MIKE HAMMONDS TT BLOG PAGES
TT 2023 NEWS
The comments and views expressed in these bloggs are mine and do not reflect the views of the
TT SUPPORTERS CLUB
Proposed New Schedule for TT 2023
Even before the dust had settled on TT 2022 a proposed new schedule was released for TT 2023. This includes a later start to qualifying, racing over Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend and racing on the Saturday of the second week. The race programme has been increased from eight to ten races but does not include the return of the electric bikes.
The TT is an evolving event and there have been many changes over the years, some good and some bad. The organisers say that they are determined to develop the TT into a sustainable model. The maxim: ‘If it aint broke don’t fix it’ is fine but doesn’t look to the future. However, changing just for change's sake or just being seen to do something is not good either. The organisers are currently walking a fine line between the traditionalists and the modernists and time will tell if they will be right.
Aligning the TT to the practices of BSB, MotoGP or Formula 1 is also questionable. None are comparable to the TT in terms of length and type of circuit, culture, tradition, fan base etc. In fact some of their practices in terms of marshalling, race direction, rider welfare and concussion protocols could be argued to be inferior to those at the TT. That is not to say that best practice should not be tailored to the TT needs.
The proposed schedule is subject to public consultation and does raise a few questions:
· Will starting qualifying on a Monday leave the weekend open to BSB or another race event to take advantage? Delaying riders / teams in coming to the Island and diluting the sacrosanct dates.
· Will increasing the race programme lead to a reduction in race distances? The shortened races in 2019 and 2022 have been far from satisfactory from a rider, marshal and spectator point of view. Two lap Sidecar and Supersport races lack credibility.
· I am sure the organisers will have been pleased with the off-track improvements made at the rear of the Grandstand / Nobles Park i.e.the Fan Zone. The number of starters and finishers to each race is a concern. No doubt the organisers will say that numerically there were less accidents, although sadly with more serious results, but there were a lot less competitors. How did the accidents per racing mile covered compare with previous years? There were only 27 finishers in the opening Superbike Race, leaving large gaps between riders and reducing the spectator experience. Hopefully the review of TT 2022 will be objective with regard to starter numbers in terms of the spectacle and not only from a perceived health & safety view point.
· What effect will moving the sidecar race to Wednesday have on the ambience and atmosphere of the paddock? Past experience of the second sidecar race being on a Wednesday resulted in the paddock looking half empty before the Senior race on the Friday. This will not be a great look for visitors coming for the final weekend.
· The programme only allows for two rest days out of thirteen qualifying and race days, not including delays and cancellations due to the weather. This does not give riders, marshals and officials a lot of down time between races.
· What is the future of the Post TT Races at the Colas Billown S100 Course?