Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I'm on the Isle of Man for the second time this year. This time it's the Manx Grand Prix, a motorcycle event which is often described as an amateur version of the TT but is actually more complex than that. The Manx gives us the same awe-inspiring race track with classic and post classic bikes racing along with modern 600 and 750cc machines, plus a goodly array of two-strokes which are no longer seen on the Mountain Course at the TT.

Racing doesn't start till Monday but there are practice sessions every evening. Tonight I've been talking to a number of riders who are here for the first time. They've all got good stories to tell, none more so than Stefan Cook, from Letchworth, who started his racing career when his partner Lorraine gave him a Yamaha R1! Some gift. Some partner. And Lorraine will be working in Stefan's pit when racing starts. Max Faulkner, from Bude in Cornwall, has been here many times with a gang of mates to watch the racing. Four years ago, in a pub, they all decided they would try to enter the Manx themselves. Beer talking? Not quite. Two of that gang have made it and this year Max and his buddy Dan Millard will go to the start line to live the dream.
And I loved meeting David Mulligan from Portadown in Northern Ireland. For David, 2009 is not just the year he first raced at the Manx GP, it's also the year he qualified as a doctor.

It takes all sorts to make the Manx GP what it is.

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