This year marks 100 years of racing on the Mountain Course at the Isle of Man TT, which should make for a special event for all of those involved. Usually each year there is a famous motorcycle racer(s) that has the honor of doing a parade lap on the historic road course, and this year should be especially interesting for us Americans as Nicky Hayden will take a lap around the Isle of Man TT course.
The 2006 MotoGP World Champion will be joined by five-time 500GP World Champion Mick Doohan, as well as Ian Hutchinson, who astoundingly won all five solo races in last year’s TT. With Hayden sponsored by both Arai and Dainese (both event sponsors), it perhaps isn’t too surprising that the charismatic American will be taking part in the Arai Parade lap at the TT. Of course it could be the allure of British food and miserable weather that sealed the deal…tough call on that one.
All joking aside, Hayden seems excited for the event that pits real men on real city streets. “I’m really looking forward to going to the Isle of Man. I’ve been to pretty much every kind of motorcycle race you can imagine – the Daytona 200, the Jerez MotoGP, the Anaheim Supercross, the Namur World Motocross – but I’ve never been to the Isle of Man or any other real street race,” said Hayden.
“The TT is just one of those events that every race fan wants to see eventually. I’m a huge fan of motorcycle racing of any kind, and I feel like this one is definitely something I’m missing. People have always told me, ‘You need to go to the TT,’ and now I’m finally going to get my chance. I’m really looking forward to meeting the riders, and I want to see what they do and how they do it. I’m not sure what to expect, but I do know it takes a brave rider, which is something I respect.”
Hayden’s appearance the Isle of Man TT comes during a time that sees the roadracing series looking to increase its worldwide presence. Not especially well known in the United States, certainly even less so outside of motorcycle circles, the Isle of Man has been looking for ways to increase exposure of the TT. Lately, there have even been interest in taking the TT format to other venues, giving it a year-round worldly status.