Manx Grand Prix News

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TT ’23: what to look out for at this year’s Isle of Man races

Dean Harrison

We’re just a few weeks away from the greatest motorcycle racing festival in the world. The Isle of Man TT races are one of the ultimate challenges for any motorcycle racer and the event itself should be on the bucket list for anyone with petrol running through their veins.

Carole Nash is thrilled to be involved as the official insurance partner of the 2023 races, which sees us as title sponsors of two TTs and giving our customers an opportunity to experience some once-in-a-lifetime, money-can’t-buy, experiences.

It’s the biggest ever TT festival to date and there’s so much to get excited about. Here’s just a few of the highlights we expect to be talking about in the first week of June.




Can anyone stop Hicky?

Anyone who rolls up to the Glencrutchery Road start line is a hero in our eyes, and winning a TT is an instant pass into superhero territory.

Over the years there have been too many TT legends to list, but the latest incumbent is Peter Hickman. He’s won nine TTs, all in the last three runnings of the event, and is the current lap record holder. In the big bike races Hicky will race for the same FHO Racing BMW team with whom he competes on the short circuits, while he’s got a stable of Triumphs for the supersport TTs and even a Yamaha for the Supertwin TTs. He’s going for a grand slam, so who can stop him?The most likely contender remains Dean Harrison, the 2019 Senior TT winner. The Yorkshire star is switching from Kawasaki to Yamaha for the supersport TTs, but stays with the ZX-10RR for the big bike races. Michael Dunlop will be looking to add to his tally of 21 wins and will be strong in all races, but especially supersport and supertwin, while Davey Todd will look to make the transition from coming man to TT winner after making a real breakthrough in 2022.




Brookes returns

Every year the TT creates interest around the newcomers, but this year there’s a bit of a buzz around a returnee.

Josh Brookes, the two-time British superbike champion, last rode at the TT in 2018, the second of his two-years on the unfancied Norton superbike.

The Australian has had something of an on/off relationship with the TT, making his debut way back in 2013, when he set new lap records for a newcomer, but he’s only appeared three times since then. His best lap of 129.859mph was set almost a decade ago but is still good enough to give him a place among the seeded riders (he’ll start seventh in the big bike races).

Part of the reason for his TT absences has been his desire to prioritise the short circuits, but now he’s with the same FHO Racing BMW team as Hickman for the British superbike (BSB) series, Brookes is back on the roads again too. The 40-year-old is enjoying something of a renaissance on the short circuits, winning races and being in contention for the BSB championship.

Can he challenge for a win at TT’23? Well, after a five year absence it will be a very tough call, but it would be a surprise if he doesn’t make it into the 130mph club and lay the foundations to become a serious contender in the next few years.




The Carole Nash Supertwins are here!

There’s a new class in town and we’re ever so excited about it.The Carole Nash Supertwins replaces the outgoing Lightweight TT, with revised technical regulations and a second race.

What was originally a class for 650cc twins, it has evolved to reflect the bikes currently selling so well in the marketplace. While the lightweight class was dominated by heavily tuned Kawasaki ER-6 derived bikes (not to mention the Kawasaki powered Paton which won the last three Lightweight TTs) the Supertwins will also include new machines like the Aprilia RS 660 and Yamaha R7. They might be the lowest powered machines you’ll find at the TT, however the Supertwins are among the trickest and most innovatively engineered racing motorcycles out there.

More racing than ever

The Supertwins shakeup is part of a revised schedule which sees the number of races at TT 2023 increased from eight to 10.

Each class (Superbike, Supersport, Sidecar, Superstock and Supertwin) now gets two races, with the 600cc supersport machines taking over from the superbikes as the first TT of race week, on Saturday June 3. The traditional day off for ‘Mad Sunday’ will be filled by the six-lap Superbike TT,  with double races scheduled for the Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, when the second Supertwin and Superstock TTs take place over three laps.

A big change to the schedule sees the six-lap Senior TT, the most prestigious of all the races, move back from its traditional Friday slot to Saturday afternoon, making this year’s event the biggest yet.




The 136 challenge

With some gusty winds and a rustiness brought on by a two-year covid enforced absence, lap times were down a bit at the 2022 edition of the Isle of Man TT races.

As always, there will be much anticipation to see if one of the TT superstars can break the outright lap record, which Peter Hickman set back in 2018. His lap time of 16:42.778 equates to an average speed of 135.452mph around the 37.73 mile public road course.

Five years on, can Hicky or one of his rivals push the envelope even further? Can the 136mph lap be achieved? We can’t wait to find out!




You can follow every lap!

One of the great innovations from TT 2022 was the introduction of TT+, a live streaming platform covering every qualifying and session, as well as in depth interviews and behind the scenes features. It’s a must have subscription for diehard fans but, if that’s a bit too much for you, ITV4 will also be continuing its excellent coverage with a nightly highlights programme and some fantastic documentaries in the weeks leading up to the racing.


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