2010 TT launched in style

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Friday night’s 2010 TT launch show at the Villa Marina in Douglas would have made fantastic national TV.

Even if you didn’t have a clue about bikes to start with, the show was brilliantly conceived and produced, and superbly delivered by Chris Kinley and Tim Glover.

The video footage supplied by North One TV was simply stunning, while choice of music just added to on-screen drama.

I defy anyone there not to have had the hairs standing on the back of their necks watching it. I know Hudson Kennaugh did – he admitted as much later.

It was a lengthy show but the interviews made the evening rock and the local fans loved every minute.

The interviews had a fantastic mix and the thing that really came across was the passion that everyone feels about the TT.

There was full on banter between John McGuinness and Steve Plater while newcomer Kennaugh played up to the packed house when Glover taunted the South African about having a Manx-sounding surname.

Good to see Cameron Donald back on the Island too. He spent time before the public appearances doing laps on a tricked out Relentless-liveried Suzuki road bike.

You just have to admire his determination to come back and pick up where he left – but I also liked his blunt honesty about his big mistake at last year’s TT then not only robbed him of TT glory but sidelined him for the rest of the year. 

It’s easy to criticise (and this is my one and only whinge about the entire show) but I think Glover could have got more out of Michael Dunlop.

Last year’s Superport winner seemed a bit subdued and was maybe overawed by talking in front of a packed house.

He’s not the easiest to interview but maybe with a bit more planning, the fans could have seen more of the real cheeky side of the younger of the two Dunlop brothers.

And I thought it was a shame William wasn’t there – or Ryan Farquhar for that matter. Hmm that’s three whinges. 

Michael Rutter got a huge reception – fans probably still remembering his massive effort to run his own team last year. 

The man who specialises in some of the driest banter in BSB was actually quite serious – as are his racing plans with the Riders Ducati at the TT this year.

I’m just surprised his BMW stocker ride never got a mention. 

But the warmest reaction all evening was for Nick Crowe, so seriously injured in last year’s Sidecar TT.

He dismissed the crash that left him and Mark Cox with life-changing injuries as a, ‘fairly hefty tumble,’ and then went on to explain his plans to run his own team in future.

I can’t say I know Nick but I certainly felt humbled by his determination and full of admiration.

It seems to me that the TT is just keeps getting stronger. Paul Phillips, the driving force behind the TT these days (along with Milky Quayle and John Barton) have worked long and hard in attracting new talent to the TT and their efforts are being repaid.

Between them they have an uncanny knack of spotting riders who they think would make top racers on the roads.

That’s not as easy as it sounds because the two disciplines are so different and a top short circuit man might not make, or even want to make, that transition.

This year there another healthy crop of 14 Newcomers and includes Kennaugh, BSB regular David Johnson and NW200 star Stephen Thompson – guys who could really carve a nice for themselves at the event over the next few years.

And when you add in prospects like 22-year old Manxman Dan Kneen – already billed as the next Conor Cummins – another 22 year old Olie Linsdell and BMW rider Rico Penzkofer, you can understand why everyone is so full of hope for the future.
Great evening.

Roll on the last week in May when we can get settled in on the Island for a fortnight of racing action.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin