|Aussie Attitudes to the TT|
|Well, where shall I start.....Of course a lot of people here in Australia
thinks that the Isle of Man is a bloody dangerous place to race at all the
press seem to cover here seem to be the fatalities.
The Australian public on the whole seem to have the view that anyone who
wants to race at the TT is a dangerous eccentric who should not be
encouraged. Apart from that almost no-one seems to know very much about
the Isle of Man, or the TT in general.
It is not as popular as it was back in the 1950s when many of Australia's
best riders went to "tip their Hat", at the Mountain course after they had
won everything that it was possible to win here in Australian domestic
Even up to the early 1970's it was still considered the"Everest" of
motorcycle racing endevour for Aussie racers.
All of this changed when in the early 70s Australia lost one of it's
brightest motorcycle racing stars in the shape of Kenny (The Snake) Blake due to a racing accident at the Isle of Man TT. Kenny had an absolutely huge following here, and after his death the
Aussie racing public wondered, "was racing at the TT worth it".
Since then only a few intrepid souls have ventured over to the Isle of Man
a entirely privateer basis. Racing on street circuits is totally alien to
the current crop of Australian road racers, who have been brought up on a
diet of safe, if boring tracks with heaps of run off.
There is only one "Open Road" racing circuit which has been used here within
the last few years or so and that is Bathurst, which is situated in country
New South Wales, about 4 hours drive from Sydney.
There have been various attempts at getting "Around the Houses Racing" off
of the ground here, but to date the motorcycle spectating public have become
accustomed to processional motorcycle racing at sanitised "Safe" circuits
such as Eastern Creek and Phillip island.
Even Bathurst with it's huge popular appeal has been cancelled for next
year, a victim of big money promoters who want to turn a big profit at the
expense of spectators and the motorcycle racers themselves.
So on the whole, Australians don't think much of racing on the Isle of man
at all, especially not when they have that Gold Coast domiciled Cockney
Barry Sheene telling all and sundry on national television, that "the place,
(The IOM) is too bloody dangerous to race at, and only idiots who have a
death wish race there". Not good publicity for the IOM or the TT as you
However, there are still some of us who see the TT as something to aim for,
and I will tell you in my next article about my idea to promote exchanges of
racers between Australia and Europe.