Wow! What more can I say? The 2013 Isle of Man TT closed out today with James Hillier getting his first win and John McGuinness scoring his 20th TT victory while ending Michael Dunlop’s four-race win streak.
As a journalist, I should remain impartial, but I have to confess that after meeting James Hillier at the NorthWest 200 last year, we have become friends. In fact, last night, I treated Hillier to dinner, which gave me the chance to get to know the number-one plate-holder better as a person and not just a racer with a camera lens stuffed in his face. This morning, when Hillier won the three-lap Lightweight race, setting a new class lap record in the process, I was excited for him.
The Senior TT didn’t get off to a great start. With the contenders already out on course, newcomer Jonathan Howarth lost control of his bike going down Bray Hill. The machine disintegrated upon impact, and parts of the bike flew into the crowd. Eleven people, including Howarth, went to the hospital. Thankfully, no one died.
After the restart, McGuinness battled Hillier, followed by Dunlop and Bruce Anstey. By the end of the race, Hillier slipped from second to fourth, missing out on a podium to Anstey by a tenth of second. Think about that TT fans: 218 miles of racing on public roads and the difference at the end was a fraction of a second.
As the ferries fill up with visitors leaving The Island, I must thank all of my friends, from the course marshals and shop owners to the bar keep who takes care of me every year. My recommendation? Do whatever necessary to experience this great race at least once in your life. You won’t be disappointed.
Kevin Warren is a freelance photographer living in Atlanta, Georgia. To see more of his work, go to his website, http://www.digitalpressimages.com.
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