Leading F1 star Mark Webber has expressed his admiration and awe for riders who brave the iconic Isle of Man TT races, praising their bravery and skill as 'amazing' and 'absolutely incredible' – and revealing that it was the first time a sporting event had left him feeling 'blown away'.
Webber is a self-confessed motorcycle nut, a huge MotoGP fan and the proud owner of a £5,000 Yamaha Fazer 600, what he has previously described as 'tame' and 'very middle-of-the-road'. He and his father Alan – who is a motorbike dealer at home in Australia – were guests at the 2008 edition of the legendary TT, and even two-and-a-half years on, Red Bull Racing's six-time grand prix-winner still speaks of what he witnessed there in rapturous tones.
“There's a bike race on the Isle of Man and to see what the riders do is amazing,” the 34-year-old enthused, speaking to the Sydney Sun Herald
. “To see what a human can do – the concentration levels while knowing just the smallest mistake could mean you might die – is absolutely incredible.”
“I've always heard of the TT being hugely unique but, as usual, TV and 'YouTube' don't do justice whatsoever to how special the event and the competitors are,” he had said back in 2008. “To start with, the course itself is absolutely phenomenal! I've been to plenty of racetracks around the world, but to see 37 miles of public roads closed off for racing is just awe-inspiring.
“I've been to some of the biggest sporting events in the world too, but standing there with my dad it's the first time I've been blown away as a spectator by such an event. These guys deserve so much more recognition for what they do. People talk about concentration in sport – I would like to see one that rivals what they do!”
Just under a year ago, MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi had quipped to TT riders that 'compared to what you guys do, I am really a girl – you are real men' [see separate story – click here