After decades of fierce speculation on whether a continuous wheelie lap of the 37.73-mile Isle of Man TT course has happened before, or is even possible, motorsport legend Dougie Lampkin proved to the world live on Red Bull TV that it could be conquered.
Forced to postpone by 24-hours, when 55mph gale force winds swept the island, Lampkin set off from the famous Grandstand start line at 5pm. Setting off a little too fast, Lampkin had a struggle on his hands to settle down into the first few miles. The wind proved to be an ongoing concern through the most challenging milestones of the course. As expected, the infamous mountain section made for tense viewing as Lampkin fought gusts of 40mph.
Speaking after crossing the finishing line, Lampkin commented on just how tough the attempt was: “Up to ten times I came close to dropping and I thought I’d lost it twice. When you’ve lost your balance and your right leg comes off, you’re in massive trouble. I couldn’t rely on the rear brake at that speed.” Cheered on by crowds at points along the course, Lampkin punched the air in delight as he crossed the line, one hour and 35 minutes after setting off.
Summing up the incredible effort after months of grueling training and modifications to his Factory Vertigo trial bike, he said: “I feel absolute massive relief. The build up to it, seven months of planning, everything that’s gone on like the nightmare with the weather yesterday and still strong winds today on top of the mountain, I was just hanging on really. It wasn’t over until a couple of metres from the end but that last couple of metres was just amazing.”