HUDDERSFIELD bike racer Jamie Robinson will risk life and limb this weekend when he makes his debut in the legendary Isle of Man Tourist Trophy – and he can’t wait.
The 32-year-old, who finished fifth in the British Supersport Championship last year, has only previously raced on short circuits but was gearing up to take his place in the world famous mountain road race with action getting under way today.
The 37.73-mile mountain road-race course is not for the faint hearted, with the dangers all so evident in recent weeks after the deaths of Robert Dunlop and Martin Finnegan in the build-up to this year’s event.
And in practice on Bank Holiday Monday, fellow Brit James McBride suffered multiple fractures after crashing at 150mph but, for former Holmfirth High School pupil Robinson, the atmosphere and experience of the TT far outweighs the dangers.
“I have been riding since I was three and a half and riding in competitions since I was 11, but nothing has prepared me for the first trip round the TT course,” said the Holmfirth ace.
“I have always been interested in this race and came across in February, had a look at the track and decided there and then that I wanted to enter.
“I drove around in a hired Fiesta and thought ‘this is totally insane – where do I sign!.’
“I’ve been racing for 16 years and prior to my first practice lap I’d done a lot of homework as I have been here for two weeks studying the roads. I’ve been going slowly in the car and imagining going flat out when they are closed but I still wasn’t ready.
“The first lap was unbelievable. I was going 170mph when I had previously been going 30mph – that’s 140mph quicker and that is enough to scare anyone.
“Every minor hill becomes a massive jump and the first night I went out there I was like a rabbit in headlights! But I got it together on the Monday and had a good run.”
Robinson produced a steady display in practice with his fastest lap coming on Thursday at an average of 114.397mph – and the TT debutant admitted the pitfalls involved meant staying safe remains a major priority.
“The targets are simple – I would like to finish and come home safely,” he added.
“Then I will try and improve next year and with each race after that. I will definitely sign up for next year.
“I enjoyed it on Monday and would describe it as the best thing I have ever done with my clothes on – scrap that the best thing with them on or off.
“I have studied hard but to be on your own for so long at those speeds is simply insane.
“It is dangerous and that is in the back of your mind but I will ride within myself and not get reckless.”
The Isle of Man TT Races are shown every evening on ITV 4.