With the Isle of Man TT less than a week away, excitement is ramping up for the return of the world’s most iconic motorcycle race. The fortnight of action will be the first time the TT has run since 2019, and this year will see fans able to get closer than ever before with the first live streaming of every race.
Ahead of practice kicking off on Saturday, 28th May, we thought we would catch up with reigning Senior TT winner Dean Harrison to find out the five key parts of the course for a fast lap and the five best places to watch from.
Five sections for a fast lap
As one of the fastest men ever around the legendary TT course, Dean talks us through the five key sections to a quick lap:
1 – The Pit Stop
This is definitely one of the most important parts of any race, and with margins so close, a pit stop can be the difference between standing on the top step of the podium and not. For the Supersport and Supertwin races, we usually just fill up with fuel, while for the Superbike races, it also requires a tyre change.
This can be a tense time for my team, but everyone has a specific role. One of them will focus on the rear tyre and making sure the spindle goes in correctly and doesn’t become threaded. Another will focus on filling the bike up with fuel, while another will help with replacing my visor and cleaning the screen. If all goes to plan, then it will take just over 50 seconds.
2 – Quarry Bends
When it comes to a fast lap, Quarry Bends is a crucial part of the course. This is around half way around the lap and the entry is essential if you want to get a fast run onto the Sulby Straight, which is the fastest part of the course. This can be a very physical part of the course as you have to lean the bike over from side to side at incredible speeds. While it’s tough, it can also be a lot of fun when you get it right.
3 – Rhencullen Jump
Another important part of the course is the run through Rhencullen. This is a very bumpy section of the track, and you really have to wrestle your machine to keep it on line. Getting the jump right here is crucial, as although you don’t really gain time if you do, it can be very easy to lose time if you get it wrong.
4 – Ballagarey
There’s a reason this section is nicknamed Ballascary! It’s an incredibly fast blind corner, and you are completely flat out on the approach, and it is one where you have to be perfect every lap as there’s no runoff, just stone walls on either side of the road. As you enter the corner, I will click down a gear, and then as you hit the apex, you’re doing around 130mph and are then back on the throttle again immediately as you head towards Crosby.
5 – The Mountain Run
The Mountain is one of the most iconic parts of the course, and it is the key to a fast lap. This section has a bit of everything from slow corners to flat out high speeds. Brandywell is one of the most essential parts; it’s the highest point on the course, and getting the run into this section right from Hailwood’s Rise is essential. The run back down towards the Grandstand is equally as important, and coming past the Creg, which is always packed with fans, is special, particularly on the last lap! Five sections to watch fromWhile those might be the key locations to a fast lap, where is the best place to watch from?
Dean tells us his five favourite spots:
1 – Bray Hill
Bray Hill might be one of the more popular places to watch from, but it’s definitely one of the best. Sitting in the gardens and watching a bike come flying through at over 180mph is something you won’t forget.
2 – Greeba Bridge
The exit of Greeba Bridge is another great space to watch, and if you head to The Hawthorn pub, you can watch as the riders exit and head down towards Gorselea and Ballacraine.
3 – Barregarrow
This is an incredibly fast corner, and the sense of speed is incredible; if you watch from the top, then you get a great view of the bikes leant over at high speed. Take a walk down to the bottom to watch the bikes bottom out – get there early, though, as space is limited!
4 – Kirk Michael
Spectator spots are a little limited in Kirk Michael, but Whitehouse Park is one of the better options and offers great views through the village. There are also several spots on the side roads that you can watch from.
5 – End of the Mountain Mile
The Mountain is always a special place to watch from, and the end of the Mountain Mile is a great place to see the bikes at incredible speeds alongside spectacular views over the island.
Everyone here at Kawasaki Motors UK wishes Dean and the DAO Racing team the best of luck and hope to see as many people as possible cheering him on from the hedges!