The motorsport event, which lasts almost two weeks, has been canceled for the past two years due to the corona pandemic. The longest break the game has ever seen since World War II. But this year, the TT (Tourist Trophy) competitions are once again regularly racing at dizzying speeds on the public roads of the British Isle, which lies in the sea between England and Northern Ireland. The death toll is staggering: since the start of the ‘Isle of Man TT’ in 1907, it has been 263. Almost every year it is suggested that the race should be canceled or the safety measures should be tightened, but each time without much result.
Last Wednesday, Welsh Supersport driver Mark Purslow was killed when he crashed during qualifying. Three days later again of that, with a very painful mistake by the organization on top. French sidecar driver Olivier Lavorel (35) was first reported to have died in a crash in the so-called sidecar race. His teammate César Chanal is said to be in the hospital in critical condition. But it turned out to be exactly the other way around.
The incident took place within a few tens of seconds of take-off and the sidecar had about 50 liters of fuel on board, causing a large sea of flames after the impact. César’s father has now also posted an obituary of his son on Facebook.
“An initial identification procedure has been carried out according to established procedures and appears to have resulted in a misidentification,” a statement issued by the organization said yesterday. “We now believe that it was César Chanal who died on Saturday 4 June at the scene of the accident. Olivier is still in critical condition and is undergoing further treatment. The families of both drivers have been informed. There will be another “thorough review of the identification processes.”
You know and accept the risks on Man. The smallest mistake can have such major consequences. That’s part of the thrill.
And since Monday, the racing world has been mourning Davy Morgan. The highly experienced Irish pilot suffered a serious crash on the final lap of Supersport TT Race 1. He was treated at the scene but eventually died from his injuries. Morgan, who prided himself on racing in a pink helmet, was a fixture in the TT paddock. Twenty years ago he started there for the first time, this year’s Supersport race was his 80th TT race start. He has competed in hundreds of races in the Manx Grand Prix, Classic TT, Southern 100, North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, Macau Grand Prix, Oliver’s Mount, and Irish National races. Morgan grossed out victories and podiums.
Remarkable: in recent years he has considered saying goodbye to the sport. “The Covid-19 hiatus has given me a chance to reflect on what the sport means to me. And then it soon became apparent that I want to go even further. It’s been a big part of my life for 27 years now. I had the chance to see what it would be like without motorbikes, but there was no way to say goodbye. Otherwise, I would have kicked myself in the ass!”
Yesterday Englishman Peter Hickman took his third Isle of Man TT victory in a spectacular Supertwin race. Hickman battled for laps with Northern Irishman Michael Dunlop who suffered technical difficulties in the closing stages. The second Supersport race of the Isle of Man TT 2022 kicked off last night.
Barely rules and speeds up to 322 km/h
What makes the race so dangerous? There are hardly any rules. The participants leave at fixed intervals, after which they sometimes race through the streets at speeds of up to 322 kilometers per hour. Obstacles such as roundabouts, walls, and buildings provide extra adrenaline, but also regularly precarious situations, in which spectators also lost their lives. There are 264 turns in the 60 kilometers. The Dutchman Jochem van den Hoek, who died there in 2017, said about this a few months earlier: “You know the risks on Man and you accept it. I won’t say it’s boring on Assen, but on Man, you’re almost on a life-and-death ride. The smallest mistake can have major consequences. That’s part of the thrill. I will do everything I can not to experience it. But when it happens, I chose it myself.”