• Tragedy Raul Torras dies in an accident in the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world

A few years ago, in search of an explanation, the New York Times interviewed several winners of the Isle of Man TT, the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world, and found no reasons, only guts, frenzy, unconsciousness. "If Roger Federer gets a stroke wrong, he loses a point. If I make a mistake in a corner, I lose my life", defined it perfectly Richard Quayle, local driver, twice winner, whose greatest success is that now, already retired, he is still alive.

The Isle of Man TT is a barbarity of those that are no longer in world sport. To summarize, it is as if the two main roads that cross the island of Menorca were closed to traffic, with their potholes, their roundabouts, their steps through villages, their curbs, their sewers or their walls and dozens of motorcyclists turned around at more than 200 kilometers per hour on average! Up to more than 260 – there are no official figures – every year there are deaths, the last one, the Spanish Raül Torras, 46, mosso d'esquadra in charge of traffic in a town of Girona, Sant Hilari Sacalm, and expert in the race.

He had already run it four times, always registered in several categories, and in the fifth he ran into misfortune. On the last lap of the Supertwin race, passing through the Alpine cottage, that is, at the equator of the 60-kilometer route of the Isle of Man TT, an accident ended his life. "Raül was an experienced TT competitor who made his debut in 2017 and got his best result with his fifteenth place last year in the Supertwin race. Today he had recorded his fastest lap of the circuit in the Superstock race, with an average speed of 125.470 miles per hour, thus securing the twentieth place in the final classification.

"I'm here because I want to"

Torras himself, in an interview in 'Superbild', had tried to rationalize the reasons why he continued to run on such a dangerous route. "The most amazing thing about the Isle of Man is the passion with which the people, the organisation and the fans live it. You are hooked by the challenge, the challenge of yourself, the environment, the place... everything," he commented, although he later accepted the folly: "I'm here because I want to and because I love it. It's one of my biggest motivations. I don't need people to understand it, but at least I do need them to respect it."

The Isle of Man TT, in that corner between Ireland and the United Kingdom, was held for the first time in 1907 and between 1949 and 1976 it was included in the current MotoGP World Championship, so Giacomo Agostini, Mike Hailwood or Phil Read passed through there. In 1976, when the International Motorcycling Federation decided to leave there, its disappearance was considered, but the opposite happened. With a halo of proof outside the system, it acquired greater popularity and continued to be celebrated, despite everything, against everyone. Several federations, including the Spanish one, have banned racing on the island, they do not issue a license to do so, but the pilots still find a way: Torras, in fact, competed as an Andorran.

Every time the bikes go faster, every time the danger is greater, but the authorities of the Isle of Man are convinced to keep the race, always with the same route, always with the same safety measures, whatever the cost. It is the event that most distinguishes him before the world and the one that shows, in some way, his way of being. When you arrive on the island, at its capital, Douglas, there is a sign that reads: "If you don't like our rules, every half hour a boat leaves." The Isle of Man TT follows that philosophy.

  • Articles Javier Sánchez

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