Episode 56 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast gets us back into our normal format of talking about motorcycles, and whatever rabbit holes present themselves along the way.
Before we get to that part though, we take a somber moment to remember Nicky Hayden, who passed away just a couple weeks before the recording of this episode.
We had recorded a special episode just about Nicky, the day that he passed, but it didn’t feel right to publish it. Our emotions were too raw.
Modestly philosophical during the show now, we also discuss the passing of Davey Lambert, who on the day of this recording succumbed to his injuries sustained at the Isle of Man TT. Two more racers would later die at the TT, Jochem van den Hoek and Alan Bonner. We hold all these racers in our thoughts.
Getting back to our normal selves, we discuss a bit of news, namely Harley-Davidson’s new factory in Thailand, and what that says about the state of the motorcycle industry. We also talk some racing action, as Andrea Dovizioso had just won the Italian GP at Mugello.
The show wraps up with some discussion about supermoto racing, as I participated in the Cascadia Supermoto round held here in Oregon, near Portland.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
With five podium-finishes at this year’s Isle of Man TT, Peter Hickman is the man to watch in future TT fortnights, as the 30-year-old is showing tremendous talent and progress with his racing.
Helping Hickman to those finishes in the superbike classes (Superbike TT, Superstock TT, and Senior TT) was the BMW HP4, the Bavarian brand’s carbon-fiber-everything liter-bike that was just unveiled earlier this year.
A talented rider, an amazing machine, and one of the most iconic race tracks in the world? That sounds like the recipe for an epic onboard video.
Grab a stopwatch before you click play though, and see how much time Hickman’s front wheel spends in the air. It’s impressive.
Four years ago, Peter Hickman was a mid-pack British Superbike rider whose career was looking for a spark. He found that spark at the Isle of Man TT. Fast-forward to current time, and Peter Hickman has already established his road racing credentials prior to this year’s Isle of Man TT.
With victories at the Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix, Hickman had shown that he has the speed, but five podiums at this year’s TT has cemented his reputation as a front-runner on the roads.
Success hasn’t come easy to the three-time British Superbike race-winner though, and after claiming a second place finish in this year’s Senior TT race, he made it clear how much this TT had meant to him.
If you took a straw poll from road racers, the Ballagarey corner would likely rank highest on the list of places found on the Isle of Man TT race course that scared these otherwise two-wheeled warriors.
The corner has such a reputation, that the name “Balla-Scary” has been coined to describe this fast section of the track, situated between the 3rd and 4th milestones. In 2010, Ballagarey claimed the life of racer Paul Dobbs, and a day later Guy Martin escaped a fiery crash there as well.
While every TT rider surely knows the reputation of Ballagarey, at this year’s Isle of Man TT, it was James Hillier who found a new respect for that part of the Mountain Course, having a huge moment on his Kawasaki superbike, during the Senior TT race. You can watch this miracle save, after the jump.
Ian Hutchinson might have a broken femur bone right now, but all-in-all he is a pretty lucky man. Crashing during the Senior TT at the 2017 Isle of Man TT, the 16-time TT race winner had a horrific off while coming over the mountain section of the famed road racing course.
It is suspected that Hutchinson suffered from a punctured front tire, which caused the crash. That revelation though probably does little to change the fact that Hutchinson will once again have to recover from a serious injury to his left leg.
Hutchinson is expected to fully heal from his broken femur, though one has to wonder if he can ever truly recover from this crash at the 27th Milestone. You will understand what we mean, after you watch the embedded video.
The final race of the 2017 Isle of Man TT, the Pokerstars Senior TT is the competition that every rider wants to win. The “Blue Ribbon” event of race week, the six-lap Senior TT is the crown jewel to the TT fortnight.
Once again, a TT race was framed around two riders: Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop. Hutchinson came into the Senior TT with two race wins on his tally, one from the Superbike TT and one from the Superstock TT.
Riding on the BMW S1000RR, Hutchinson has a race-proven machine under him, and he has been riding in the form of his life. Contrast that with Michael Dunlop, who has been doing the donkey work in developing the new Suzuki GSX-R1000R as a formidable TT racing machine.
Dunlop comes into the Senior TT with only one win – earned during the Supersport TT Race 1 – with the jump to the GSX-R1000R still not panning out like he would have hoped.
With this in mind, we head into the Senior TT – a race, once again, defined by two riders.
The 2017 Isle of Man TT will go down as a tough year for the electric bikes racing in the SES TT Zero race. With few laps around the course because of weather, and with record-holder John McGuinness stuck on the sidelines with injury, the speeds haven’t been what we were expecting.
Bruce Anstey filled in for McGuinness on the Team Mugen bike, and was only able to post a 113 mph lap in qualifying – well off the 119 mph pace that McGuinness set in 2015.
With the 2017 SES TT Zero race being Guy Martin’s best hope for a TT race win, there was a bit of intrigue heading into the race, though it was clear that Martin’s head was still stuck on his crash in the Superbike TT race.
The Isle of Man TT has gone full circle. From the biggest race in the world, to a struggling to survive annual, and now it is back on top seeing record numbers of fans worldwide.
In this story, Asphalt & Rubber talks with Paul Phillips, the TT & Motorsport Development Manager for the Isle of Man Government, about the revival of this iconic fortnight of racing.
At the turn of the century, the Isle of Man TT was at a crossroads. The most unique and historic event on the motorcycle racing calendar was under pressure with a lack of coverage and dwindling interest in the event.
With the TT now back at the height of its power, the event has drawn in a new generation of fans and the future looks brighter than ever.
Paul Phillips has been largely credited with being central to the renaissance of the Isle of Man TT, as the Manxman has overseen the revival of the TT to the biggest fortnight of the British biking calendar.
The story for the 2017 Isle of Man TT might be the weather, as another day of competition has scraped because of heavy rain.
So after consulting with the Meteorological Office, Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson made the decision that no racing or qualifiers will take place today, due to continued bad weather.
With us now towards the end of the TT fortnight, this means some tough decisions for the TT organizers in order to keep as much racing and qualifying sessions on the docket as possible.
Something had to give though, so the Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 2 has been canceled.