Schwantz and Mamola lap the TT course

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Racing legends Kevin Schwantz and Randy Mamola were just two of the racing legends taking part in the Arai Parade Lap at the Isle of Man TT today.

Other famous riders included current TT racers Michael Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson along with retired racers Neil Hodgson, Steve Plater, 13-times TT winner Phillip McCallen and British Superbike championship leader Josh Brookes.

Neither Schwantz or Mamola had completed a full lap of the 37.7 mile course before; both were full of praise for the riders who tackle the TT.

Schwantz, who rode a standard Suzuki GSX-R1000 road bike, told MCN: “We only missed one corner so I think that was a good job. I’m too old to be learning tracks like this but I am really impressed with what the guys do here.

"I used to think those people who raced here were a bunch of crazy loonies but it’s clear now you need to take this place seriously and really study it. I can’t imagine you can learn it in less than about five or six years of racing here because there is too much.

Mamola, who rode the course on a Ducati 1199 Panigale S, added: “That was great fun. I used to race on some of the old GP road tracks like the Nurburgring and Brno but this place is something else because of the length of the lap.

"I can see the flowing bits would be super fun to ride fast but some of the bumpy sections were just brutal.”

Former World Superbike champion Hodgson spent the first 15 seconds after parking his Ducati 1199 Panigale S swearing.

When he calmed down a fraction he said: “That was a million, million times better than I thought it was going to be and I was already excited by doing my first full lap.

"There was a bit where I was passed by Plater and Hutchy and I just tried to stay on the back of them. I was getting showered in sh*t being thrown up by their bikes but it felt like I was racing the in TT. It was f**king awesome. I loved it.”

British Superbike championship leader Brookes has vowed to race at the TT in 2013. His Tyco Suzuki team has promised that if he wins the BSB series he can get it sorted.

He said: “At one point on Sulby straight there was a woman in an orange top waving a Manx flag but I just thought it was a red flag. It distracted me for a moment and I ran really wide going into Sulby Bridge. It was a bit hectic.”

MCN Road Tester Adam ‘Chad’ Child was also part of the lap on board Michael Rutter’s Kawasaki ZX-10R superstock bike. Chad will be racing in Friday’s Lightweight race on a Kawasaki ER-6f supertwin machine.

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter