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Classic TT to hold memorial lap for esteemed rider

Mon, 17 Feb 2020

John Surtees - credit: Manx National Heritage
John Surtees - credit: Manx National Heritage

This year's Classic TT fortnight will include a memorial lap for a highly-respected historic TT rider.


John Surtees, the only man to ever win two and four-wheel World Championships, will be recognised with a celebration lap featuring some of the bikes that are inextricably linked with his name, ridden by well-known TT riders and guests connected to John’s motorcycle racing.


The 2020 event will mark the 60th anniversary of John’s final TT appearance, where he won his sixth and final TT Race claiming the Senior TT title. 


John claimed seven Motorcycle World Championships including consecutive 350 and 500cc doubles in 1958, 1959 and 1960.


The 1960 MV Agusta that John rode to victory in the World Championship and Senior TT will take centre stage for the celebration lap and feature in a one-off display in the Classic TT Paddock along with several other iconic machines from the Surtees family collection.


Other bikes include the 1949 Vincent Grey Flash that John won his first race on – a machine, which he considered the most important of his life and a Black Lightning Vincent from the same year. 


John’s time riding Nortons is also reflected with three bikes from the family collection – an F Norton 500cc Experimental Prototype, a 1959 Manx Norton and a 1953 Works Norton.


Riders confirmed to appear in the parade lap on Saturday 29th August include 23 time TT Race winner John McGuinness, Mick Grant who has ridden many of John’s bikes over the years, Paul Hollywood, who became a firm friend of John’s after filming the BBC Legends documentary, Steve Parrish, Steve Plater and Ian Skinner, John’s team mechanic for over 35 years.


John’s record on the Isle of Man included six TT race wins – four of which were in the blue riband Senior TT with a further four podiums from only fifteen race starts - and only one DNF - before moving to four wheels and Formula 1 in 1961, clinching the World Championship in 1964 with Ferrari.


The event has been organised with the Surtees family to celebrate John’s life and career and John’s wife Jane and daughter Edwina will be attending. 


The celebration will also highlight the work of the TT Riders Association of which John was a former president.

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