Five of the Wildest Moments in Isle of Man TT History

  • Manx rider Connor Cummins flew off the side of the Mountain Circuit in 2010
  • Ian Hutchinson won three races in his comeback after a life-changing injury
  • A pigeon nearly killed racer Paul Jordan on the fastest straight only last year
  • Guy Martin’s bike turned into a fireball after a terrifying crash at Ballagarey
  • Peter Hickman broke the record for the fastest lap in 2018, averaging 135mph+
TT racer
The Isle of Man TT has had its fair share of wild moments, including a high-speed pigeon collision and an unbelievable fastest-ever lap. [Image:]

The most dangerous race in the world is back for another edition. Each June, motorsport’s bravest (or craziest) competitors duke it out on a 38-mile Mountain Circuit on the Isle of Man.

one false move could lead to a high-speed collision with a brick wall

One of the very few road superbike races left in existence, the Tourist Trophy sees racers reach speeds of up to 200mph on roads that are otherwise used by the general public. There are no runoff areas on this track, meaning one false move could lead to a high-speed collision with a brick wall or a trip down a hillside.

To celebrate the return of the craziest race in the world, and to give you a bit of insight before you place your bets ahead of Senior Race Day next Friday, VegasSlotsOnline News has listed five of the TT’s wildest moments in history.

Connor Cummins’ mountain crash – 2010

Isle of Man-born Connor Cummins has been flying the flag for the island for years as one of the few Manx racers to take part. Not only has he participated, he has so far achieved 12 podium finishes, two of them last year. However, his career and life almost came to an end in 2010 after he took a major tumble off the Mountain section of the course.

lost control of the bike and skidded off the edge of the mountainside

Cummins was fighting for the win on Senior Race Day with just three seconds separating the top three places. Reaching the corner known as the Veranda on his second lap, it all went wrong for the Manxman as he lost control of the bike and skidded off the edge of the mountainside. Cummins detailed the experience for ITV Sport:

Somewhat amazingly, Cummins survived the crash and was instantly transported to a hospital. The then 24-year-old suffered a badly broken left arm, two bone fractures in his back, a dislocated knee, ligament damage, bruising to his lungs, and a fracture in his pelvis. He is now fit and racing again, recently telling BBC Sport that his “one true goal” is to score a win at the TT race.

Ian Hutchinson wins three after injury – 2015

Back in 2010, Bingley man Ian Hutchinson was without a doubt the best racer on the TT course. He made history by claiming five wins in one week that year, the most any rider has been able to achieve to this day. Just weeks later and Hutchinson’s career lay in tatters after another racer ran over his leg in a British Supersport race at Silverstone.

a four-year battle to save his leg and fight back to fitness

Hutchinson was catapulted into a four-year battle to save his leg and fight back to fitness. In his documentary titled Miracle Man, the now 16-time TT winner outlines the trauma of the experience, including enduring 30 operations and having to twist screws into his legs every day for months:

The fact that Hutchinson returned to the TT to race again after this injury seems impossible enough, but in 2015 he regained his former glory with multiple victories. The “Miracle Man” won three out of five races he entered that year. Sadly, he is forced to miss this year’s TT after suffering a stroke in March.

Pigeon loses a fight with Paul Jordan – 2022

Up-and-coming motorbike racer from Northern Ireland Paul Jordan claimed his maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT in 2022. It was his best result in four years at the event, but he also got the scare of his life that same week on the fastest part of the course. Jordan had a run-in with a pigeon that left him with a busted visor and facial injuries.

a pile of bird guts” in his mouth

He explained what happened while speaking with TalkSport. “I was going down Sulby Straight and a bird thought it would be a great idea to smash itself into me, smashed me square in the face in the visor and took it off,” he explained, adding that the incident left him with “a pile of bird guts” in his mouth, along with “a bloody nose” and “a bust lip.”

A photographer caught the 200mph incident in slow motion:

Although Jordan managed to remain on his bike during the incident, other racers have not proven so lucky. During Monday’s practice session this year, Welsh racer Paul Williams crashed at Laurel Bank after hitting a pheasant. Williams was launched into a bush while his bike went straight into a wall, although he emerged relatively unscathed.

Guy Martin’s Ballagarey fireball – 2010

2010 was definitely a turbulent year for the TT. In fact, it was in the very same race that Connor Cummins flew off the side of a mountain that Guy Martin also nearly lost his life. Fan favorite and now TV celebrity Martin was fighting for the win in the final lap of the Senior Race. While pushing his machine to the absolute limit, he was involved in an incident on the third lap in one of the fastest corners on the course.

a corner that has cost the lives of multiple riders

Nicknamed “Ballascary,” Ballagarey Corner is taken by most top riders at full throttle, hitting speeds as high as 170mph. It’s a corner that has cost the lives of multiple riders for this reason, including New Zealander Paul Dobbs the very same year that Martin had his off in 2010. The aftermath of Martin’s crash into a brick wall was caught by a fellow rider, with the footage included in the Closer to the Edge documentary:

The crash, which saw Martin’s bike burst into a fireball, left the Englishman with some serious injuries. He suffered bruising to both lungs and fractures to his upper spine. Nevertheless, he amazingly lived to tell the tale. He later admitted that he had accepted he was not going to survive the impact of the wall, attributing it to luck alone that he hit it at just the right angle to avoid death.   

Peter Hickman’s fastest lap – 2018

Throughout history, the accolade of fastest man around the TT course has always been a highly-coveted one. The list of its holders serves as a who’s who of the sport’s most notable competitors, including Bob McIntyre, Joey Dunlop, and Ben and Tom Birchall. The late great Steve Hislop rode the first average 120mph lap in 1989, while race legend John McGuinness famously set the first ever 130mph lap at the Centennial TT in 2007.

Hickman’s time of 16 minutes 42 seconds is the quickest that anyone has completed the course

One man now stands above them all, however. In 2018, Englishman Peter Hickman set the record for the fastest-ever lap, clocking in an average of 135.452mph. Hickman’s time of 16 minutes 42 seconds is the quickest that anyone has completed the course, which stands at nearly 38 miles long.

Hickman set the record on the sixth and final lap of the Senior Race in 2018, overhauling Dean Harrison on that last lap to seal the win. He has now won nine TT races, and is going for more at this year’s event. An onboard camera showed just how he did it in 2018:

Place your bets

Although no sportsbooks are currently offering odds on the 2023 Isle of Man TT, many usually offer the option closer to Senior Race Day. Bet365, William Hill, and Paddy Power all regularly offer TT odds each year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *