Thursday, 10 June 2010

The TT in black and white

Watching the Superstock races on ITV4 makes a road and very occasional track rider like me realise how deep my lack of talent and bravery goes. Even on an old telly, knowing you're watching something that didn't go wrong (I still like to believe UK TV wouldn't transmit a pre-record of someone's last few minutes), those ancient trees and stone walls don't look like they'd give an inch to a motorcycle, no matter how fast it's going.

And watching the TT you realise it really is the last of its kind. Road racing disappeared from Italy in 1957, and Spa, Le Mans, and the Nurburgring are all castrated versions of what they once were. The TT remains the last beacon of what once was the norm - great riders on great bikes versus the roads we really ride on.

The pic shows the way it was - Dickie Dale on the Guzzi V8 at the bottom of Bray Hill in 1957, hoping the drum brakes have cooled enough to work. The big Guz was running without its full enclosure dustbin fairing, partly to help keep the brakes cool, but mainly to improve the bike's dreadful handling. Dale brought the bike home in 4th place, hindered by an engine running on just seven cylinders...

More in Benzina 2

and thanks to A Herl Inc for the pic

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