Covering the return of the world-famous Isle of Man TT after three long years away

A look back over the 2022 Isle of Man TT

For the last two weeks the Isle of Man has once again be reacquainted with its world-famous motorbike spectacle that is the TT.

The highly-anticipated return to the Mountain Course has seen the usual mix of almighty highs and devastating lows, with thousands travelling to catch a glimpse of the action.

As a journalist, it has been an ongoing challenge to strike the balance between the excitement felt across the island, tinged with the sad reality that some are paying the ultimate sacrifice.

In what feels like an incredibly rapid two weeks in every sense, the event encompasses every emotion.

Celebrating the adrenaline of competitive sport, and the delicacy of a community in mourning when a death is announced - all often within a few hours.

And yet despite that risk, most riders and their families will tell you it's totally worth it to be involved in racing history and the prestige that comes with taking on the Mountain Course.

Thousands of fans travel to the Isle of Man during the two week racing fortnight to experience the TT races. Credit: Steve Babb

Often described at the 'most dangerous motorsport event in the world', the return of the racing hasn't come without its challenges.

Five riders have sadly lost their lives this year.

A topic that continues to be debated, and one that came to a head after organisers mistakingly identified a rider to have died - only realising after four days it was actually his partner who was killed in the crash.

An incident that shocked us all, and one that is quite rightly resulting in a review of the process used to identify riders who have died.

The Isle of Man TT sees riders race on the 37-mile course made up entirely of public roads. Credit: Steve Babb

The Isle of Man TT is a global event that attracts thousands, but one that is made up of a tight-knit family of motorbike enthusiasts.

It's not an event that will appeal to everyone, but one that holds a special place in the Isle of Man's heart.

From an outside perspective, I can understand the shock and horror that comes when people hear how many have died racing around the TT course.

I too could not understand how an event like this was allowed to take place.

That was until I spent some time talking with the riders, their families and the thousands of fans from all over the world.

As 23-time TT winner John McGuinness once told me: "We're all racing because we love it. If you go out in style, you've done a lot of things in five minutes that many people will never achieve in their lifetime".

The reality is it does not matter whether tens of thousands are watching or just ten people - these riders will keep racing - no matter what people say.

If there's one thing I've learned over the last two weeks it's this - riders don't expect people to agree with it, but they deserve the courtesy to get on with it.