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1953 Senior MGP

Course name: Mountain (post 1914)

Course length: 226.38 miles (6 laps)

Description: Race report from the Isle of Man Examiner 11 Sep 1953 (p.1) below which is a full list of competitors:

Fastest Grand Prix Ever
Four Manxmen in the Leading Ten

DENIS PARKINSON - at 38 years of age a M.G.P. veteran - won the Senior Grand Prix yesterday and in doing so:
●Was the first rider in M.G.P. history to do a 90 m.p.h. lap.

●Set up a course record 1 min 45 secs faster than the previous best.

●Broke the lap record four times, his best being 90.75 m.p.h. - over a mile faster than the standing record.

●Achieved a cherished ambition to add the Senior to his formidable list of M.G.P. successes which include the Junior and Lightweight.

Parkinson, a Wakefield company director, riding a Norton, did the six laps in 2 hours 31 mins. 28.2 secs. He was 1 minute 3 secs. better than the next man, Bob Keeler, a technical journalist from Hillingdon, Middlesex, also on a Norton, whose speed was 89.07 m.p.h.

The strongest-ever local challenge gave way only to these two. Derek Ennett on a Matchless, rode magnificently into third place at 86.52 m.p.h., and Jackie Wood was fourth on a Norton at 86.44 m.p.h. Alan Holmes (Norton) of Castletown, was seventh, and Eddie Crooks of Douglas, was tenth.

Parkinson held Keeler off throughout the race, although he lost the lead in the third lap when he stopped to refuel. This was quickly adjusted in the fourth circuit when Keeler re-fuelled and Parkinson broke the 90 m.p.h. lap for the first time.

He had only six seconds on Keeler at the end of the first lap, and at that time three of the 11 local riders were on the leader board- Dennis Christian (Norton) was third, Ennett fourth, and Jackie Woods sixth.

Bob Dowty (Norton) was lying 12th and Holmes, who came up brilliantly towards the end of the race, was still further back.

Parkinson's second lap was in 25 mins. 18 secs. (89.51 m.p.h.) -one second slower than Keeler, which left him five seconds in the lead. At that time it looked as if Parkinson was slipping, especially when it was reported that his engine was missing gears.


Ennett, with a lap at 87.31 m.p.h. pulled up on Christian and they stood together in third place while Wood moved up to fourth.

Significant, however, and a blow to Manx hopes, was that the gap between the Manx riders and Keeler was widening. Another blow - Bob Dowty had the bad luck to split an oil tank and had to retire.

Still the gap was not too wide. The racing was close, for only two minutes 33 seconds separated the first 12 men at that stage.

Keeler was first to shatter the record lap. On his third circuit, with Denis Parkinson losing time on his re-fuelling stop, returned 25 mins. 14 secs. (89.75 m.p.h.) - two seconds better than the record.

Still he was only 15 seconds ahead of Parkinson, and still had to stop for fuel, so Parkinson still had the advantage.

Christian had failed to keep up with the mounting pace in the third lap and dropped back to sixth, but Ennett and Wood were still second and third respectively with R. Jervis (Matchless) fifth.


Then Parkinson, pushing hard to make up lost time, slashed the record by 17 seconds to do the first 90 m.p.h. lap in the M.G.P. His time for the fourth lap was 24 mins. 58 secs., speed 90.69. He actually gained 66 seconds on Keeler in the lap and went into the lead again by 45 secs. Meanwhile Jackie Wood lapped at 26.33 to get in ahead of Ennett.

This eventful fourth lap brought disaster for Christian who retired at the Guthrie Memorial with engine trouble.
This trouble had evidently also affected his previous lap.

Local hopes were thus centred on Ennett and Woods, although Holmes was also coming up and was near enough to make a challenge.

B. Freestone (Norton) crept into fifth place at this stage, with Jervis sixth.


Then came the sensational fifth and fastest lap. Parkinson shattered the record again with a time of 24 mins. 57 secs., 18.8 seconds inside the standing figure at a speed of 90.75 m.p.h. Keeler responded gamely, also with a 90 m.p.h. lap in - 25.05 secs. (90.27m.p.h.) - to make it the fastest M.G.P. in history.

