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1950 Lightweight TT

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 264.25 miles (7 laps)

Description: 1950 Lightweight TT

Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 10 Jun 1950 (p. 7) below which is a full list of competitors:

Ambrosini Wins Hectic Duel

Belleville and Guzzi Fight It Out

The Start Friday

The most thrilling finish of any race on the T.T. Course was seen in the lightweight Race today, when on the last lap D. Ambrosini (Benelli) snatched victory from the grasp of M. Cann (Guzzi), who led the race from the start. At one time the race looked like an easy victory for the Guzzi ridden by M. Cann, but Ambrosini who had finished the first lap in fifth place, crept up a place every lap until at the beginning of the last lap he was in second place. On the last lap Ambrosini gradually closed on Cann, and passed him on the Mountain. The finish was a real thrill for the spectators as the two men fought it out along Glencrutchery Road, and Ambrosini won the race by about 10 yards.


The massed start of the lightweight Race was a thrilling affair. The machines were lined up on the grid with the men who made the fastest times in practice in the front rank. These were M. Cann (Guzzi), D. Ambrosini (Benelli), R. A.Mead (Velocette), and T.L. Wood (Guzzi). As the starting flag fell, it was obvious that there was going to be a Duel for position at the top of Bray Hill. Mead was away like a scalded cat, but Cann made a bad getaway. As the riders went round the course it was obvious that the race was resolving itself into a speed Duel between the two Guzzis and the Benelli. At the Mountain Box Cann was in the lead, followed by Wood and Ambrosini, then at Cronk-ny-Mona Cann was still leading with Wood second, but Ambrosini had fallen back, and when the riders went through the Start at the end of the first lap, Cann led with a lap of 29m.50sec. (75.70 m.p.h), leading Wood by four seconds. Pike (Pike-Rudge) held third places with a lap time of 30 mins. 1 sec., Mead (Velocette) was fourth and Ambrosini fifth, and Bayliss (Ellbee Special) sixth.
Two retirements were announced on this lap. R.J.A.Petty (New Imperial) packed up at Braddan Straight with a broken rocker, and R. Kirby (Excelsior) called it a day at the Start after finishing the lap with a leaking oil tank.


As the huge crowd round the course cheered, Cann and Wood both on Guzzis raced neck and neck. First one then the other forged ahead, and when they came through the Start at the end of the second lap they were so close that the timekeepers did not attempt to separate them. That meant that Wood had made up the four seconds he had conceded to Cann at the end of the first lap. The time for the lap was 29 mins 28 secs. an average speed of 76.29 m.p.h. This made Cann and Wood's growing time 59 mins. 22secs. In third place R.H. Pike (Pike-Rudge) 30 seconds behind the leaders whose average speed was 75.64m.p.h. R.A.Mead (Velocette) was fourth, one second behind Pike, and Ambrosini fifth.


The Cann-Wood Duel continued during the third lap, and when it ended Cann had established a slender lead of 1 sec. Over Wood. But Ambrosini (Benelli) seemed to have stepped on it during this lap, and when it ended was in third place. His time of 29 mins. 4 secs. was the fastest of the race, and gave him an average speed of 77.90 m.p.h. He was 5 secs. behind Wood, but the Italian undoubtedly had the fastest machine on the course, and while he did not know it so well as his Guzzi rivals, his greater speed could possibly take him to first place. R.A. Mead (Velocette), who was in fourth place with a lap of 29 mins. 33 secs., was riding a great race for Britain, and R.H.Pike (Pike-Rudge), who was 29 secs., behind him.


