The World's #1 TT WebsitePowered by

Countdown to TT 2019

Meetings 1951 - 1970

TT 1959

While 1958 will be remembered as Hailwood's debut, the 1959 races will go down in history for the arrival of the Japanese.

They also saw the demise of the Clypse Course, the introduction of a new race and another Surtees double.

The first part of the double came in the Junior, which turned out to be Geoff Duke's last TT.

Once again Bob McIntyre gave the MV's a tough time, pushing John Hartle back to third until he retired at the end of the fourth lap. Hartle the had to fight off the challenge of Alastair King's Norton, but held on to second place behind his teammate. Duke, riding a Norton, was a very popular fourth.

Surtees had to call upon all his riding skills and determination to win the Senior, which was held in appalling conditions. The race had already been postponed a day when competitors set off on Saturday morning.

In the dry Surtees shattered the lap record from a standing start when he circulated at an average speed of 101.18mph. The weather then changed dramatically and so did the speed, as riders had to contend with heavy rain and mist. Surtees brought his MV home to victory at an average speed of 87.94mph.

MV continued to dominate the smaller classes, although they were pushed much harder than in the Senior and Junior races. Mike Hailwood, riding the Mondial, gave both Provini and Ubbiali a real scare in the Lightweight race. On the sixth lap the youngster had the cheek to lead the two Italians.

He held them at bay for the next two laps until his Mondial let him down, stopping at Brandish. Provini and Ubbiali then enjoyed another splendid battle to the finish, becoming the only riders to lap the Clypse Course at over 80mph. At the flag Provini was just two-fifths of a second ahead of his great rival, with Dave Chadwick third on yet another MV.

Hailwood produced on equally impressive performance in the Ultra-Lightweight race, riding a Ducati, and together with Taveri, on the Eat German MZ two-stroke, almost broke the MV stranglehold. Hailwood led from the massed start, but Taveri was setting the pace at the end of the first lap.

The Swiss ace set a new lap record of 74.99 mph in his efforts to keep the MV's at bay. Ubbiali's challenge faded after a long pit stop, leaving Provini to harry the two-stroke at the front. At the start of the last lap Provini led for the first time, with Taveri's MZ going off song. The order remained the same at the finish, with Hailwood collecting third spot. The Honda's took sixth, seventh, eighth, and eleventh places, claiming the manufacturers' prize.

The honour of racing on the Clypse Course for the very last time fell to the sidecars, and BMW celebrated in typical style. Schneider once again took the victory, with Camathias second and Fritz Scheidegger third.

That year the ACU decided to introduce a Formula One race, open to machinery that could be bought over the counter. This ruled out Italian specials and was really just an excuse for outclassed British manufacturers to grab some TT glory.

The three-lap race contained 350 and 500cc classes. Norton mounted Bob McIntyre won the 500 and Alastair King the 350, riding an AJS. The race, which was held on the Saturday evening, provided riders with extra practice, but sparked little interest and was not repeated.