New IoM TT Safety Standards Aim to Reduce ‘Avoidable Risks’ from 2024

New safety standards are being adopted by the Isle of Man TT for the 2024 races, with new checks to be carried out during the event

Isle of Man TT

The Isle of Man TT is evolving its safety initiatives for 2024, with new protocols and infrastructure arriving for this year’s races.

The new safety initiative is being developed in a collaborative effort between the ACU Events, the Isle of Man TT event organiser, and Manx Roadracing Medical Services (MRMS), with the goal of improving both the physical and mental health of the races’ competitors.

A major part of the new initiative is how competitors are assessed. Currently, prospective competitors have to submit a medical report from their doctor to the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) on application for the Mountain Course License, obtaining which entitles the licence holder to compete on the Mountain Course around which the TT races.

In 2024, a number of “volunteer competitors,” as the Isle of Man TT describes them, will take part in a new protocol, whereby they will partake in “a thorough on-event medical assessment by the TT Medical Officers prior to first qualifying”. The assessment will include physiological, biochemical, and mechanical elements.

In addition, MRMS will “provide competitors with pre-event guidance to aid their physical and mental preparation.”

These new protocols are intended to be made mandatory for all competitors from the 2025 edition of the famous road races.

Further, a number of assessments will be made looking at several medical data from each competitor before and after qualifying and race sessions. The data will include lactate levels, blood glucose, heart rate, and grip strength, which will all be used “to ultimately help understand the physicality of racing on the TT course and inform medical standards in the future,” the Isle of Man TT says.

Dr Gareth Davies, Chief Medical Officer, said: “Sports science is an area of medicine that’s evolved at an incredible rate. The level of insight that can be attained is now invaluable for many sports across all ranges, from top-level international athletes to individuals training at the gym. But it’s an area where motorcycle racing in general is arguably behind the curve, and the TT is no exception.

“Ultimately this is a project to further the work aimed at removing avoidable risks at the TT. In all aspects of health, prevention is far better than cure and it is no different here. We are taking a proactive and systematic approach to the TT’s medical standards. The physiological, mechanical and biochemical data we collect this year will help inform our strategy to ensure competitors are physically and mentally fit to take on the TT Course and we reduce avoidable risk wherever possible.

“The TT is unique in almost every aspect and it’s only right that we work to help prepare competitors for that unique challenge.”

A new Rider Welfare Centre will also be implemented in 2024, run by MRMS, as part of an investment in the event’s on-site infrastructure. 

On this subject, Gary Thompson MBE BEM, Clerk of the Course, said: “We’re incredibly fortunate to have MRMS involved at the TT. Their expertise in trauma care is truly world-class and the organisation is made up of an incredibly talented group of individuals, so it’s only right to bring our working relationship closer and use their expertise to lead on this exciting and innovative piece of work.

“The work on medical standards and the investment into the facilities at the TT are all being done to look after our competitors and with their best interests at heart. There is no escaping the fact that, in this day and age, the speeds competitors are achieving around the TT Course requires tremendous mental and physical strength, and so we want this to be a collaborative process which ultimately helps them become the best racing versions of themselves.”

The 2024 Isle of Man TT will take place between 27 May and 8 June.

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