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MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - Printable Version

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MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - Malcolm - 02-09-2019

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Department will listen to club's concerns says minister

The president of the Manx Motor Cycle Club hopes the Department for Enterprise will listen to its pleas about the Manx Grand Prix.

Harvey Garton says in an ideal world the club would like a ten-year contract, which would make it much easier to attract sponsors.

He says they've been signing one-year ones, with the one for 2019 only agreed very recently.

Mr Garton says the club will make its feelings known when it gets the chance:

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Enterprise Minister Laurence Skelly says the department will listen to the club's concerns:

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RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - Splashdown - 05-09-2019

Having just returned from the Manx Grand Prix, I DO hope that the Department listen carefully to the Manx Motor Cycle Club's concerns.
You would only need to watch the Classic TT, and then watch the Manx Grand Prix to become aware of the peculiar dichotomy that exists between the two events.
On the one hand you had two days of pretty average racing with a handful of TT stars, and very small entries ( but huge praise for Bruce Anstey here), followed by three days (well two and a bit) of extremely exciting racing with full grids.
The Classic 500cc TT highlighted the demise of the event in an alarming way. I believe that about 31 riders made the restart, (yes I'm aware of the tragic loss of poor Chris Swallow), with just 19 finishers. Other events didn't fare much better, but at least there was an exciting and unexpected finish to the Superbike race. The Lightweight Classic TT won by Bruce, even had a Manx Grand Prix rider on the rostrum in the amazing James Hind, surely one of the "finds" of the season. After the last Classic TT race on the Monday evening, I always notice a change in atmosphere, with the departure of the Classic TT riders. However, for me the excitement is just beginning.
In the Manx, almost all the races were closely fought, and I became utterly engrossed in the event from my very fortunate position of being a Commentator for mgptvlive. 
I traveled over on the Sunday evening (day of the Jurby event) on the Heysham boat. The boat was jam packed! You can't tell me they were all coming over to watch one day of Classic TT racing. No, they were coming for the Manx.
I keep telling the "powers that be" that the next Superstar of the TT will almost certainly come from the Manx GP. Seems like I may be correct in the shape of James Hind, early days I know.
The Manx Grand Prix is one of the hidden gems of the British racing calendar. For too long it has been overlooked, yet clearly it boosts the Isle of Man economy, provides a superbly run event for a broad church of road racers, and gives thousands of spectators a variety of events that they don't see at the TT. (125 twostrokes, alongside 250 MotoGP singles, alongside 400cc bikes).
I am not saying that there aren't any shortcomings of the MGP, but I do think that it is about time that the Government took notice of an event that has a rich past, and an exciting future.

RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - AntG - 05-09-2019

What was wrong with the old classic format when they ran as MGP Classic races? They still attracted some top TT riders such as Farquhar, Martin, MD, Joey and Lougher to name a few.

But yes it is sad at how the MGP racers seem to have been reduced to a side show at their own event, they don't even mention the MGP on the Classic TT coverage. Something I've always liked about the Manx is when you look at old programs and magazines and you see the names of current TT frontmen like MD, Hutchy, Ivan Lintin, Jamie Coward and Dominic Herbertson listed in the Manx GP and look at how they've really come on. Great way for a rider to get up to TT speed without going to the TT, I think I saw an article with Ivan Lintin where he described the Manx as giving you the chance to learn to walk before you can run.

RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - HammerHead - 06-09-2019

It is very odd how the Festival of Motorcycling is made up of two distinct events that cannot both be officially mentioned in the same breath. The TV coverage of the Classic TT showed some of the Jurby Festival but made no mention whatsoever of the MGP. What is the rationale behind this? It would make no sense even if the Classic TT and Manx were completely unrelated, but makes even less sense (if that's possible) as they are both constituent parts of the Festival of Motorcycling.

Either it is a Festival of Motorcycling or it isn't. If it is then treat all parts with equal importance.

RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - Nasher - 08-09-2019

Some interesting points made here, on what seems to me an immensely complicated, multi facetted, subject

Passion for the Manx Grand Prix runs extremely high amongst it's fans (this is a good thing) but there is a need to ensure that visitor numbers are kept up, in order for the events to make financial sense - this, for me, is where issues will always need addressing to keep an event viable

When on the Island I am always careful to use the phrase 'Manx Grand Prix' but back on the mainland I call it 'The Classic TT'
My rationale for what must seem to some die hard fans an act of treason is simple: when I say 'I'm going to the Classic TT' most people know or work out that it is a TT for old bikes on the Isle of Man - when I say 'I'm going to the Manx Grand Prix' they look puzzled and have little idea of what it is or where it's held (some think it is a car rally)
Given that the Classic TT has been running for 6 years & the Manx Grand Prix for 96 years, there is clearly some marketing required. The fact that The Classic TT had television coverage at it's inauguration may have something to do with it, alongside the use of the "TT" bit!
For completeness, I should mention that I never use, what I believe, is the terrible expression 'festival of motorcycling' - yuk!

