Among those giving support were last year’s Supertwin race winner Dave Moffitt
as well as former riders Dave Sells, Monica Floding, Bill Snelling and Carolynn Sells
- the event’s only female winner.
who called people together for the protest said it was not being done to oppose change as such but to publicise the fact that the views of the Manx Motorcycle club - organisers of the event for almost 90 years - seemed to have been marginalised.
‘The MGP is important to our economy, our pepople, the hospitality industry and to our sport as a whole. It is an integral part of our history, heritage and identity. Its survival isimperative,’ she said.
‘The government’s objective is to reduce costs but to achieve this they must work in conjunction with the Manx Motorcycle Club who have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of what is involved in racing and running our event.
‘Completely scrapping the current format and replacing it with a primarily classic-based event will not attract the visitor numbers anticipated by government.
‘We need to promote the MGP properly and attract all riders, machinery and audiences.’
said he and another former rider Nigel ‘Speedy’ John had recently been to Helsinki to promote the event. The trip was not at the behest of the Isle of Man governmant he pointed out.
The proposals by the Department of Economic Development would see the event shortened and it would also focus heavily on the classics and bigger-name riders. Two of the current four modern races would be axed.
‘I object to the disappearance of the Newcomers’ race,’
‘They need to be introducing young blood. They are talking about bringing professional riders over, but many of them ride in the BSB series which has a meeting at Cadwell during the Manx. And how many of those professional riders are road racers?’
Mr Sells pointed out the average MGP visitor spent money at the various heritage sites around the island and often stayed for longer than the average TT visitor.
Gary Compsty of the Ginger Hall Hotel
at Sulby said they had already had six bookings cancelled for next year’s MGP by people who said they were not interested in coming to the revamped event if the proposals go ahead.
‘So that’s already cost me about £1,500,’
Protesters spoke to DED minister John Shimmin outside the Tynwald buildings, along with David Callister MLC and Onchan MHK David Quirk.
They are hoping the government will be prepared to concede some sort of compromise with the Manx Motor Cycle Club.