The Isle of Man Plans Ahead for TT2002

The Isle of Man's TT Races 2002 are set to make a great comeback next year after Chief Minister Donald Gelling announced a raft of measures on Monday (October 15) to ensure the races will go ahead, even if foot-and-mouth is not completely eradicated in the UK. The event, which attracts 40,000 bike fans annually, was cancelled this year amid fears that the outbreak of the disease in the UK could spread to the Island.

The only other time in their history that the races have been cancelled is during the war. Mr Gelling told Tynwald, the Island's parliament, that up to £1 million would be spent to develop livestock free corridors along the 37.73-mile mountain course to protect the interests of both tourism and agriculture. Minister for Tourism and Leisure David Cretney said the plans were aimed at ensuring that the TT Races return from their enforced break 'bigger and better than ever'.

"We are determined to make up for the disappointment felt by riders, teams and the thousands of fans this year by pulling out all the stops to make TT 2002 the most exciting event to date," he said. TT 2002 will run from 25 May to 7 June and will feature a fully revamped race programme, based on discussions with riders and manufacturers. The key change is the introduction of a smaller Production class in response to requests from both the manufacturers and the riders. This will provide an opportunity for more smaller machines to compete in the Ultimate Test Ride, and this race will act as a curtain-raiser to the Senior TT.

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