The pilot Raül Torras Martínez (Sant Hilari Sacalm, Girona, 46 years old) died on Tuesday during the dispute of the third race of the Tourist Trophy of the Isle of Man, the mythical and dangerous motorcycle test that takes place in the streets of this small independent territory of 80,000 inhabitants located in the Irish Sea. The organization communicated the tragedy late at night, detailing that the Spanish runner died after suffering an accident in the Alpine area, between the markers of miles 16 and 17 of the winding and treacherous route, of 37.7 miles in total (60.72 kilometers).
"It is with great sadness that the Isle of Man TT Race organisation can confirm that Raül Torras Martínez, 46, from Sant Hilari Sacalm, Spain, died in an accident that occurred during the first Supertwin Race of the 2023 TT Races on the Isle of Man," the organisation shared. "The Isle of Man TT Race organisation would like to send its deepest condolences to Raül's family, friends and loved ones." The Higher Sports Council and the SAP-FEPOL, the majority union of the Mossos d'esquadra, also lamented his loss on Wednesday.
The Catalan, passionate about two wheels like all those who approach the tests in the Isle of Man, debuted at the historic event in 2017, and since then participated in 21 TT races. His best result in the event came last year, when he was fifteenth in the Supertwin race. In this edition, the same day of the tragedy, Torras had recorded the fastest lap of a Spaniard in the TT mountain circuit, with an average speed of 201.92 km / h in the Superstock race that earned him to be twentieth in the classification.
"Like so many riders who have gone through the TT you have been an idol, but there have not been so many Spaniards. That's why you were an icon in my house, you have kept us on our toes in every training," shared Efrén Vázquez, former motorcycle World Championship rider between 2007 and 2016 and Spanish 125cc champion. "I had the great illusion of going to see you this year as the only Spanish rider, after missing the years of my great friend Antonio Maeso. It hurts my soul to lose one of our own on our beloved island," he added in a message on his social networks.
Torras, traffic agent with the Mossos d'esquadra in the Vic division, self-financed his participation in the TT and competed this year with a Honda of the Toll Racing Team, of which he was co-owner with Carles Ollé. The Royal Spanish Motorcycling Federation has not issued licences to participate in the race on the Isle of Man since another national, Santi Herrero, died at mile 13 in 1970. To compete, the Girona native used an Andorran license. "I'm here because I want to and because I love it, I don't need people to understand it, but at least they do need them to respect it," said the Catalan in an interview with Autobild when the subject of the deaths appeared in the conversation. His advice to lovers of speed, as a policeman, was clear: "Burn the urge to race on a circuit ... At least don't put other people's lives at risk."
The pilot began to dream of the reckless curves of the island layout in the eighties when he was still a kid. His father bought him a VHS tape with a summary of the TT in a video store, and he was instantly captivated, although he later started late in the world of competition. At the age of 18 he started in motocross, and ten years later he changed the earth for asphalt. Since 2005 he was a regular in the 24 Hores de Catalunya, which he won in 2012 in the Open Superbike category. The project of competing on the Isle of Man began in 2014 and forced him to prove himself at the 2016 Manx GP, where he debuted with a creditable sixth place and earned his ticket to participate in his first TT. He also competed in other road events such as the North West 200, the Ulster GP and the Macau GP, where in 2018 he suffered a chilling accident when he hit more than 200 km / h against the barriers.
To practice on the island, due to the unique condition of the route, its main resources were video games and rental car rides, studying even the smallest detail of the route with the traffic of a usual day. "Road races are an exponential dimension. They are an internal struggle with oneself, and against common sense, to do what you like: to drive, "he said in the 'diari ARA' in 2017.
Since the creation of the trophy in 1907, a total of 267 competitors have died. Last year, after two editions of break due to the pandemic, six pilots died in the different tests held on the roads of Man. The blackest year for the test was in 2005, when 11 people died. Since 1937, only in 1982 has the event been played without ending with fatalities. Despite the tragedy, races on the Isle of Man will continue their programme on Wednesday.
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