There are brave riders, fearless ones, those who are absolutely reckless... and then, there are the riders who compete in the legendary Isle of Man race, and they are made of different stuff altogether. They're the ones who are able to almost fly, reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h, on roads that were designed for speeds up to 60, missing walls and barriers by mere inches. Does it sound interesting? Do you want to know more about the competition at the Isle of Man TT? Then this is the right place to be.
There's always a reason to celebrate a motorsports title that leans towards the simulation end of the spectrum, as most games tend to feature a more arcade-focus these days. When the game is also a motorcycling simulator, which is even rarer, then the reasons to celebrate multiply.
The best titles of the genre nowadays are probably the annual installments of Milestone's MotoGP series, including their special editions, such as the one published in 2016 that focused on Italian rider Valentino Rossi, better known by his hardcore fans as Il Dottore. However, we are talking about games that ride on that thin line that separates pure simulations from accessible arcade racing created to please a broader spectrum of players.
Bigben Interactive, in collaboration with French studio Kylotonn Racing Games (who gave us WRC 7 last year), turned their attention to a very special competition in the world of Motorsport as the Isle of Man TT Race. The race began in 1907 when a clever organisation decided to establish a race on this island to avoid the speed limitations in the UK. Thanks to this move, the famous track which goes across the Snaefell mountain was born. It's a historic race, then, that has been taking place for the past 110 years. The track looks spectacular both for its environment and for the race itself, with its network of roads designed for residential traffic, far removed from the high-speed competition it hosts.
The Snaefell Mountain course is something unique, as is the pilgrimage made each year by fans and reckless drivers alike. Not for nothing, we're talking about a 60.725 km track with 264 bends and a current record of 16 minutes and 53.929 seconds, which was achieved by Michael Dunlop in 2016. That shows, without a doubt, how incredible its proportions are.
But it's not just about the length. This track, in its best section, has just two lanes with the exact width for two cars to fit, far from current competitive track standards. And that's without mentioning the sharp turns, the sections that pass through villages, the bumps, and curbs everywhere. More than 250 valiant riders have lost their lives in this race; a sobering reality check.