The 10 Greatest Isle of Man TT Races in History
The Isle of Man TT is one of the most famous and challenging motorcycle road races in the world. Held on a 37.73-mile course that weaves through the Isle of Man’s public roads, the event combines breath-taking scenery with high-speed thrills. In this article, we look at 10 of the greatest Isle of Man TT races in history, highlighting unforgettable battles, record-breaking achievements, legendary racers, and the unique machines they rode. This list is of course subjective, there’s so many incredible races and memorable moments, narrowing it down to just 10 races is an almost impossible task.
1967 Senior TT – Mike Hailwood vs. Giacomo Agostini
In the 1967 Senior TT, motorcycle racing legends Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini captivated fans with their intense competition on their respective Honda and MV Agusta machines. The two racers were neck and neck until Agostini’s chain snapped, forcing him to retire from the race. Hailwood went on to win the race and set a new lap record. This thrilling showdown between Hailwood and Agostini marked a pivotal moment in the Isle of Man TT history and motorcycle racing, showcasing the fierce rivalry between two of the sport’s greatest icons.
1978 Formula One TT – Mike Hailwood’s Comeback
In the 1978 Formula One TT, Mike Hailwood made a remarkable return to the Isle of Man TT after an 11-year hiatus. Defying all odds, Hailwood claimed victory on his Ducati 900SS, proving that his talent and skill were still unparalleled. This triumphant comeback cemented Hailwood’s legendary status in the motorcycle racing world and demonstrated the sheer determination of the “Bike Grand Prix Master.”
1984 Formula One TT – Joey Dunlop’s Triple Win
Joey Dunlop’s incredible performance in the 1984 Isle of Man TT saw him claim victory in three races, including the Formula One TT, Senior TT, and Junior TT. This outstanding achievement, known as the “TT Triple,” highlighted Dunlop’s exceptional skill and determination and further cemented his legendary status in the motorcycle racing world.
1992 Senior TT – Steve Hislop vs. Carl Fogarty
The 1992 Senior TT featured an intense battle between Steve Hislop on his Norton and Carl Fogarty on his Loctite Yamaha. Both riders pushed their limits, exchanging the lead multiple times. Ultimately, Hislop won the race, setting a new lap record in the process. This exhilarating duel between Hislop and Fogarty remains one of the most memorable contests in the history of the Isle of Man TT.
2000 Formula 1 TT – Joey Dunlop’s Legendary Win on the Honda VTR1000 SP1
Joey Dunlop, a true legend of the Isle of Man TT, achieved a remarkable victory in the 2000 Formula 1 TT race riding the Honda VTR1000 SP1. At 48 years old, Dunlop defied expectations and demonstrated his exceptional skill, even in the challenging weather conditions that prevailed during the race. This victory marked his 26th TT win and reinforced Dunlop’s status as one of the most successful and revered competitors in the event’s history.
2002 Superstock TT – David Jefferies’ Record-Breaking Run
David Jefferies’ victory in the 2002 Superstock TT was truly remarkable, as he broke both race and lap records in the process. Riding his TAS Suzuki GSX-R1000, Jefferies set a new lap record of 125.69 mph and completed the race in just under 1 hour and 15 minutes. His record-breaking performance is remembered as one of the most impressive displays of speed and skill in the history of the Isle of Man TT.
2010 Isle of Man TT – Ian Hutchinson’s Record-Breaking Week
In the 2010 Isle of Man TT, Ian Hutchinson made history by winning five races in a single week. He started by winning the first Supersport race, followed by the Superstock race, the second Supersport race, and both the Superbike and Senior TT races. This incredible achievement etched Hutchinson’s name into the record books and demonstrated his exceptional skill and determination on the demanding TT course.
2013 Isle of Man TT – Michael Dunlop’s Dominance
During the 2013 Isle of Man TT, Michael Dunlop displayed his dominance by winning four out of five solo races. His victories in the Superbike, both Supersport races, and the Superstock race showcased his incredible talent and mastery of the TT course. Dunlop’s outstanding performance in 2013 added to his growing legacy as one of the most successful riders in Isle of Man TT history.
2016 Senior TT – Michael Dunlop’s 133.962 mph Lap Record
During the 2016 Senior TT, Michael Dunlop shattered the existing lap record by posting an average speed of 133.962 mph. Riding his BMW S1000RR, Dunlop showcased his incredible talent and fearless riding style, pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible on the treacherous TT course. Dunlop’s record-breaking lap in 2016 will always be remembered as a milestone in the progression of motorcycle racing at the Isle of Man TT.
2018 Senior TT – Peter Hickman’s Record-Breaking Victory
Peter Hickman’s victory in the 2018 Senior TT was nothing short of extraordinary. Hickman and Dean Harrison engaged in a thrilling battle throughout the race, with both riders pushing each other to the limit. On the final lap, Hickman set a new outright lap record with an average speed of 135.452 mph, securing his victory in a breathtaking finale. This historic race not only saw Hickman claim his first Senior TT win but also showcased the incredible progression of the sport and the rising talent of the next generation of racers.
These 10 races represent just a glimpse into the rich history of the Isle of Man TT, an event that continues to captivate fans and inspire racers with its unique blend of speed, skill, and courage. We could have quiet easily wrote about another 10 races! Each race has contributed to the legend of the Isle of Man TT and helped shape the sport of motorcycle racing. As the event continues to evolve and grow, there is no doubt that future generations will witness new epic battles and unforgettable moments that will stand alongside these 10 greatest races in Isle of Man TT history.
All images kindly provided by TTRacePics.com