TODAY, WE DO THE TON!
It was June 12, 1957, and Scotsman Bob Mcintyre set out in the Senior race looking for the top step of the podium. En route to that win he knew he’d have to push his Italian metal past a magic marker. On that day and on that lap, the first 100mph lap of T
It’s six decades ago this year since that memorable day. Archive articles tell the story of what happened with reverence and an air of near-disbelief. They make for some entertaining reading on their own. The facts of the race that spawned the ton lap are as fascinating as any other account though, and they serve to show just how hard Bob was pushing and how close the difference between success and the record books – and failure – were. The 1957 Seniortt race was led from the start by Bob Mcintyre, riding for Gilera, and he beat the overall lap record from a standing start in 22min 38.4sec at an average speed of 99.99mph. That opening salvo time really set his stall out as far as his intentions (that single lap was a full 0.6sec faster than the record set by Geoff Duke in the 1955 Seniortt Race). Elsewhere on that lap John Surtees, riding for MV Agusta, crossed the line with a time of 23min 17.4sec for an average speed of 97.20mph – an impressive outing for the man who won seven world motorcycling crowns. The iconic lap came in the first flying lap on The Mountain. Lap two saw Mcintyre lap in 22 min 24.4sec, meaning an average speed of 101.03mph. that single lap alone was enough to bag all the headlines, but Bob Mac was far from finished. Finding the groove, he pushed on and broke through the 100mph lap again on lap three, with an average speed of 100.54mph. That was repeated on the fourth and sixth lap at an average speed of 101.12 and 100.35mph respectively. All those fast laps gave Mcintyre a huge lead in the 1957 Senior ahead of John Surtees who was trailing by 2min 10.2sec. By the end of lap four Bob passed John, only for Surtees to battle his way past once again on The Mountain – the Gilera team, wary of pushing the machine too hard, told Bob to slow the pace, such was his command over the race. The 1957 Senior TT Race was eventually won by Mcintyre in 3hr, 2min and 57.2sec at an average speed of 98.99mph.