Non – Championship Licence for a minimum of twelve months prior to the closing date for entries.
What date is the 2023 Isle of Man TT?
The 2023 Isle of Man races will take place from Monday May 29th through Saturday June 10th.
How long does a lap of the Isle of Man TT take?
The 37.73 mile course takes place on public roads with speeds averaging around 130mph, depending on the class, and top speeds of about 200 mph. The current lap record is held by Peter Hickman at 16:42.778.