IT'S easy to measure a rider’s Isle of Man TT history by his record of wins but the TT is unique in its ability to attract racers year after year even if they never get to stand on the podium.
Why? Because there aren’t many internationally-acclaimed events like the TT that welcome competitors from such a wide spectrum. Age is little barrier, either, and as a result there are plenty of examples of riders who’ve managed to take part in more TT races than you might imagine possible.
Here’s the list of the top 10 riders in terms of overall number of TT finishes, regardless of where in the field they came. DNFs aren’t included, so bear in mind that the each of these guys will have lined up at the start even more often than their statistics suggest.
=9: Chris Petty – 58 finishes
Not a name that’s quite as familiar to casual TT watchers, Petty was already a veteran when Anstey first came on the scene, having raced at the TT since 1986. His only visit to the podium came courtesy of his ride in the inaugural electric TTXGP (predecessor of the TT Zero) in 2009, when he came second.
=9: Mick Chatterton – 58 finishes
Former GP rider Chatterton first raced at the TT way back in 1967 when it was still a world championship event, and kept at it all the way until 2004. Usually focussing on the smaller bikes, his best finish was fourth in the 1969 250cc Lightweight race.
8: Dennis Trollope – 59 finishes
Racing at the TT from 1964 until 2000, bike dealer Trollope clearly didn’t get slower with age - his best result was sixth and came in his penultimate year at the event, 1999, in the Singles race.
7: Bruce Anstey – 61 finishes
Anstey might be 47 but there’s no question that he’s still among the very fastest riders around the TT course, having made regular appearances over the last 20 years since his 1996 debut. While the Kiwi skipped the 1997 event due to cancer treatment, he’s raced at every TT since then. Unlike some on this list, he’s won plenty of times – scoring his first in the 2002 Lightweight and achieving another nine since then.
6: Jim Hodson – 62 finishes
Racing at the TT since 1983 and still active in 2016, Hodson has been involved with the event for more than 30 years and showing no sign of slowing. Like Petty, his top finish is a second place, achieved in the 400cc Lightweight race in 2002 on a Yamaha FZR400.
5: Alan ‘Bud’ Jackson – 75 finishes
A racer in the Manx GP since the 70s, and four-time winner at that event, Jackson made his first TT appearance in 1986. Still at in 2016, his best TT result was fifth and came in the 1990 Ultra Lightweight event on a Padgett Honda.
=3: John McGuinness – 78 finishes
Here’s a chap you probably have heard of. With 23 wins from his 73 finishes at the end of 2015, McGuinness is the second most successful rider in TT history. He’s been at it for 20 years, starting in 1996 and winning since 1999.
=3: Joey Dunlop – 78 finishes
There isn’t much to be said about Joey Dunlop that hasn’t been written many times before. He raced at the TT from 1976 until 2000, with wins spread all the way from 1977 until his final year, coming to 26 in total. Had he not died weeks after his final TT at a road race in Estonia, his total might have been higher still.
2: Ian Lougher – 101 finishes
Lougher’s last TT appeared to be 2013, having started at the event way back in 1984, but he was back again for 2016 riding the two-stroke Suter MMX500. He’s won 10 TTs over his career and started in 130 races.
1: Dave Madsen-Mygdal – 116 finishes
Dave Madsen-Mygdal mightn’t have any wins or podium finishes at the TT to his name, but he can claim the record in terms of race finishes with an incredible 116 since his first in 1985. His best result, fourth, came in the 2003 Lightweight 400cc race. In terms of starts, his total stands at 134. He lost his 23-year-old son Mark Madsen-Mygdal, pictured to his left above, in a Southern 100 crash in 2013.