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Visordown rides the Isle of Wight Diamond Races course

Visordown was on hand to head to the Isle of Wight last week to check out the new Diamond Races course for ourselves

PRETTY much as soon as the Diamond Races on the Isle of Wight were officially announced, we knew we had to head there and try the venue for ourselves. After sorting a crossing on the Red Funnel ferry, we managed to source a new Fireblade and were heading south to try out the course for ourselves.

Isle of Wight Diamond Races 

With around 130 miles to cover before reaching Southampton, I set off early on Monday morning, with the aim to ride the new 2020 Honda Fireblade to the island, around the course a couple of times and back to Coventry in the same day. I arrived at the port at 9:30 and was feeling surprisingly fresh and ache-free.

One of the big talking points that came out of the launch of the new ‘Blade was the RCV-inspired riding position, and whether it would hamper the machine on the real world. While it is a more aggressive riding position than the older gen’ Fireblade, I wasn’t in too much trouble, although the crossing of an hour and a chance to sit down was more than welcome.

The crossing from Southampton to East Cowes takes around an hour and the boats are fairly flexible meaning if you miss your crossing you’ll be placed on the next ferry. For a single passenger and a bike, it’ll cost around £50 for a same-day return.

From East Cowes, you’ll want to head south and follow the signs for Newport, the second largest town on the island. From there, you’ll likely pick up the B3323 which will lead you almost all the way to the new course.

The start-finish point of the course is as yet unknown, although it’ll like be somewhere near the western-most corner of the course map near to Brighstone. After a short dash towards the coast, you’ll find yourself of what many believe to be the highlight of the circuit, the 4.5 blast along Military Road. Looking at it on Google Maps gives you the impression that it’s a fairly straightforward piece of road but from ground level, it’s a whole different story.

Mili’ Road, as the locals refer to it, has huge elevation changes that see you riding from almost sea level to at least 100m higher. It’s also going to be a much trickier proposition on a 200+bhp superbike travelling at speeds of 200mph.

At the end of Military Road, the circuit heads northwards at Chale, with a corner that is very reminiscent of the Isle of Man TT course. The corner is guarded by the medieval St. Andrews church and should make a fantastic place to spectate from once the racing starts.

From there the course heads through Chale Green and Kingston where the B3399 offers a significantly different challenge to the riders. This part of the course is fast but extremely narrow, almost like the Oliver’s Mount circuit in Scarborough.

The village of Shorewell will provide the riders with one of the slowest corners on the track, as the bike’s loop past The Crown Inn and head to Limerstone and Brighstone, where the bike will again link on to the Military Road once more.

One of the first things I noticed about the route was how stunning the road surface is, the entire course is stunningly well maintained, with Mili’ Road being freshly re-laid Tarmac that offers stunning levels of grip. Indeed, the only hurdles the organisers will face in the run-up to the event is the removal of cats' eyes, the securing of man-hole covers and other road furniture. But once it is finished, it’s going to be a pretty spectacular place to ride and to watch.

While the thought of hopping on a ferry and taking in the new course is an inviting one, and something we couldn’t resist doing, please head over cautiously. The locals on the island aren’t as hardened to hordes of motorcycle fans descending as the IoM residents are. There are only really two things that could prevent the event from taking place; the first is a COVID level pandemic taking place next year, the second is speeding motorcycles launching their riders into the extremely pretty scenery.

Go, ride, enjoy, and spend some cash, the tourist industry will love you for it. But keep to speed limits and take it easy through the towns and villages.

For more information on the Isle of Wight Diamond Races,

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