Another point to be considered, is that holiday trends have changed. With people now taking more shorter breaks rather than the traditional 2 week holuday. This lends itself to a 4 day 'event' being an atrractive option for many, something that I am sure was thought of by those who set up the Classic TT.
Consideration in this also needs to be given to the issue of transporting people to & from an island. It is easy to see that many people leave the main TT early in race week in order to get back to work on a Monday, their early departure based on a lack of ferry/plane space

Enough of me droning on! I've barely touched the surface of the subject, but I will add that many of the people I know, who regularly attend the event, go there solely as a classic bike event and aren't that bothered about any of the racing

By all means hark back to the 'good old days' but remember that times change, the World moves on and events such as the Manx Grand Prix need to evolve in order to be sustainable

To end on a positive note, despite the weather, I had a great time & have booked for next year - bring it on

RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - warrior - 08-09-2019

The original MGP always drew in a good few people, with the added attraction of the Manx 2 day trial which if I recall correctly was over the middle weekend but seems to have either moved or disappeared of late.

When the DED as they were known at the time came along and got involved in the MGP they did so with the supposed aim of promoting and growing the event, sadly they then tried to effectively close it down and use the prime part of the MGP slot for the classic TT, you may remember the huge rumpus at the time!!

I think the classic TT is ok, and it appears to bring a few more people over, but at what cost? there is no prize money, so a lot of money must be getting paid in appearance fees and team costs, we cannot however find out how much money is being put in, so even of we could count the extra visitors we can't work out how much actual profit is gained, I would guess there is actually a fairly hefty net loss.

It is also very noticeable that once the 'Classic' portion of the event is completed, those in charge walk away from the rest of the event, it's very evident in the paddock, 'the show is over, nothing to see here now, move along' seems to be the message, on the Tuesday of race week for example I looked at the Classic TT Twitter feed which had been updated minute by minute up until then, to check if the car had left to open the roads, the last post was from the day before saying something like 'Well that's it until next year, safe journey home' now forgive me but how is that helping to run and promote the so called festival as a whole?

There is a lot that can be done to promote the whole event, but my observations and that of a lot of others are that the MGP is being allowed to wither and die, so that the prime portion of the slot which it currently occupies can then be used for a shortened Classic TT/Jurby Festival over 7 days, and as a long time supporter of the MGP that saddens me.

RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - ian333 - 09-09-2019

In an ideal world we as bike fans would have government funding to underwrite every road race - be it in the IOM or Northern Ireland/Ireland and beyond. Unfortunately we live in a world of limited resources - schools, social services, health -the list is endless that needs public money.

As a value proposition, the MGP has a relatively weak case. In this day and age, If you want to use public money, public roads and public services etc, there needs to be a return. It’s fair to say the DED has come in and carved off the ‘profitable’ portion as they see it - TT stars on classic bikes - but it at least gives the MGP a chance. Every tax payer(voter) has an opinion on how public money should be used.

The Ulster GP struggles year over year to close off and race on 7.4 miles for 3 days. It gets minimal public support because the fan spend back into the economy doesn’t merit any more I guess. The NW200 obviously does better given the greater attendance. The UGP does the best it can in promoting itself as the fastest road race in the world with the majority of TT stars in attendance. For a multitude of reasons, the fans are not turning up in their numbers.

I am all for the MGP surviving and flourishing. For me, watching anyone ride around the TT/MGP circuit is a wonderful proposition but it needs to supported by the broader population.

Maybe the DED could do more but it appears they have rightly or wrongly ring fenced themselves within the Classic TT. This might be for legal or insurance reasons or it might simply be allocating resources directly to the product that can justify a return.

Road racing is an incredibly expensive sport. The Irish road scene is struggling. Riders can’t afford the upkeep of their bikes while paying rising entry fees to cover insurance costs. To offset the costs, fans are needed in their droves to show up,  buy programmes and have a few beers in the local bars.

RE: MMCC and enterprise dept to discuss Manx Grand Prix - shipleymanx - 25-09-2019

Another point that will have an impact on the classic TT entries next year is the qualification for the mountain course licence has been tightened up. so i think i am correct in saying that you have to finish a certain percentage of the winner. so a few at the lower end may not make it