Decided to take a look around the iomtt.com message forum to see what they thought of the race. It's a mixed bag. They seem disappointed with the speed but many are impressed that the bikes are performing so well.
The title came from a post by one guy:
That would have been a competitive senior lap speed in the 1930s - when they ran 6 more laps than the TTXGP bikes will, and on much worse roads. Nevertheless it's a great start, I say well done to them.
I think that's the point, though, isn't it - and the thing that makes it exciting, but exciting in a completely different way to the rest of the TT. Back then, the bikes were the cutting edge of technology and the technical aspects of building a bike that will get round the TT course quickly were perhaps at least as important as the skills of the hero riding it. In the very earliest days, the bike was surely 90% and the rider was 10%. These days, a whole field of Superstock bikes, which are not a million miles form what you or I could buy down at our local bike shop, can be ridden absolutely flat out for four punishing 120mph+ laps of the TT course, and how many of them blow up or fall apart? Hardly any! In 1930's, riders were still stopping and bodging their bikes back together en-route to top ten finishes. And these days, I'm pretty much convinced that you could throw the keys of all the Superstock bikes in the hat at the start of practice week and randomly assign them to the riders, and the end result would be much the same as they are now give or take not a great deal. Whether a well prepared Superstock bike laps at 115mph+ or 125mph+ depends almost entirely on the awesome skill of the rider, and the tank badge seems to make the odd mph difference either way at most. Technical innovation? Not a great deal. Opportunities for great leaps forward? None.
TTXGP is back to the TT's roots. Mortal combat for the engineers and the designers, as much as the riders...