2004 saw the ACU sign a 20 year agreement to hand over control of the TT to the Isle of Man Government and for the Manx Motor Cycle Club, which runs the popular Manx Grand Prix, to organise the TT Races.
John McGuinness (Yamaha) set the pace in the opening Duke Formula One race, with a sensational opening circuit of 17 minutes 43.8 seconds, (127.68mph) ensuring that the last Formula One TT went out with a ‘bang’, clinching victory by 18.6 seconds over TAS Suzuki mounted Adrian Archibald, with team-mate Bruce Anstey third.
As well as the fastest ever lap in the 97-year history of the TT, McGuinness also established a new fastest race average over four laps of 125.38mph.
John McGuinness went on to take wins in the Junior TT and Lightweight 400, three in a week, to join TT great, Mike Hailwood, Joey Dunlop, Steve Hislop and David Jefferies in the elite hat-trick club.
Kiwi Bruce Anstey spoilt the party for John McGuinness when he powered home a blistering record-breaking victory in the delayed 1000 Production race, upping the class record to 125.10mph on his TAS Suzuki. McGuinness, Yamaha, who led at the end of the opening lap was 18 seconds down at the flag, with local rider Jason Griffiths, also Yamaha-mounted, slotting into third.
Former 125 British Champion Chris Palmer created a bit of TT history, when he clinched victory in the last-ever 125cc TT, in record-breaking style, repeating his win of the previous year. Ian Lougher had no intention of letting his long-time rival Palmer have an easy win, until his efforts were thwarted when the Welshman’s Honda threw its chain at Milntown Cottage, allowing Robert Dunlop to inherit second place in what was his final TT. Manxman Nigel Beattie completed the podium in third.
After being dogged by bad luck all week, Ryan Farquhar’s fortunes took a massive turn for the better when he brilliantly won the Production 600 race, to notch his first TT triumph and give Kawasaki an important and historic TT victory. It was only Kawasaki’s sixth TT win and the marques first for 20 years, since the late Geoff Johnston won the Production race astride a 900 Kawasaki in 1984.
Farquhar took the three-lap, 113.19-mile race by the scruff of the neck from the outset, and led all the way on corrected time, after he overhauled John McGuinness during the closing stages of the first lap. McGuinness was first to complete the race, ahead of Anstey and Farquhar, but when the times were shuffled, Ryan was declared the winner by 2.3 seconds, as Production 1000 winner Anstey recorded his second runners-up slot, nine seconds ahead of McGuinness.
TAS Suzuki teamsters completed a one-two in the ‘blue-riband’ event of the TT, the Senior. It was Adrian’s second successive Senior TT triumph, as another Suzuki rider Gary Carswell took a magnificent third place.
Manx Hero Dave Molyneux equalled Rob Fisher’s record of ten TT Sidecar victories, when he won the second three-wheeler race and came to within three-tenths of a second of becoming the first sidecar driver to lap the Snaefell Mountain Course in less than 20 minutes.
Having won the first sidecar race, four days earlier, with consummate ease, Moly, with Daniel Sayle in the chair, repeated the dose, cruising to victory by over half a minute from fellow Manx crew of Nick Crowe and Darren Hope. Yorkshireman Steve Norbury and Lincolnshire passenger Scott Parnell repeated their first race third place.