After weeks of speculation, the Manx GP and Classic TT races have been officially cancelled.
The announcement this week means that none of the Isle of Man’s big-name motorcycle races will run in 2020. Of course, the reason is COVID-19.
The Isle of Man TT, the world’s most prestigious set of motorcycles held on public roads, was cancelled back in March, after Manx officials decided they couldn’t take the risk of a coronavirus outbreak after an influx of visitors. It was a tough blow for racing fans around the world, as the TT is a destination for racing junkies around the globe. It was even tougher for many of the island’s residents, as much of the Isle of Man’s tourism industry revolves around the TT visitors (although some grumpy locals were happy to see the races cancelled, as not all islanders like the disruption the races bring).
The Manx GP runs in August, as sort of an amateur’s series of TT races, where newcomers can learn the Mountain Course and qualify for the big show of the TT. The Classic TT is a series of vintage bike races that uses the same roads, typically run in September. Racing fans and tourism operators alike were hoping for a break, and that both these events would bring excitement (and cash) to the island. Now, after initially being cancelled, the races have been postponed. Officials believe it’s too risky to run the events, and they say that by cancelling out, racers can prepare for 2021 instead.