David Datzer: The fastest German on the Isle of Man.
Isle of Man. This year’s Isle of Man TT was once again an event of records. Firstly, there is the new absolute TT lap record, set by Peter Hickman with the BMW M 1000 RR. But there were also other new best marks, for example, by another BMW Road Racer, David Datzer, who is now officially the fastest German on the Isle of Man since the Senior TT. In the sixth and final lap of the prestigious race, he rode his BMW M 1000 RR to a new German IoMTT record of 126.858 mph. This achievement marked the end of an almost six-week road racing trip that Datzer, along with his family in a motorhome, embarked upon, starting with a successful North West 200, then heading to Hořice for the ‘300 Curves of Gustav Havel’, and finally to the Isle of Man. Now, Datzer looks back on the six weeks of pure road racing, where he made an impression with the private team MTP-Racing.
Best newcomer at the North West 200.
At the beginning of May, Datzer set off to Northern Ireland for the North West 200. It was his first time participating in this event, but the track reminded him of Frohburg, a circuit he is well acquainted with from the International Road Racing Championship (IRRC). According to Datzer, “It’s also a triangular circuit, except everything is much faster. On the straight, we were full throttle for 28.1 seconds. And you have to get used to these long stretches of full throttle. But for me, it was actually more relaxed because I’m familiar with these layouts from the IRRC.”
Datzer proved how well he adapted to the new track at the North West 200 in the Superbike race. He finished seventh, making him the best newcomer and the best BMW rider. “I never expected that,” he reported. As a newcomer, he expected to be in around 15th or 20th place based on the lap times: “But to finish seventh in the Superbike race behind the top-six road racers and be the best BMW rider, I was naturally more than surprised.”
From Northern Ireland, it was back to the continent, to Hořice in the Czech Republic, for the traditional event ‘300 Curves of Gustav Havel’. However, the event was overshadowed by crashes, and the Superbike race, in which Datzer holds the lap record, had to be cancelled after an accident shortly after the start. The riders decided against a restart.
The highlight: The Isle of Man TT with a new record.
© David Datzer
Back in the motorhome and travelling over approximately 2,000 kilometres of highways, country roads, and ferry connections to the next destination, Datzer’s season’s highlight awaited him on the Isle of Man. It was the third time he participated in the world’s most famous road race. His laps on the legendary Mountain Course kept getting faster - until he established himself as the new fastest German at the Isle of Man TT with his 126.858 mph (around 204 km/h) in the final lap of the Senior TT.
© David Datzer
This record means a lot to Datzer: “Honestly, I felt a huge relief. At the beginning of the TT, we had some issues, and I didn’t think I would achieve such a time again, especially in the sixth and final lap of the Senior TT. I was more than surprised. But I truly enjoyed the entire race and had a lot of fun. For me, it represents the ultimate fulfilment of a dream, and I feel relieved that we achieved it.”
In doing so, Datzer broke the record of the previous fastest German on the Isle of Man, Rico Penzkofer. And Penzkofer was one of the first to congratulate him on-site. Penzkofer and his team Penz13.com collaborate with Datzer and MTP-Racing. “Rico gave me many good tips last year, and he was also there this time,” Datzer explained. He added with a smile, “but you could tell that he was getting nervous as I got faster. In any case, he warmly congratulated me on being the ‘fastest German.’ He hugged me and said, ‘You did an awesome job. After more than eleven or twelve years, it’s time for a new German to reign.’”
Fascination Isle of Man: Unique track and a big family.
© David Datzer
For Datzer, riding at the Isle of Man TT is incomparable. “It’s the entire environment, the riders, the spectators, the closeness to the fans, and of course, the track. It’s unique,” he explains. “The Isle of Man TT is something completely different from other road racing events. It’s the ultimate experience in the life of a road racer, and you have to be there once. We’ve been there three times now, and we keep getting faster. It’s simply a dream track.”
And which sections of the Mountain Course does he particularly enjoy? “Definitely Bray Hill and Bottom of Barregarrow. The compression there excites every road racer; it’s exceptional. When you enter it for the first time and the bike pushes you up from bottom to top, that’s really special.”
Datzer is also thrilled by the strong camaraderie among road racers on the Isle of Man: “It doesn’t matter if someone is a top star or someone like me, who is racing around 20th place: We get well along with each other, we meet during massage sessions, and we can talk for hours.” There is also advice and help: “I could even walk into the tent of Peter Hickman and the FHO Racing Team. I had some issues with the suspension, and they immediately gave me their data and said, ‘Try this out, it might help you, it might work.’ You won’t find that elsewhere. That someone who has won the TT multiple times helps you and says, ‘Come, take a look at this, you can also go to the bike, and if you need anything, send me a WhatsApp.’ It truly feels like a big family.”
Private team with international successes.
© David Datzer
Since 2019, Datzer has been competing with MTP-Racing as a small private team in international racing, and since then, they have achieved successes together. This includes not only the runner-up title in the 2022 IRRC. “MTP has allowed me to prove myself in various championships, whether it’s the Pro Superstock Cup or the IRRC,” said Datzer. “But the absolute highlights were in 2022, with second place at the Macau Grand Prix and 19th place in the Senior TT on the Isle of Man. That’s when we realized that even as a small private team, we can make it into the top 20. That was always beyond my reach, so far away. But when you have support and help, you can achieve anything if you want to.”
Now, it’s time for Datzer to return home to everyday life after his six-week road racing trip. And the plans for possible further racing appearances this year are already underway: The Macau Grand Prix is naturally on the list again, along with occasional starts in IRRC races.