Blog by John Hulbert
1949 Isle of Man TT. Motorcycle Race #31
John Hulbert
John Hulbert
21 May

1949 Isle of Man TT. Motorcycle Race #31

The year 1949 marked a significant milestone in motorcycle racing history with the introduction of the Grand Prix World Championship, a six-race annual series that captivated enthusiasts worldwide. Among the prestigious races included in this groundbreaking championship was the renowned Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT). Known for its treacherous and demanding course, the Isle of Man TT proved to be a mainstay on the Grand Prix calendar until 1976.

The 1949 Isle of Man TT saw riders competing in category 500cc, 350cc, 250cc. The event took place on the legendary Mountain Course, a challenging circuit that pushed both riders and machines to their limits.

In the 500cc Senior TT race, Harold Daniell, riding a Norton, emerged victorious with an average speed of 86.93 mph. However, the race was not without its share of drama. Les Graham, aboard an AJS Porcupine 500cc twin, led the race until the final lap when his magneto drive sheared. Determined to finish, Graham pushed his bike across the finish line, securing a respectable tenth-place finish and earning an additional championship point for recording the fastest lap.

Les Graham (AJS)

Harry Hinton snr (Norton)

Eric Oliver (Norton)

Aside from the main championship races, the 1949 Isle of Man TT also featured several clubman races, showcasing the talents of amateur riders. The Clubmans Senior, Clubmans Junior, Clubmans Lightweight, and Clubmans 1,000cc categories provided thrilling competition and added depth to the event.

Tragically, the 1949 Junior TT race claimed the life of British 350cc rider Ben Drinkwater at the 11th Milestone, serving as a stark reminder of the dangers involved in this daring pursuit.


The results of the races were as follows:

In the Junior TT (350cc) race, Freddie Frith from the United Kingdom clinched victory riding a Velocette with an impressive average speed of 83.15 mph. Ernie Lyons from Ireland secured second place on a Velocette, while Artie Bell from the United Kingdom claimed the third spot riding a Norton.

Freddie Frith at Governors Bridge

Johnny Lockett (Norton) & Les Dear (AJS)

In the Lightweight TT (250cc) race, Manliff Barrington from Ireland triumphed on a Moto Guzzi with a speed of 77.99 mph. Tommy Wood from the United Kingdom finished second on a Moto Guzzi, and Roland Pike, also from the United Kingdom, secured third place riding a Rudge.

Manliff Barrington

Enrico Lorenzetti (Guzzi)

The Senior TT (500cc) race witnessed Harold Daniell from the United Kingdom taking the top spot on a Norton, followed by Johnny Lockett, also from the United Kingdom, on a Norton in second place. Ernie Lyons from Ireland claimed third place riding a Velocette.

Harold Daniell (Norton)

Charlie Salt (Norton)

Artie Bell (Norton)

Syd Jensen (Triumph)

The clubman races saw D. G. Lashmar on a Vincent winning the Clubmans 1,000cc classification, Geoff Duke on a Norton emerging victorious in the Clubmans Senior TT classification, Harold Clark on a BSA winning the Clubmans Junior TT classification, and Cyril Taft on an Excelsior clinching victory in the Clubmans Lightweight TT classification.

Dennis Lashmar (Vincent) 1949 1000cc Clubman TT

Geoff Duke winning the 1949 Senior Clubman TT

Harold Clark (BSA) 1949 Junior Clubman TT

Cyril Taft Excelsior 1949 Lightweight Clubman TT

The 1949 Isle of Man TT not only marked the birth of the World Motor Cycle Road Racing Championships but also showcased the determination, skill, and bravery of the riders who tackled the legendary Mountain Course. The triumphs and challenges faced during this historic event left an indelible mark on the world of motorcycle racing and set the stage for future generations of racers to push the boundaries of speed and endurance.

#Velocette #Norton #Race #ttrace #tt1949 #ttrace #ClubmanTT #Triumph #Guzzi #AJS

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