“People don’t understand us” - tributes to the five deaths at Isle of Man TT

Peter Hickman has paid tributes to the five riders who died at the 2022 Isle of Man TT but offered a defence of the event: “We are here because we love it”.
Davy Morgan
Davy Morgan

The TT has come under intense scrutiny upon its return from a two-year absence because five riders lost their lives - it is the most in a single year since 1970, when the death toll was six.

Mark Purslow, Cesar Chanal, Davy Morgan (pictured above), Roger Stockton and his son Bradley all died.

"Our thoughts are with the people who are unfortunately not coming home with us this time," said Peter Hickman who won four races at this year’s event including the Senior TT.

"It has not been a great TT for that sort of thing. We all know the risks, and we are here because we love it.

"A lot of people don't understand us, and I get that.

"But honestly my thoughts are with you all."

Michael Russell, who raced at the TT, told Sky News: "Anyone that raises one lap around this place is a hero to me.

"I've seen first-hand the risks involved with the Isle of Man. It'll never stop me doing it.

"It's sad to say, it's a very selfish sport is motorcycle racing.

"I've got a family back home. I've got a wife and two young kids and a grown up child.

"They support me 110% with my endeavour of getting across here to take on the challenge.

"We all know the risks when we take this challenge on.

"But then if you look at it in the same breath, I'm 40 years old and if I walk out drunk on the street [and a] taxi hits me - it's one of those things, it can happen anytime, any place.

"And if that option is there, and someone said right, you're going to die at a TT or you're going to die crossing the road, drunk outside your local pub, I know which one I'd choose."

Tributes to lives lost at the 2022 Isle of Man TT

“People don’t understand us” - tributes to the five deaths at Isle of Man TT

A total of 265 riders have died at the Isle of Man TT since 1911.

1982 was the only year without a single death.

Welsh rider Mark Purslow, 29, was the first to lose his life this year after an accident in practice. It was his second TT event.

His family said: "Mark was loved by everyone, not one person had a bad word to say about him and that's because he was an amazing person inside and out.

"He was always cracking a joke and making light of every situation with a big smile on his face, always there for other people.

"He loved to ride, and he knew the risks, but he loved racing since such a young age. He followed dad and his talent was immense, he learnt from the best.

"He was getting to his peak, having the best year ever with the Never Be Clever Racing team after so many years of doing it the hard way with dad as a privateer.

"We are beyond heartbroken, in shock and utterly devastated. We are such a close family and this loss is so hard to bare.

"We wanted to say thank you to all the kind messages of support and love from everyone who knew him. We will share any news on the funeral when we have it.

"For now we are going to try and get some solace in the fact he always told us if he was going to go this would be the way he would want to, and that he would be smiling.

"He will be telling us all to stop crying, have a laugh and a drink for him, and celebrate his achievements.

"We love you Mark forever and always you were one in a million, always in our hearts. The Purslow family."

Frenchman Cesar Chanal was announced dead four days after a case of mistaken identity resulted in Olivier Lavorel incorrectly being named.

Davy Morgan, a 52-year-old from Northern Ireland, died as a veteran of the TT having started 80 races.

"Everyone in the paddock is heartbroken - Davy was a great ambassador for the sport and a character," said TT veteran Phillip McCallen.

"He is a massive loss to the sport, but most of all to his family and friends."

Glenn Irwin added: “A true gentleman who went out of his way on my first night on track to help me out. Davy was a stalwart of Irish road racing with a proper bubbly character. You will be missed mate.”

Roger Stockton, 56, and his son Bradley, 21, from Crewe, were the fourth and fifth deaths.

ABP Motorsport, where Bradley Stockton worked, posted: "Brad was just 21 and was taking part in a sport that he loved - he was funny, brave, annoying, loved, brilliant, handsome and had his whole life ahead of him. He left us today alongside his father - pursuing a dream, a passion that brought both glory and danger.”

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