Aside from the motorbikes lapping at 120+ mph around the Snaefell Mountain Course during Race 2 of the Supersport TT, there was a fair bit of drama at the Isle of Man TT pit lane, especially when a race bike caught on fire.

Coming in for his one pit stop, in between the second and third laps, Grant Wagstaff found himself subject to an unsuspected fireball, after a gas spill was ignited by his Yamaha R6’s hot exhaust pipes.

A terrifying sight, thankfully the incident was taken care of quickly by the fire brigade and everyone else involved.

The result was the pit lane being closed for about a minute, leaving the affected riders to have a time credit given to their official times. Last we heard, all involved will live to race another day, though Wagstaff was sent to Noble’s Hospital and treated for burns.

Source: YouTube (Mark George)

  • Harb

    Looks to me like the TT should mandate that a team member stand ready with a fire extinguisher at pit stops. Most racing series have this requirement already, such as the Endurance World Cup. The gas guys for that series basically wear a bomb suit for fire protection. I’m very far from being one of those “the TT is too dangerous!” nanny state ninnies, but this is a cheap and simple method of disaster prevention that wouldn’t hurt the racing at all.

  • Jeremy

    You would think the people in charge would have learned from the past. If they had used the fuel fill up systems that they use in the Moto Enduro races here in the US this would have been totally alleviated. Heck, look at what pretty much every race car out there, a quick disconnect self-sealing fuel fill up line. Also the fact they had no one standing on the side with an extinguisher prepped and ready was crazy. Yes they had firemen, but look how long it took to respond.

    *end of rant* Just saying things were not thought through in the safety dept.

  • n/a

    “Safety is paramount”

    Bike goes on fire.

    Fire men stand there/search for fire extinguisher.

    As fire men, their almost sole purpose is to extinguish fire’s, so why aren’t the waiting with a fire extinguisher in hand?

  • Matt Higgins

    Where was the fire marshall?

  • Harb, I would tend to agree. Having seen the pits though, space is a huge limiting factor. Teams share pit stop spots with each other, that’s what the tape on the ground is for: each team’s actual stopping point.

    The fire brigade is on the opposite side of the pit lane, which is really just two road lanes wide, but they have to dodge the bikes coming down pit lane, which in this video was still “hot” until a few seconds after the bike caught fire. The TT intentionally uses the old gravity bucket fuel cans, which aren’t ideal. But they do become the limiting-factor in a pit stop, which gives riders more time between laps to rest and regroup. I think there’s a big nostalgia factor in that decision as well, for better or worse.

    For n/a and Matt, you can hear from the siren, the reaction time by the brigade is very quick…the physical distance and bikes still coming down the pit lane is the issue. I’m not sure how you work around those factors. You can see the fire from a different angle on the ITV4 feed…they’re not looking around for a fire extinguisher, they’re looking down the pit lane for a break in the traffic, which is actually the bigger danger here.