There were a record 100 riders entered in 1948, firmly dispelling any post-war blues.
Freddie Frith, riding a Velocette, comfortably won the Junior with over five minutes to spare from teammate Bob Foster. Artie Bell rode the first Norton home in third place.
Norton, the famous Birmingham marque, did not figure in the first six of the Senior leader board at the end of practice, which was headed by the Moto Guzzis of Omobono Tenni and Erie Lyons. The latter wrecked his chances soon after the start when he crashed at the Bungalow, but Tenni kept the Italian flag flying by leading the Triumphs of Foster and Bills at the end of the first lap.
Retirements came thick and fast, with Johnny Lockett and Junior winner Frith joining the spectators around the course. Bob Foster also withdrew and it was Les Graham, riding the AJS, who took control when Tenni had a long pit stop. Graham’s luck disappeared at Ballig Bridge, his AJS breaking down, and Tenni was back in front, albeit by just one second from the Norton of Bell, with Daniell third.
Tenni pulled away, setting the fastest lap of the week (88.06mph), but then dropped back to make adjustments at Union Mills on the fifth lap. Bell led Daniell by 31 seconds as Tenni frantically restarted. More retirements followed, with Bills and Jock West dropping by the wayside, and the tale of woe continued into the last lap when Daniell dropped out at the 13th Milestone.
Bell was therefore able to complete an untroubled victory ahead of Bill Doran and Jock Weddell.
Such was the pace of the Lightweight race that only six machines from the original entry of 26 made it to the finish. For the first time in 24 years there was a massed start, and even a mile out at Quarterbridge the Moto Guzzis looked to be having it their own way.
At the end of the first lap the previous year’s winner Barrington lead teammates Cann and Tommy Wood. On the third lap the situation changed dramatically. Barrington retired at Kirk Michael and Wood at Quarterbridge, leaving Cann a comfortable leader. He had ten minutes to spare at the finish.