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Meetings 1971 - 1990

TT 1976

In 1976 John Williams upped the lap record by nearly 3mph in a dramatic Senior TT.

Riding a works Suzuki, he led Yamaha-mounted Tom Herron by almost three minutes going into the last lap and looked the odds-on winner before slowing dramatically. He was indicated on the scoreboard at Signpost Corner, but then appeared pushing the big Suzuki from Governor's Bridge, having run out of petrol.

With the crowd urging him on, he pushed over the line, collapsing with exhaustion and frustration. Herron was the winner from Ian Richards, with Billy Guthrie third.

Williams' only consolation was a new lap record of 112.27mph, but later in the week he was the comfortable winner of the Classic, which had been postponed by a day. He led from start to finish from the Yamahas of Alex George and Tony Rutter.

Because of the postponements the Junior was the opening race of the week. Chas Mortimer controlled the event throughout on his Yamaha. His main challenger, Charlie Williams, had been delayed in Liverpool because of fog and, as a result, had to start from the back of the field.

Williams went out on the second lap with mechanical problems and it was Rutter who mounted the strongest challenge to Mortimer's superiority. Despite setting a new lap record of 108.69mph, he failed by just seven seconds to catch Mortimer at the finish. Billy Guthrie claimed third place when the chain came off Herron's Yamaha on the last lap.

Herron made it a Senior and Lightweight double by winning the four-lap 250cc race, which was also postponed by a day. The popular Ulsterman set the early pace and held a two-second advantage over Charlie Williams at the end of the first lap. Williams went out on the second and Herron increased his advantage to win comfortably from Takazumi Katayama and Mortimer.

The Production race was again run over ten laps, but Mortimer and Bill Simpson, having won the 250cc class on a Yamaha, were also declared overall winners, despite have had to complete only nine laps. Frank Rutter and Mick Poxon won the 500cc class on their Honda, with the 1000cc division being captured by the German pair of Helmut Dahne and Hans-Otto Butenuth (BMW).

The BMWs were not so lucky in the two sidecar races, with two-strokes reigning supreme. In the World Championship race they filled the first three places, Steinhausen and passenger Josef Huber leading throughout the three laps. The Yamahas of Dick Greasley and Mac Hobson were second and third respectively.

Greasley looked the likely winner of the 1000cc race, but with victory in sight he hit mechanical problems, limping home in third place. Geordie Mac Hobson, with Siggi Schauzu keeping the four-stroke flag flying in second place, won the race. Hobson's record lap of 99.96 mph was just 0.8 of a second away from the magic ton.

The bombshell then dropped. The FIM decided to strip the TT races of their World Championship status because they felt the Mountain Circuit was too dangerous. The British round of the series was switched to Silverstone.