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Competitor Profile: Alastair Michael Rogers

TT Career Summary

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Mike Rogers was born in 1938 and lost his left eye at the age of 5 in a tree-climbing incident. Despite this setback he started racing in 1960 at a British Motor Cycle Racing Club Meeting at Silverstone. His first race was in the production class on a 204cc Ducati and he won the 250cc class, and it was again on a Ducati that he achieved his major success in the TT making him the first rider to win a TT race on a DUCATI.

His racing was entirely self-financed which meant a lot of sacrifices had to be made. He always preferred to race in the lightweight classes enjoying the challenge of coaxing the last possible scrap of speed and power out of a small bike. Like many of the riders of his time, his finances were unequal to the challenge of keeping up with the latest imports from Germany, Italy and Spain. So in order to compete in 1963 he ended up choosing the production class as the most competitive for the money.

He competed at most of the major circuits and in late 64 bought the Ducati Mach 1, which he used to win the Production TT in 1969. He achieved numerous successes on this machine at club and national level finally going international at Brands Hatch by competing in the long distance 500-mile race. He competed as a privateer in three 500-mile races even getting together a team of two bikes and four riders including himself. Although success came close, tantalisingly it was never to be. On the last occasion in 1968, partnered by his friend and future 500-Production T.T. winner Graham Penny, he was knocked off his machine while leading his class.

1967, the TTs Diamond Jubilee, was his first race in the Isle of Man Production TT After a race long dice with Eddy Crooks on a Suzuki, a mistake on the last lap cost him a bent exhaust valve and failure to finish. The following year was a very contentious and controversial race in which the winner and second man were excluded from the results by the A.C.U. Mike should have been credited with a 6th place but R.A.C overrode the A.C.U. decision and reinstated the winners so he was finally placed 8th. 1969, the year of his win, was probably the fairest race for years. The rules defining what a production bike was and what modifications could or could not be made to the machines were very strictly enforced. The result was a very close race in which reliability played a decisive role allowing Mike to grab the win he so richly deserved.

He retired from racing at the end of that year and is now living in Teddington.

March 2007

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