If we weren’t living in the time of COVID, we would be wrapping up our coverage of the Isle of Man TT right now, but instead the iconic race sees another year of canceled races because of the global pandemic.
The Isle of Man government has been busy planning for the iconic race’s return though, with a plethora of changes and announcements made for the 2022 edition and onward.
The biggest news is the live video package that is planned, but there are also a number of rule changes to the Lightweight TT and Sidecar TT classes, in addition to more races and more races days.
Live coverage has always been the great media hope for the Isle of Man TT, though the road race poses some challenges for its implementation.
For starters, the Mountain Course is nearly 38 miles long, which is a logistical challenge for a broadcasting group, especially in the remote sections over the mountain.
There has also been concern in the past regarding live coverage catching the death of a competitor, with the road race statistically seeing a fatality at each year’s gathering. More than likely, the races will be on a tape-delay of several seconds because of this issue.
Until now, live coverage came in the form of social media, steaming Manx radio, and online reports – nightly TV recaps were the only video coverage available though.
The Isle of Man seems set to offer its own streaming app for mobile devices, similar to what Dorna offers for MotoGP and WorldSBK. It remains to be seen if it will also license the stream to traditional TV partners globally.
The TT has seen increased interest from around the world, especially in the United States, and with a live video package, that is surely only going to accelerate faster for this century-old race meeting.
In addition to the video package, there are number of rule changes coming to the 2022 Isle of Man TT, the first of which is the renaming of the Lightweight TT to the Supertwin TT.
The Sidecar TT class will also now allow 900cc twin-cylinder engines in its class, with an eye towards the KTM 890 platform powering the three-wheeled machines.
Sidecar legend Dave Molyneux has already been caught testing a KTM 890-equipped sidecar rig, which should be ample competition for the 600cc inline-four and 675 three-cylinder machines.
Lastly, the schedule for the 2023 edition of the Isle of Man TT will see an increase in the number of racing days and the number of races.
Starting in 2023, there will be six race days instead of four, with the Superstock 1000 and Supertwin TT races getting second races on the schedule.
To help with the extra capacity demand for those visiting the island, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has added another ferry to its fleet.
All of these changes promise to make the Isle of Man TT an even better experience, once the racing recommences.
If you haven’t visited this tiny island, and experienced the road racing action first-hand (and hospitality of the Manx people), you owe it to yourself to do so.