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Meetings 1951 - 1970

TT 1962

Mike Hailwood joined Gary Hocking in the 'private' MV team in 1962, which meant that he could not ride for Honda in the Lightweight races.

In the 250 he rode a single cylinder Benelli, and in the 125 an EMC two-stroke built by Dr Joe Ehrlich. A two-lap 50cc race was also introduced, in which Beryl Swain became the first female rider at the TT.

Hailwood and Hocking fought mightily in both the Senior and Junior. Hocking led by just 1.6 seconds after one lap of the scorching Senior, but, as the Rhodesian smashed the lap record, Hailwood was in trouble. First he lost bottom gear and then he was in the pits for 13 minutes to have his clutch repaired. He returned to finish 12th, with Ellis Boyce and Fred Stevens second and third respectively on their Nortons.

The six-lap Junior had seen Hailwood and Hocking at their very best as they fought a titanic battle round the Mountain Course, but, sadly, the race also ended in tragedy.

Hocking established the 100mph lap from a standing start to lead his teammate by 11 seconds. Honda-mounted Tom Phillis was third, but on the second lap was killed when he crashed at Laurel Bank. Hocking continued at the front, although Hailwood with a new lap record began to close the gap.

At half distance he led by ten seconds, the two MVs screaming in for their petrol stops side by side. On the penultimate lap Hailwood pulled back a precious second and the stage was set for a nerve racking last 373/4-miles.

Despite minor mechanical problems Hocking held the advantage at Ramsey as they began their last desperate climb over the Mountain. At Kepple Gate Hailwood had pulled the gap back to five seconds and, with a final flourish down the Mountain, he moved ahead to win by the same margin after one of the greatest-ever TT duels. Popular Czechoslovakian Franta Stastny was third on the Jawa.

It was really a case of which Honda rider was going to win both Lightweight races.

The honours in the six-lap 250cc event went to Derek Minter, aboard the four-cylinder Honda four-stroke, which really had no opposition. Minter was riding a machine loaned to him by the British Honda importer, and was not a member of the works team. Jim Redman and Tom Phillis completed the podium, but Honda was not happy that a 'privateer' had beaten the works machines.

Hailwood on his screaming EMC gave the Hondas a much tougher time in the three-lap Ultra-Lightweight race. Taveri had the upper hand at the end of the first lap, with Hailwood snapping at his heels just 20 seconds down and four Hondas giving chase behind him. Taveri upped the record to 90.13mph (the first 90mph Ultra Lightweight circuit) to lead by 44 seconds going into the last lap. Hailwood retired at Glen Helen and Taveri was an easy winner from his teammates Tommy Robb and Tom Phillis.

The two-lap 50cc race was regarded as a bit of a giggle by some cynics, but they could not have been proved more wrong as the Grand Prix battles between Suzuki, Honda and Kreidler spilled on to the Mountain Course.

East German Ernst Degner, who had defected to the West, won the race riding the two-stroke single-cylinder Suzuki. His record second lap of 75.52mph astounded the critics and also helped Suzuki to their first TT victory. The Hondas of Luigi Taveri and Tommy Robb chased Ernst Degner home.

Amidst all this Japanese success a rare win for a British engine came like a bolt out of the blue in the three-lap Sidecar TT.

The BMWs of Max Deubel and Florian Camathias looked set for a cruise to the flag until Camathias crashed on the second lap at Kerrowmoar. Chris Vincent moved into second place on his BSA, four minutes behind the record-breaking Deubel. The dramatic news that Deubel was out was greeted at the grandstand with loud cheers and Vincent crossed the line to give BSA their very first TT victory. BMW-mounted Otto Kolle was second with Colin Seeley third on his Matchless.