Mat Oxley

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

We are fans of the Isle of Man TT and love the event because it’s the essence of our sport: man and machine against the road.

Martin Brundle perfectly summed up the world’s oldest motorcycle race when he visited for the first time last June. “The combination of skill and bravery required – no other sport needs them both to such a degree,” he said.

For the past 106 years there has only been one TT . Now there are two. August’s inaugural Classic TT was a huge success, with many of the fastest men around the infamous 37.73 miles Mountain course making an extra trip across the Irish Sea to race hallowed old motorcycles over the same circuit. I wouldn’t be too surprised if one day the Classic actually becomes bigger than the real thing. As mind-bogglingly wonderful as it is, the real TT does have a problem: the bikes are monotonously similar.

With few exceptions, Japanese inline fours fill the big classes, so all the bikes look and sound the same.

The Classic TT is completely different: an all-out assault on the visual, aural and nasal senses, a deafening four- and two-stroke cacophony wrapped up in an event that feels as genteel as a village fete. Amid the tents and marquees, the beards and flat hats, the sweet smell of Castrol R and the chill of nervous tension, there’s the whole rainbow of machinery, from the most venerable motorcycle manufactured on these shores, the Norton Manx, to the most terrifying race bike to emerge from Japan, Yamaha’s four-cylinder TZ750 two-stroke. And people race them. To me, riding a Manx round the Island sounds like a nice idea, but just thinking about riding a TZ750 through those blind, tunnelled twists and over those bruisingly bumpy roads makes me feel queasy.

The Manx, however, was no match for its main rival in the 500cc race, the Italian Paton from the 1960s. Like many classic race bikes, including most of the Nortons, the Paton is a replica, created by a burgeoning cottage industry. Twenty-time TT winner John McGuinness rode one, but was unable to challenge 500 winner Olie Linsdell before dropping out with ignition problems.

McGuinness nevertheless enjoyed himself, revelling in the fact that he was riding a bike that didn’t try to pull his arms from his sockets every time he opened the throttle; the Paton twin has little more than one third of the horsepower of McGuinness’s TT superbike.

“It rattles along once it’s in top gear,” said McPint. “But compared to a superbike it just knocks the edge off. When you’re accelerating, the bike’s not wheelying and twisting and pulling and spinning and things.”

Aussie Cameron Donald was another TT winner having a ball, spending most of each lap with the throttle wound to the stop as he achieved the first ton-up lap with an AJS 7R.

“Riding around this place you’re used to going down a gear or two for the corners,” he said. “On these things you just push your chin harder into the tank and keep the throttle on.” DKW (a defunct marque that was part of Auto Union) brought a replica of its 250 that won the 1938 Lightweight TT . Ralf Waldmann – one of GP racing’s most successful riders never to have won a world title – made his first visit to the island to ride the bike in a parade lap and was in awe of the circuit.

“I can’t find the words …” he said, before coming out with the best TT line I’ve heard. “Winning here must be like being a German soldier getting out of Stalingrad in 1943.”

Next year’s Classic TT races are scheduled for August 23 and 25, with practice taking place the previous week.

You may also like

Related products