After being roundly condemned by race fans for labelling the Isle of Man TT a 'death trap' and calling for its immediate ban, former World Champion Wayne Gardner has repeated his criticism and defended his opinion.
He provoked fury with his call for a ban, leading to a series of strongly-worded comments from crash.net readers, and more than a few insults.
Gardner has responded to say he can live with the personal attacks, but he stands by his demand for the TT to end.
In a post on the Wayne Gardner Approved website, he is quoted as saying:
“I noticed that comments I made regarding the Isle of Man TT a few weeks back were picked up by popular UK website Crash.net
over the weekend. It was also interesting to see that me views provoked such heated responses from readers on the site's forum.”
“While it's always disappointing when people feel the need to base their arguments on such personal attacks, I can certainly live with it. My only concern is for rider's lives and the families of those left behind."
"I stand by my opinion that the TT is insane, outdated and should be banned.”
“If being alarmed about unnecessary death makes me a 'knob' or a 'moaner' as some have suggested, then that's fine.”
Last week crash.net reported comments from the 1987 500cc Grand Prix World Champion which were posted on the same website. Reflecting on the deaths of two riders during the 2010 TT, the 50-year-old described the TT as 'insanity' which had only been allowed to continue because of the money it brings to the Isle of Man.
He demanded an immediate ban, saying the 103-year-old road racing festival only attracted riders who had failed to make an impression on short circuits, and who were chasing 'substantial' prize money. The Australian added the nature of the circuit made it impossible to remember every corner, braking point and change in elevation or direction.
In less than four days, the Crash.net
article had attracted more than 170 comments – with most criticising Gardner and defending the TT.
Now, he has defended his comments and evoked the memory of Barry Sheene – who unlike Gardner competed at the Isle of Man TT..
Gardner's new post says:
“One criticism levelled at me was that I never raced the TT and I have no idea what I'm talking about. While it's true I never actually raced there, I still know how dangerous the place is. I spent a week back in 1981 learning the circuit with the idea of trying my luck. I was young and naïve and had been tempted by the offer of substantial start money. But at the last minute I got a call from Moriwaki asking me to come to Japan to race the Suzuka 200 instead. Thankfully, I was never tempted to roll the dice at the TT again.”