When the calendar for the 2014 MotoGP season was announced one race immediately jumped out, Mugello.
This would probably not be for the reason that everyone would assume, after all Mugello is one of the most popular races on the calendar. It stood out as it was bang in the middle of the Isle of Man TT races.
While I really enjoy photographing MotoGP, my passion is, and always will be, the Isle of Man TT. In fact had it been any race other than Mugello, I may have decided to stay at home. But it wasn’t, so the decision was made, after all, how could I shoot a MotoGP season and not go to Mugello?
The day dawned bright and sunny for the final day of racing at TT 2014. The choice of location for the Lightweight TT was the legendary jump at Ballaugh Bridge, where I found fellow Asphalt & Rubber photographer Richard Mushet enjoying the early morning sunshine.
Once the Lightweight race was finished I jumped into the car and headed a mile or so down the road to the Ballacrye jump for the Senior TT.
I am told that on a superbike the riders take the jump flat out in 5th gear which would be in the region of 160mph. To see a superbike leap through the air at that speed only a few feet away is mind blowing.
After witnessing that, and 3 of the 6 laps Senior TT laps, I packed up and drove back to Douglas to make it just in time for the final podium celebrations of TT 2014.
I decided prior to the start of the second sidecar race that I wanted to get to the grandstand for the podium. Photographing a TT podium does place some restrictions on where to shoot the race, while still enabling you to get away.
After a bit of deliberation I decided on the bridge at Union Mills. This is a popular spot, particularly for the solos, as you can catch them leaned over with the back wheel popping off the ground as they go over the bridge.
It can also be good for the sidecars, as the front runners just take off as they hit the bridge. If you time it right you can catch them with all 3 wheels off the ground.
Once the leaders had gone through on the final lap, it was time to jump in the car and head to the grandstand to get the podium shots.
For the last couple of years I had planned to go to the Glen Helen section, but it has never happened. This year I decided that I would finally get there, and that’s what I did for Wednesday’s racing.
Glen Helen is a technical tree lined section and is home to the first commentary point for Radio TT. On dull days it can be pretty dark due to the trees, so a camera with good performance in low light is important.
For these photos, I shot the Supersport race in the section just before the commentary point. I had planned to stay there for the sidecar race as well, and then move round the corner for the practice laps.
Sadly the Manx weather had other ideas and there was no more action after the Supersport race. The Sidecar race was postponed until Today, so I will need to decide on a new shooting location.
It was quite a wrench to the leave the Island in the middle of the TT to go to the Motogp at Mugello. In fact, I spent most of weekend moaning to anyone within ear shot that I wished I was back home at the Isle of Man.
You can therefore imagine my delight when I discovered that the Superstock race was delayed 24 hours until Tuesday afternoon. I had gambled that this might happen, and had left my car at the airport.
I had hoped to make it to the Glen Helen section, but after landing I realised I wasn’t going to be able to make it before the roads closed. Instead I headed to Ballacraine as it was easier to get to from the airport.
Ballacraine is a quick right hand corner with a large building on the exit. The building was once a pub made famous in the old Geroge Formby movie No Limits.
It’s not one of my favourite places to take pictures, but I was just glad to be there.