On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, racer Raul Torras Martinez lined up with the rest of the field at the start of the 2023 Isle of Man TT’s first Supertwin-category race of this year’s event. 2023 marked Martinez’ fifth time at the IOMTT, and he’d just posted his fastest-ever personal lap of the Mountain Course earlier that day with an average time of 125.470 miles per hour during the first Superstock-category race of the year. Like every other racer (and indeed, the vast majority of onlookers), Martinez loved racing. 

It was during the final lap of the Supertwin race on June 6 that Martinez would lose his life. The Supertwin race was scheduled to run three laps of the 37.73-mile course. According to the Isle of Man TT organizers’ official statement, “the accident occurred at Alpine, between the 16th and 17th mile markers, on the third and final lap of the race.” Alpine isn’t a name that comes up often in IOMTT commentary, but it’s located between Kirk Michael and the Ballaugh Bridge, which do.  

Martinez, who was 46, was an experienced racer from the village of Sant Hilari Sacalm in Spain, which is located near Les Guilleries National Forest, about halfway between Barcelona and Girona. He made his Isle of Man TT debut in 2017, and had competed in 21 total TT races over the course of his career. He earned 18 Isle of Man Bronze Replica trophies in that time and is the fastest-ever Spanish racer to have competed on the mountain. 

Isle of Man TT Course Map - Alpine

Alpine on the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course.

Martinez was well-known and liked in the IOMTT paddock, as well as at other road races in which he competed. He regularly competed in several of the marquee events on the international road racing calendar, including the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, and Macau Grand Prix. So interwoven into the paddock fabric was the man that he’s even a playable character in the TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge video game. It’s a loss that will be keenly felt by many in the racing world. 

During lap two of the three-lap Supertwin race, commentators noted that the lighting conditions were becoming more difficult. The Supertwin race started at 5:30 p.m. local time and was considered an evening race—so the sun was starting to go down.

In fact, it was just at the point to get directly in the riders’ eyes as they ran down certain sections of the course—which sparked the commentary about what was an otherwise beautiful day on the island, weather-wise. It’s unclear whether that’s meaningful in any way regarding what happened. Since Martinez was such an experienced racer, he also would no doubt have had strategies that he favored for dealing with such lighting conditions while riding and racing. 

We at RideApart join the larger international motorcycling and racing communities in extending our deepest condolences and sympathies to all friends, family, and those who loved Martinez.

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