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Meetings 1931 - 1950

TT 1931

Norton did not take Rudge’s success lying down and returned to the Island in 1931 thirsting for revenge.

Stanley Woods, Tim Hunt, Jimmy Simpson and Jimmy Guthrie were on duty for the Bracebridge Street team, whose engineers had spent the intervening period back in Birmingham sorting out the lubrication problems that had dogged the bikes the previous year. They had obviously done a good job, as Norton became the first factory to score a one-two-three in the Senior, while Simpson achieved the very first 80 mph lap.

Hunt also won the Junior to begin a glorious chapter of success for the Norton factory.

Interest in the races was intense, with the entry of 153 machines including 22 different makes. Eight foreign factories entered, but Britain still ruled the roost, albeit for the time being.

Hunt began a marvellous week for Norton by dominating the Junior, with Guthrie second and Ernie Nott, riding the works Rudge, third.

During the winter Rudge had built a 250cc machine, which provided the very popular Graham Walker with his first TT victory after 12 years of trying. Teammate Tyrell-Smith was second, with Ted Mellors third on a New Imperial.

Everybody was waiting for the well-publicised clash between Norton and Rudge in the seven-lap Senior, but it turned into a one-make race. Hunt piloted his Norton to the double, receiving tremendous support from team-mates Guthrie and Woods, who were second and third respectively.

The unfortunate Simpson completed a memorable afternoon for the factory by lapping at 80.82 mph, before retiring once again. It was hard to believe that, despite having been the first rider to lap the Mountain Circuit at over 60, 70 and 80 mph, he had still not won a TT race.