Last year, TG Road Test Editor Piers Ward was treated to a high-speed pillion lap around the Isle of Man TT course from the legendary John McGuiness. McGuinness, if you’re not aware of him, is the man who has won more TT races than any living rider. And Piers is still having therapy now. Not everyone gets that kind of opportunity. But happily, a new feature-length documentary is released this Friday that captures the unique TT blend of exhilaration, terror and sheer balls in glorious 3D.
Narrated by Jared Leto, TT3D: Closer to the Edge follows the journey of outspoken lorry mechanic-cum-pro biker, Guy Martin, and his bid to win the 2010 event. And it illustrates with punishing clarity just what a victory in the world’s most dangerous road race requires.
See more pics from last year’s TT
Some of the best riders in recent history, including Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness, Conor Cummins and Ian Hutchinson, are all drafted in to offer their experiences. Invariably, they involve a long list of toe curling injuries, supplemented by some horrific crash footage, all shown in three glorious dimensions. It’s not just an exercise in flinching at new-fangled special effects. If anything, all the 3D distracts a bit from the riders’ narrative, which is a genuinely fascinating meander through the reasons they risk buttering themselves up a dry-stone wall, year after year. As Dunlop puts it, ‘It’s not about beating the next guy, it’s about beating the track.’ You don’t need a motorcycle lunging towards the end of your nose to understand that.
And it also deals with the inevitable consequences of hammering around normal – but closed – public roads at 200mph. The most heart-wrenching of which is the story of Bridget Dobbs, whose husband, Paul Dobbs, lost his life during the Supersport 2 race in 2010. It’s well worth checking out. Here’s the trailer below – TT3D: Closer to the Edge is showing in selected cinemas from April 22.
And as a reminder, here’s Piers’ lap with John McGuinness in its full kerb-skimming glory (average speed, 100mph).