Faced with the colossal pace, the Manx riders lying third and fourth chased hard. Ennett's time of 25.59 (87.13) was exactly a minute faster than his previous lap, and while he was still nearly three minutes behind Keeler, it brought him back into third place. Wood was only seven seconds behind Ennett as they raced into the last lap.
Thus, at the final stage, the race had developed into two great duels -- between Parkinson and Keeler at the top and Ennett and Wood next.
Freestone and Jervis still held their places on the leader board. But the last lap bought no change. Parkinson kept up the terrific pace with a lap of 90.09, and Keeler lapped at 89.77 - both record laps.


Ennett made just two seconds on his local rival, his time of 2 hrs. 37 mins. 0.4 secs. for the race being 38 seconds better than his time last year when he was fifth.
Woods showed a marked improvement on his last years’ time -1min. 37 secs. better.

Freestone held his place at fifth, but D.T. Powell (Norton) made a last lap effort and finished sixth. Holmes, whose first M.G.P. it was, gave a very credible performance to finish seventh in 2 hrs. 39 mins., 19 secs.
The race was remarkably accident free, only one to come off being R. Bennett (Norton), who fell at Laurel Bank on the fourth lap, but re- mounted and proceeded.

Jackie Wood WINS Lady Hill Trophy

The Lady Hill Trophy for the best performance by a Manx rider was won by Jackie Wood, who was ninth in the Junior and fourth in the Senior.


1Parkinson, Denis2:31:28.0089.68Norton
2Keeler, Bob2:32:31.0089.07Norton
3Ennett, Derek2:37:00.0086.52Matchless
4Wood, Jack2:37:09.0086.44Norton
5Freestone, Brian2:37:23.0086.3Norton
6Powell, Derek2:39:00.0085.43Norton
7Holmes, Alan2:39:19.0085.26Norton
8Jervis, R.2:39:37.0085.1Matchless
9Russell, R.A.2:39:37.0085.1Norton
10Crooks, Eddie2:39:42.0085.06Norton
11Bowen, J.M.2:39:48.0085.01BSA
12Phillips, A.M.2:40:41.0084.54Norton
13Plews, Harry2:40:45.0084.5Norton
14Wooderson, Neville2:43:37.0083.02Matchless
15Hartle, John2:45:28.0082.1Norton
16Kemp, H.J.2:46:29.0081.59Norton
17Langton, D.2:46:39.0081.51Norton
18Carr, Louis2:47:01.0081.33Triumph
19Duncan, John2:48:25.0080.66AJS
20Dunlop, Gavin2:49:30.0080.14AJS
21Smith, Roy2:49:41.0080.06Velocette
22Williams, Victor2:50:08.0079.84Norton
23Price, Norman2:50:37.0079.62Norton
24Haldane, Ewen2:51:38.0079.15BSA
25Alexander, John2:51:57.0079Matchless
26Smith, John2:53:30.0078.29Norton
27Fay, Ray2:54:39.0077.78Norton
28Salt, George2:57:03.0076.72AJS
29Jackson, J.F.2:57:08.0076.69Velocette
30Butcher, A.J.2:58:51.0075.95AJS
31German, Howard3:03:06.0074.19JV Special
32Bennett, R.3:06:22.0072.89Norton
33Wilkins, David3:08:53.0071.92Norton
34Watson, T.F.3:08:54.0071.91Norton
35Broadey, A.3:10:13.0071.41AJS
36Ratcliffe, Ken3:13:13.0070.3BSA
37Southam, Les3:16:07.0069.27Norton
RBent, Herbert0Triumph
RBoyce, Ellis0Norton
RBrodrick, Alan0Triumph
RChristian, Dennis0Norton
RClifford, H.S.0Triumph
RCollett, G.E.AJS
RCurrie, L.0Velocette
RDowty, Robert0Norton
RGreenwood, Owen0BSA
RLambert, G.K.0AJS
RMawson, Bob0Norton
RQuirk, P.Q.0BSA
RRutherford, Frank0AJS
RTaubman, Ken0Triumph
RVoice, Harry0Gilera
RMills, HerbieAJS
RFox, Frank M.Norton
RRitchie, BobMatchless
RWalsh, PatNorton
RGoodwin, E.AJS
RCostain, GeorgeNorton


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