Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Isle of Man TT RealRoadRacing World Championship

Real Road Racing Motorcycle Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland
For those who’ve been leading a sheltered life, the whole of the UK, and Ireland, is in the iron grip of the worst recession for quite some time, Northern Ireland included with the rest of the civilised World - along with the Isle of Man - come to think of it, Ireland is actually also a trifle bankrupt.

Hence the Department of Economic Development of the aforementioned Isle of Man Government is now seeking out new revenue streams by any means possible, including reinventing their TT real road racing event which has been haemorrhaging visitors, and money, for some considerable time - and one does realise the blinkered souls in our midst will fervently dispute the foregoing facts.

Old-timers though, and Manx friends, all sing of the same hymn sheet, the Isle of Man, and the TT according to them - as a visitor attraction has been in decline for many years – unlike our own UGP and NW200 - both of which have gone from strength to strength these past years, in fact with so many spectators attending the North West 200 in particular, the Island of Ireland is in danger of sinking come race day, and that is the truth and nothing but the truth according to - the organisers.

Nonetheless, jokes aside, many real road race fans have been getting somewhat over excited by recent news of an all new real road racing world championship series, but before anybody starts the process of booking those flights to far off exotic destinations, one should take note of several of the phrases being widely used in the press stories - ‘could become part of’ – ‘could be held internationally’ – ‘could help develop the event’ – ‘could be a six-round championship’ – ‘could open in the United States’ – and the MCUI-UC Dinosaurs could fly off into the wide blue yonder never to return – but first there is justice to be served.

The whole purpose of the consultation exercise by the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development is of course to rebrand the TT races and in doing so hopefully promote and reinvent the Isle of Man to a new breed of tourists from around the world. In a statement from the Government’s Department of Economic Development it said: “The Department funds the TT Races to drive economic development on the Isle of Man to generate tourism and commercial income and to provide a sports-based platform for Isle of Man-based companies to make business contacts, as well as profiling the benefits of businesses incorporating on the Isle of Man.”

Hardly surprising, there are no exact details available of how the proposed new real road racing world championship series would operate – if it ever does come to fruition – but it has been reported the series could feature around 20 regular competitors possibly supplemented by local wild cards at each of the rounds - and kick off in the USA with other rounds being held in Asia and the Far East – no mention of Ireland though – North or South – so presumably the reputation of the Dinosaurs has already reached those far off Manx shores.

Despite the reasons, one must congratulate the forward thinking Manx Government but one still has to raise a few trifling unmentioned issues, any of which might very well unravel the ambitious proposals. Was it not King Kenny Roberts who along with his fellow American GP competitors and assorted others, vehemently fought to rid themselves of real road race tracks some years past? Where then in the US of A will a real road race track be located, and who will take the risk of promoting such an event - in a country where the lawyers are allegedly already queuing up to file lawsuits. While it's been possible to sweep away one fatality after another on the Isle of Man, here in Ireland the tide is turning, and in America - could the promoters of such a series afford to take the high stakes gamble?

Also in these financially austere times, which of the cash strapped teams do the organisers envisage being in a position to go globe trotting, and where in an already crowded calendar will this championship find suitable slots. The North West 200 has this year suffered due to the uncooperative Spanish refusing to change the date of their round of the World Endurance Championship, neither will BSB change dates and these are just two of the championships from which any prospective teams and riders will be sought. One thing is for certain though - should it ever become a reality as opposed to the current pipe dream, participating in this proposed championship will cost rather more than Around A Pound, so one has to wonder how many of our local riders have the available finances to make it across to the United States, or any other far flung country.

And finally, since the MCUI-UC are allegedly strapped for cash on an ongoing basis - allegedly struggling even to meet their current insurance policy instalments - and our existing real road races unable to survive without taxpayer funded assistance, Northern Ireland is unlikely to feature on any envisaged real road racing World championship calendar any time soon.

Save Our Sport From Evil

©2010 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland
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