The 2016 edition of the event, which features nine races, is already under way, with practice sessions for the various classes comprising 1,000cc superbikes, 600cc supersport machines, electric bikes and sidecar outfits. Racing gets underway on Saturday (June 4) and culminates the following Friday (June 10) with the finale, the Senior TT, won last year by John McGuinness. The Honda rider’s 17m03.567s best equated to an average speed of an astonishing 132.701mph – on public roads, remember!
With TT fever brimming over and well-advanced plans to welcome many of its stars, past and present, to the Festival of Speed later this month, we’ve trawled through the list of winners and picked out the leading lights. These are the eight big names at the top of the tree, with four of them out there in 2016 trying to increase their tally.
26 wins – Joey Dunlop (above)
One of the greatest bike racers of all time, Northern Irishman Dunlop was revered on the island. He first raced there in 1976 and began his record winning run the following year. For almost a quarter of a century, the cheeky chap from County Antrim in the bright-yellow helmet commanded a cult following. He died while leading a 125cc event in Estonia, aged 48 in July 2000, just a few weeks after his 26th and last TT win. The sport was shocked to the core, with 50,000 bikers joining his funeral procession.
Jubilee – 1977
Classic – 1980
Formula One – 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2000
Junior – 1985, 1988, 1994
Senior – 1985, 1987, 1988, 1995
Ultra Lightweight – 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000
Lightweight – 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
Lightweight 250cc – 2000