How similar is the Manx Grand Prix to the Isle of Man TT?

The island hosts both the Manx Grand Prix and the Isle of Man TT. Credit: Manx Grand Prix/Steve Babb

A short two months after the famous Isle of Man TT, and islanders are being treated once again to the roar of motorbikes.

It may be one of the island's lesser-known motorcycling events, but the Manx Grand Prix is another notable date in every biking fan's calendar.

Riders, supporters and fans from around the world have travelled to the Isle of Man to experience one of motorsports most prestigious race course.

While it is a separate event, it has far more similarities to the Isle of Man TT than many realise.

Michael Dunlop set an average lap speed of over 126mph during qualifying. Credit: Manx Grand Prix

For starters, both races take place on the same world-famous course - a 37.73-mile track made up entirely of the island's everyday roads.

The TT Grandstand is once again transformed into a racing hub, filled with pop-up garages, campsites and fans from around the world.

Offering reigning champions and more importantly, amateur riders, the opportunity to take on the course in a professional racing environment.

Like the TT, racing is split into a few days of qualifying or 'practice' first for the riders to familiarise themselves with the course, followed by four days of racing.

The Grandstand in Douglas is transformed into a racing hub for the nine days of the Manx Grand Prix, much like the TT. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

In terms of speed, the Isle of Man TT is famously known as the most dangerous motorsport event in the world for its fast-paced action on everyday roads - but the MGP isn't far behind.

Whereas TT competitors average speeds of over 130mph, riders have been recording times of over 120mph with fan favourite Michael Dunlop exceeding 126mph during qualifying.

The fastest average lap speed was recorded by Bruce Anstey, reaching 127.496mph in the Classic Superbike category.

It means riders are still completing the full course in under 20 minutes on a wide range of bikes.

The Manx Grand Prix takes place around the world-famous TT course. Credit: Manx Grand Prix

Where the event differs is in the bikes that are ridden.

Firstly, the MGP does not include a sidecar category and instead includes a Newcomers Class, Lightweight/Ultra Lightweight Class, Junior Class, Senior Class and Senior Classic races for some of the older bikes used.

In contrast to the TT, the MGP sees riders take on the course on both classic and modern bikes.

Therefore creating the perfect blend of new and old for long-time motorcycling fans.

Riders line up at the Grandstand in Douglas. Credit: Manx Grand Prix

Surprisingly though, the MGP does not tend to attract nearly as much of a crowd.

The Isle of Man TT draws in an average of over 40,000 people each year to the island, but less than half of that figure attend the MGP.

And yet, to the casual supporter, the Manx Grand Prix looks and feels incredibly similar to the Isle of Man TT - roaring bikes passing at indescribable speeds.

So while the Manx Grand Prix may not hold the prestige of the Isle of Man TT, its similarities far outweigh its differences, holding its own as a dramatic spectacle in the motorcycling world.

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