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06/02/2011

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I saw my first TT races in 1966. When my parents moved to the Isle of Man, I used to see them, and the Manx Grand Prix races on the same course, every now and then.

Agreed the track is made up of public roads, but these are by far the best maintained public roads on the Island and better than most roads elsewhere. Over the years there have been improvements to the curves and edges too. However, that is ione of the attrctions of the TT, it is not an impeccably groomed purpose-built course.

Secondly, no one is forced to enter the TT. Many excellent riders have decided over the years that they do not want to take the risk of riding in these exceptional challenging races and no one thinks the worse of them.

Thirdly, every rider can control their own speed and the vast majority of the hundreds of entrants get around the course very securely.

Finally, the Isle of Man government is pretty independent of "foreign" opinions about TT safety. In fact they are more likely to react in support of the TT when it is attacked, not cave in to demands from non-Manx sources. They are unlikely to shutdown the TT for all sorts of reasons, not least the large economic benefits of all the TT supporters who come back every year. This is the same government that retained birching for young offenders and hanging for murderers years after those punishments were abolished elsewhere so they are pretty conservative.

Since the event at the TT is a one-off and not part of a travelling series (as far as I know), the racing circuit not needed to conform to standards of a series or general expectations of an international authority in terms of safety.

It is the stupid people's event, their own, and that's just fine with me. Darwinism at work. Nobody twists their arms to participate.

It is exceptionally dangerous. The only way it will close is if riders decide they do not want to compete. One such was Barrie Sheene but the TT attracts a certain crowd. Perhaps ascertaining the most dangerous corners over the years and amending them would be the best course of action - it would almost certainly remove the worst risks.

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