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1 Juni 2015 Kawasaki goes ‘Between the Hedges’ as Isle of Man TT festival begins

The world famous Isle of Man TT Races started on May 30, and 2015 marks one of Kawasaki’s strongest ever field of riders and teams who will be competing for glory around the 37 ¾ mile (60.75 kilometer) roads course. 
Leading the charge for honours will be GBmoto Racing rider Gary Johnson, PBM Kawasaki’s Ian Hutchinson and Quattro Plant Kawasaki star James Hillier. Between them, the three will be challenging for victory in the Superbike, Superstock, Supersport, Supertwin and Senior races across two weeks of practice and racing...

Arguably one of the most famous race events in the world, the TT event is like no other. Held on a closed public roads course, it sees the world’s greatest road racers compete against the clock in a time trail with riders released from the start at regular intervals. With the current lap record standing at 17m 6.682s – that equates to a 132.298mph (212.91 kph) average lap!

Beginning in 1907, the “Tourist Trophy” course was extended to become the ‘Snaefell Mountain Course’ as currently used in 1911. Unlike today, where the track consists entirely of tarmac, back then it was a simple horse and cart track with the first rider of the day responsible for opening the gates between fields…whilst the last rider had to close them!

Record books have been continuously re-written, with the average lap record in 1920 of 55.62mph rising to 82mph by the time the motorcycle World Championship arrived in 1949. Hosting the British round of the series, some of the world’s greatest Grand Prix riders took to the course to battle for honours, including Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Jim Redman. 

Hailwood’s 1967 lap of 108.77mph would stand until 1975, when Mick Grant powered his Kawasaki H1R 500 to a 109.80mph lap en route to victory in the TT classic. With some top riders voicing concerns that the race was too different in style to circuit racing, the TT lost Grand Prix status in 1976, however it continued to grow ever bigger and is now seen as an annual global biking highlight.
Attracting thousands of fans from all over the planet, 2015 looks set to welcome over 40,000 spectators to the island – the largest number since the impressive 2007 centenary celebrations. The annual event is a big part of the Isle of Man’s income, with each spectator spending an average of 6 days on the island, helping to contribute an overall figure of £19 million (€26.58 million) to the economy.

Kawasaki has enjoyed much success at the TT, with Grant taking the 500cc Grand Prix win in 1976 and more recently Ryan Farquhar, Michael Dunlop and Dave Molyneux winning the Production 600, Superstock and Sidecar races. 

Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Development Manager said “We’re anticipating one of the largest crowds in recent memory this year and the global attention on the TT has never been higher. This year’s event looks set to be one of the most hotly contested ever, with the very best road racers in the world lining up on the Glencrutchery Road. It’s entirely possible they’ll see the record books rewritten with a 133mph (214kph) lap!”

Ross Burridge, Racing Co-ordinator for Kawasaki Motors UK added, “The Isle of Man TT races are an important part of Kawasaki’s racing year and indeed heritage. June will see one of the strongest line up of riders in years as Johnson, Hutchy and Hillier take to the course to challenge for victory.”