Surtees remembered at the Classic

The remarkable career of John Surtees CBE – one of the greatest names in motorsport, being the only person to win world championships on two wheels and four – will be celebrated at this year’s Classic TT, presented by Bennetts.

John Surtees in action on the four-cylinder MV Agusta at the TT.
Champion on two wheels and four, John Surtees in action on the four-cylinder MV Agusta at the TT.

The 2020 event will mark the 60th anniversary of John’s final TT appearance, where he won his sixth and final TT race when he sat atop the podium for the Senior TT.

In total, John Surtees won seven motorcycle world championships including consecutive 350 and 500cc doubles in 1958, 1959 and 1960.

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And, to celebrate these amazing achievements, there’ll be a celebration lap on Saturday, August 29 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 1960 MV Agusta that John rode to victory in the World Championship and Senior TT will take centre stage for the celebration lap, as well as featuring in a one-off display in the Classic TT paddock, along with a number of 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 Vincent Black Lightning from the same year.

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

Riders confirmed to appear in the parade lap include 23-time TT winner John McGuinness, Mick Grant, TV chef 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 more than 35 years.

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.

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

Read more News and Features in the March 2020 issue of Old Bike Mart – on sale now!

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