| Duke Says TT Should Go
Motorcycle racing legend Geoff Duke believes
this year's TT should go ahead despite the threat of foot-and-mouth.
The six-times world championship winner who won six TTs during his glittering
career believes the annual motorcycle extravaganza is 'the most wonderful event
in the world,' and that it would be 'disastrous' for the tourist industry if it
didn't go ahead. He believes every effort should be made to prevent
foot-and-mouth from spreading to the Island, but at the same time believes it
is important to keep the TT going.
He explained: 'The other point is
that so many young riders come mainly to have a dash round the TT course
themselves. I think a lot of these people will come anyway.'
that if the TT was cancelled 'it would have a disastrous effect on what is left
of the tourist industry.'
Every year the TT attracts criticism, but Mr
Duke, who was awarded the OBE in 1951, believes it is essential it is allowed
to continue. 'Road racing isn't popular with some people in the FIM (the world
governing body). It is important that we hang onto the lifeline.
still an extremely important event, an event which is oversubscribed with
riders and brings 40,000 people in, apart from the local interest. I think it
is important to keep it going. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't keep
going for a long, long time.' He believes leaving a decision on this year's
event to the end of the month is a bit late, particularly for people coming
from the continent who wouldn't be able to cancel their journeys as some of the
carriers don't allow it.
Mr Duke, who is also an honorary freeman of
the borough of St Helen's, brushed aside criticism that the TT no longer
attracts big names. He said the event has its own top riders and rated
six-times winner David Jefferies as 'absolutely superb.' If the races do go
ahead the top road racer and fastest man ever round the TT circuit will be
aiming to add to his impressive list of wins.
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