Isle of Man motorcycling organizer after six deaths last year: ‘Participants must accept the risks’ | outside

Participants must accept the risks. So says Gary Thompson, the big boss of what is arguably the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world. Last year there were six fatalities in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.

Since its inception in 1907, 266 people have lost their lives. Usually the participants are of course, but sometimes things go wrong for the hosts or spectators. This impressive number also includes amateurs, who are allowed to gain experience on the same course in the Manx Grand Prix.

Despite the high casualties, stopping the game is not even considered. However – just like last year – there are some additional safety measures in effect. For example, all participants are tracked using GPS and the race can be stopped at any time by one of the 33 digital red flags planted along the route.

“Just give them a kick”

“We take the risks more into account, but the drivers know very well what they are signing up for. This also gives them the kick they are looking for,” says CEO Gary Thompson on Sky News.

During the race, participants tear through villages and narrow streets for 60 kilometers. In these two weeks, about 40,000 tourists came, which is a gold mine for the local economy.

“Art is winning as slowly as possible”

Peter Hickman has already won nine times. “I’m not forced to do it,” he says, “I’m here because I want to.”

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In the past 85 years, there has only been one edition in which there have been no deaths. However, this knowledge does not prevent the Briton from continuing to take risks. “A lot of people think we’re just idiots. Mind your head and put on a helmet, but the opposite is actually true. You can’t do it without your brain.”

In 2018 Hickman set the fastest lap time. “Now everyone wants to know if I will break this record. My answer is only if necessary. The trick is to win the race as slowly as possible, because then I also have to take fewer risks.”

Yesterday, one of the participants was immediately flown in by helicopter. It is not yet known how bad his condition is.

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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