ENHANCED MEDICAL STANDARDS TO BE INTRODUCED FOR 2025
ACU Events Ltd, Race Organiser of the Isle of Man TT Races, has confirmed details of a new initiative to raise the physical and mental health of competitors from 2025.
In collaboration with the Manx Roadracing Medical Services (MRMS) – the organisation that provides medical support for the TT and headed by the event’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gareth Davies – the project’s aim is to ensure competitors are in the best possible physical and mental state for the unique challenge of racing on the TT Course, and is part of the Race Organiser’s continuous evaluation of risk management across the whole event.
At present, all competitors must file a medical report from their doctor to the ACU – the National Governing Body for motorcycle sport – as part of their application for a Mountain Course License, which then permits them to race on the TT Course. It is planned that from 2025, each competitor will also be subject to a thorough on-event medical assessment by the TT Medical Officers prior to first qualifying, whilst MRMS will also provide competitors with pre-event guidance to aid their physical and mental preparation.
The project will commence in TT 2024 with a number of volunteer competitors from across the entry list undergoing a range of physiological, mechanical and biochemical assessments.
DRIVEN BY DATA
Data will be monitored for a range of factors such as lactate levels, blood glucose, heart rate, and grip strength, with assessments taking place before and after qualifying and race sessions to ultimately help understand the physicality of racing on the TT course and inform medical standards in the future.
Paired with detailed data capture from racing incidents to analyse trends and contributory factors, as well as the Race Organiser’s on-going systematic approach to risk management, it is envisaged that the revised medical standards will continue to provide clarity between the TT’s inherent risks and the unnecessary risks, removing the latter so that the event operates as safely as possible without impacting the spectacle or DNA of the Isle of Man TT Races.
Dr Gareth Davies, Chief Medical Officer: “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."- DR GARETH DAVIES
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
The research project and enhanced medical standards will also be supported by further investment in to the on-site infrastructure for competitors, with an improved physiotherapy service positioned alongside the event medical facility, forming a new Rider Welfare Centre for 2024 which will be operated by MRMS.
Gary Thompson MBE BEM, Clerk of the Course: “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.”