Friday, 27 November 2009
TT RACES AXE TWO-STROKES
The Isle of Man Government has announced that next year's TT will not include the Billown TT races for 125 and 250cc machines.
If you're not familiar with this tale, the addition of these races for two-stroke machines took place in 2008. The idea was to create a challenging race for the two-strokes who no longer race over the Mountain Course during the TT meeting. For the previous few years they had been frozen out of the festival altogether.
The races took place over the 4.25 mile Billown circuit in the south of the island.
At the same time as cancelling these races, the Manx authorities have announced a massive programme of public entertainment for next year's TT fortnight. Looks like it was an either/or debate and the racers lost.
I think this is a terrible shame. It was a controversial move to give TT branding to races which were not staged on the Mountain Course, but they proved very popular and to cancel them after only two years doesn't give them a chance to build up a tradition and heritage of their own. I can't help feeling that it devalues the efforts of those who rode their hearts out to win podium places.
I don't know how this will impact on my commitments next year. I commentated on the first Billown TT in 2008 (picture above is of the commentary box at Billown, the best commentary position in the world) and I was due to do so again next year - if Manx Radio secures the contract for radio coverage, which is up for renewal at the moment.