I thought rally drivers were tough. And we are. But what I saw this week kinda changed my mind about being really tough. If you want to know what’s really hard, try TT week.
I know I’m not really allowed to swear here, but holy shit! These guys are in a different race. Seriously, this stuff is kinda crazy, these guys kinda crazy.
I was invited to the island with Monster Energy for the Evening of Speed event with other riders, racers and a whole bunch of fans. It was amazing. The atmosphere at this thing was on another level. The whole island was totally taken over by motorbikes and people from all over the world – and they never stopped revving their engines and screaming.
Throughout the day and a good part of the night, the noise and the atmosphere did not change: everyone was having fun and partying. It was fantastic. When you were in the middle – like when you were looking at the bikes – it brought the hair up the back of your neck.
— Petter Solberg (@Petter_Solberg) June 8, 2022
But when the race arrived, the concentration of the pilots was incredible. I know what it’s like to start a stage, you go somewhere to prepare – I saw that when I was on the grid. But then put on the gas and go down Bray Hill at more than 300km/h [186mph]… which took my breath away.
I love motorcycles – I have a Harley-Davidson given to me after winning the Gymkhana Grid in 2019. It’s a very cool motorcycle and I’m really happy to have it in my workshop with my collection of cars.
I’ve ridden it sometimes and had fun, but damn it…I never even thought of doing what the guys like John [McGuinness, 23-time TT winner] do. You have this idea in your mind when you stand somewhere to watch.
You think you know what’s coming and how fast the bikes are going to go – but when they come you have to take a step back. It’s totally another dimension of doing what they do on a bike.