With half the race completed it was seen that the leading men were 1 m.p.h. slower than Barrington's speed when he won last year's race. On this lap there were changes on the leader board, T. Wood (Guzzi), who had been riding neck and neck with M.Cann since the start of the race was stopped somewhere between Kirk Michael and Ramsey and before he got going again, Ambrosini (Benelli) was firmly established in second place. The race was resolving itself into a Duel between the Guzzi and Benelli. M. Cann (Guzzi) had evidently been told Ambrosini's position as he returned a fourth lap of 28 mins. 59 secs. the fastest the day so far. His time for the four laps was 1 hr. 57 mins. 28 secs. (77.11 m.p.h.). The Italian was second 37 seconds behind Cann, with Mead (Velocette) third, 1 min. 14 secs. behind Ambrosini, and with a lead of 2 mins. 2 secs. over the fourth man Pike (Pike-Rudge). In fifth place was A.W. Jones (Guzzi) who came into the race in place of W. Lomas who was to have ridden a Parilla.

The speed of the two leaders was steadily increasing, at the end of the fifth lap Cann had a lead of 28 secs., over Ambrosini. The Italian had made the fastest lap of the race so far, his time for this lap being 28 mins. 35 secs., which was nine seconds faster than Cann's fastest lap. Cann's speed had risen to 77.46 m.p.h. and Ambrosini's speed was 77.20. Mead was in third place, his average speed being 75.33 m.p.h. and Pike in fourth place was returning an average speed of 74.49 m.p.h.
On this lap Ambrosini began to overhaul Cann with a vengeance, and with one lap to go the Benelli rider had cut the gap between them to 15 seconds. He had put up the fastest lap of the day 28 mins. 19 secs., a speed of 79.964 m.p.h., only 10 seconds slower than the lap record held jointly by the two Guzzi riders, R.H.Dale and T.L . Wood, and made in last year's race.
On the last lap Ambrosini crept nearer to Cann. At Ballacraine he was only a few seconds behind. At Glen Helen he was still nearer. At Kirk Michael he was on his tail. And so it went on round the course with the Italian making a desperate bid to win. The spectators everywhere waited amid continuous excitement, keenly watching the clocks as the two men came nearer the finishing line.


Then came a fitting climax. On the last lap Ambrosini had slashed all lap records. He went round in 27 mins, 59 secs., a speed of 80.91 m.p.h., 10 seconds faster than last year's record.
As the last lap progressed, so was the Guzzi lead reduced. At the Gooseneck, Ambrosini was three seconds behind Cann, and by the time the riders reached the Mountain Box the lead had been reduced to two seconds. Then the spectators at the Creg-ny-Baa saw Ambrosini in the lead, and so it remained to the finish. Neck and neck the two men raced down the road to Hillberry, then along past Cronk-ny-Mona, where Ambrosini had the slender lead of 20 yards. On the winding stretch of the course to Governor's Bridge, Cann’s greater experience of the course told, but he could not get ahead of his rival, and the two men roared along Glencrutchery Road to the finish flat out. But the Benelli's extra speed told, and Ambrosini flashed across the line a mere 10 yards ahead of his rival to win the T.T. on his first appearance on the course.


1Ambrosini, Dario3:22:58.0078.08Benelli
2Cann, Maurice3:22:58.2078.07Guzzi
3Mead, Ronnie3:29:38.0075.6Velocette
4Pike, Roland3:33:45.0074.14Rudge
5Bayliss, Len3:41:33.0071.53Ellbee Spl
6Jones, Albert3:42:41.2071.17Guzzi
7Sorensen, Sven3:48:13.0069.44Excelsior
8Cope, Frank3:50:34.0068.73AJS
9Edwards, Robin J.3:55:47.0067.21CTS
10Webb, Norman3:57:00.0066.87Excelsior
11Tattersall, Chris4:02:50.0065.26CTS
12Geeson, Bob4:10:36.0063.24REG
RBeasley, DougExcelsior
RKirby, HaroldExcelsior
RMarsh, RegExcelsior
RMcCredie, JockExcelsior
RWebster, BillExcelsior
RBillington, WilfGuzzi
RHarrowell, JohnLEF
RPetty, RayNew Imperial
RO'Rourke, MikeOK
RHorne, AlanRudge
RHartley, HaroldRudge
RWood, TommyGuzzi
RHolden, B.CTS
REvans, WilmotAJS


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