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Meetings 1951 - 1970

TT 1953

The 1953 races were clouded by tragedy when Les Graham crashed coming out of the dip at the bottom of Bray Hill on the second lap of the Senior and was killed instantly.

Ironically, Les had secured his first TT victory just a day earlier when he won the Ultra-Lightweight race.

During the winter 1952 Junior and Senior winners, Geoff Duke and Reg Armstrong, had been lured away from Norton by the Italian Gilera factory. Rhodesian Ray Amm responded with a spectacular double for the Norton factory.

Germany re-entered the arena in the Lightweight race. Newcomer Werner Haas rode a twin-cylinder NSU, while DKW returned with Siegfried Wunsche. The two Germans challenged the Italian superiority, but at the finish they had to settle for second and third places behind the previous year's winner, Fergus Anderson, riding the Guzzi.

Haas was equally impressive in the Ultra-Lightweight race, finishing second after a superb battle with the 1952 winner Sandford on the MV.

Sadly the race marked Les Graham's only TT victory after a record-breaking performance that was a fitting tribute to a fine rider. Haas led the massed start, but at Ramsey on the first lap Graham was at the front. He proceeded to shatter both the lap and race records on his way to victory.