There was change on the Production front in 1989 with just two races for the 750cc and 1300cc classes as the 600cc and 400cc categories had been upgraded to Supersport status instead. Despite only setting the second fastest time in practice,yamaha’s Leach being quickest, Hislop was again favourite for honours in the 750cc race and, indeed, he led at the end of the opening lap with a new lap record of 114.62mph. It was clear he wasn’t going to have it his own way though and the race turned out to be a classic as Hislop, Leach and Carl Fogarty battled short circuit style for the entire four laps. Hislop’s decision to pit for fuel at the end of the first lap – Leach and Fogarty stopping at the end of lap two – ultimately proved to be his undoing and at half race distance,tt Formula One World Champion Fogarty led starting partner Leach by three seconds. Fogarty had the better pit stop though and his lead soared to almost nine seconds with just one lap to go. Halifax rider Leach gave it his all on the final lap and despite a loose exhaust, shattered the lap record with a speed of 116.91mph which, at the time, was quicker than the 1300cc lap record! Fogarty had nosed ahead at Brandish though and he wasn’t to be denied his firsttt win, the gap at the end a miniscule 1.8s. Hislop had to settle for third as the RC30 took five of the first seven spots. By this time, concern was beginning to be expressed about the Production machines and their suitability to the Mountain Course as the increased speeds weren’t being matched by similar improvements in the handling of the machines, especially the large capacity class where the bikes were essentially touring bikes which were going racing. 1989 proved to be the watershed year and, sadly, it took a double fatality for changes to finally take place in what would prove to be one of the darkest days in the TT’S history. Mellor crashed his Suzuki at Doran’s Bend, dying later in hospital, and just nine miles later, team-mate Whitham crashed at Quarry Bends. He was unscathed but Mike Seward and Steve Henshaw touched trying to avoid the debris with Henshaw being killed instantly and Seward badly hurt. A number of riders, including Morrison and Ray Swann, stopped to help and eventually pulled in but the race continued with Leach and Nick Jefferies locked in battle on their Fzr1000yamaha’s. Both lapped in excess of 117mph, Jefferies claiming a new lap record at 117.27mph but it was Leach who came out on top for the second year in succession with Alan Batson givingyamaha a clean sweep of the podium. It was a very sombre rostrum though as everyone became fully aware of the tragic events of that fateful second lap.the loss of two of the TT’S biggest supporters hit the sport hard and when the 1990TT schedule was announced, no one was surprised to see the Production machines dropped from the event in response to the tragedies. The stability of the powerful street bikes had been in question before the accidents with several top riders not trusting their inferior handling. Wisely it was decided that these bikes were just too heavy and powerful to control around the 37¾ mile circuit at lap speeds approaching 120mph. It would be seven more years before Production would return to the Isle of Man TT.