Mike Hailwood races his MV four at the Isle of Man, 400 spectators watch racing at Doncaster and a bad year for fatalities at the IoM in 1989. We look back at key events in June...
With just one ride in the year’s IoM TT Mike Hailwood (500cc MV four) could afford no mistakes if he was to mount the winner’s rostrum and in a near perfectly planned race he made no errors. Opening his account posting 101.56mph from a standing start, Mike just recorded one after another 100+mph lap to lead Derek Minter (Norton) by over three minutes as he started the sixth and final lap. With Mike progressively tiring he slowed the pace but still took the flag with over 2½ minutes in hand from Minter with Fred Stevens (Matchless G50) third.
Although 1⁄10th the size of the Senior machines, Hugh Anderson’s win on the works Suzuki at over 80mph left spectators open mouthed while Irishman Ralph Byrans’ (Honda) blast through the field from sixth to second on the final lap was simply stunning. German Max Deubel (BMW) took his TT victories tally to two in the sidecar class with Kent runner Colin Seeley (FCS-B) second and Georg Auerbacher (BMW third). While Terry Vinicombe’s (Triumph) fifth marked the first British machine over the line, the biggest cheer of the day went to the Florian Camathias/Alf Herzig crew (shown above) who pushed their silent Gilera powered plot past the flag in 15th place after their four cylinder motor had cried enough miles earlier at Kate’s Cottage.
A crowd of 4000 pressed against the rails to watch the first motorcycle racing event run at Doncaster racecourse, home of the St Ledger. The day’s racing comprised standing and flying start events over a measured ½ mile for solo and passenger machine classes. Rider/manufacturer Harry Reed (8hp Dot) set fastest time of the day from a flying start with Nottinghamshire youngster George Brough (8hp Brough) only fractions of a second slower in the non-experts unlimited event.
Dubliner Stanley Woods (Velocette) wins his 10th Isle of Man TT. With this Junior race run in windy conditions lap speeds were pegged, though fans enjoyed a closely fought contest. Norton factory runner Freddie Frith went into an early lead before Woods, with Harold Daniell (works Norton) snapping at his heels, moved into the lead on lap four. Frith then slowed and retired at Ballaugh while at the flag Stanley won by eight seconds from Harold with Heiner Fleischmann (DKW) third.
Five fatalities during the TT week, including those of Phil Mellor and Steve Henshaw in the 1300cc Production race, marred the event’s racing in the Isle of Man. While MCN’s Max Oxley called for an end to the TT, others supported the idea of capacity limits especially for production motorcycles, which were of course never designed for racing.
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