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1959 Ultra Lightweight TT

Course name: Clypse

Course length: 114 miles (10 laps)

Description: 1959 Ultra Lightweight TT
Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 5 June 1959 (p. 5), below which is a full list of competitors:


And Gives M.V.'s a T.T. "Hat Trick" in Record-Breaking 125 c.c. Race

ANOTHER record-breaking race was provided in the 125 c.c. event, and this was won by Provini again, to give him a great double, and M.V.'s a T.T. "hat-trick" as last year. Taveri took the lead on the first lap with Ubbiali, last year's winner, and Provini trailing him and the Swiss rider of the M.Z. was going great guns. Both he and Provini broke the lap record, but Ubbiali was delayed when he had to come into the pits because of a broken oil pipe, and he lost over three minutes.

A roar in the paddock at 12-30 and the "tiddlers" came out on to the Glencrutchery Road for their warming-up run to Governor's. Clouds were building up from the west though the wind had dropped slightly, while there was still glorious sunshine.
A total of 33 riders faced the starter, representing 14 countries —including Japan—and all eyes would be on the four oriental representatives on their reputedly fast machines. Two manufacturers teams—Ducati and Honda —and one club team, Louth and District, were nominated. There were six non-starters: T. Saverbron (Mondial). J. E. Field (Ducati). W. Spinnier (Ducati), E. Vezzalini (M.Vj, A. Wheller (Ducati) and W. M. Grobler (M.V) .

A deafening bellowing marked the riders' fantastic departure— to use a mild term. Hailwood (Ducati) was away first, but Kavanagh (Ducati) drew alongside, and hot on their heels was Ubbiali (M.V.). At Willaston Ubbiali had sneaked into the lead with Hailwood, Provini, Taveri (M.Zj, Degner (M.Z.) and Kavanagh bunched closely behind. Though the Japanese flag flew bravely from the grandstand, the representatives from the country were in the bunch along with the leading men. David Lay at Ballacarroin screamed out that Taveri was in the lead chased by Ubbiali, Provini, Hailwood and Degner, but Degner overtook Hailwood at Hall's Corner. D. Moore (Paton) stopped at Willaston by the time the leaders came through with a fantastic howl. Taveri was a short distance ahead of Ubbiali, but Provini was carrying out the job of shadowing. Obviously this was to be a repetition of the 250 race with the Ubbiali - Provini duet in the leader (not the lieder) class.

On the second lap, after Ubbiali had gone through, leading Taveri and Provini. It was seen that Hailwood and Bruno Spaggiari (Ducati) had been fighting out a private scrap with H. Fugner (M.Z.). The leaders maintained their position, and at Hall's Corner it was Ubbiali. Taveri, Provini —while Degner had rocketed through to put himself slightly ahead of Hailwood. Spaggiari dropped to sixth place. There were expressions of disappointment when Ken Kavanagh pulled into the pits, but he went away again, and is was believed he had tank trouble. There were two retirements. A. J. West (Ducati) went out at the pits, and P. J. Walsh (M.V.) retired at Signpost—both had engine trouble.

Once again Provini and Ubbiali were giving plenty of thrills to the crowds as they screamed round the Creg at the heels of Taveri, who was giving nothing away to the Italians. The first reported accident was American Bill Hunt, leader of the Japanese Honda team, who came off at Balla-coar. He was said to be unhurt. J. Baughn (E.M.C.) called it a day at the Manx Arms with engine trouble. The first sensation was the exodus of Spaggiari from the race and leader board, having to retire at Willaston. The end of the third lap brought terrific excitement to those on the grandstand.

Taveri whined through some distance ahead of Provini, but Ubbiali had lost ground. He came into his pit and made a number of adjustments while Italian mechanics crowded around, and with a final adjustment of his fairing, Ubbiali set off, just as the news came through that the existing lap record of 74.44 m.p.h. set up two years ago by Provini had been broken twice with a lap time of 8 mins. 40.4 secs. a speed of 74.64 m.p.h., Provini and Taveri had shared this honour. Behind the leading men were Fugner (M.Z.), Chadwick (M.V.) F. Villa (Ducati)—then Tanaguchi (Honda), Tommy Robb (Ducati) and J. Suzuki (Honda). So the Japanese were putting up a good show.

Lap four, and the record goes again, this time Taveri, lapping in 8 mins. 38 secs., a speed of 74.99 m.p.h. No. 28. diminutive Garry Dickenson (M .V.) stopped at the Manx Arms to make adjustments, and the American Hunt, came into the pits to retire where L. Hedlund (Ducati) , also retired. Ubbiali had stopped through a broken oil return pipe, losing over three minutes. H. L. Fruin (Fruin Special), went past the pits with his thumb down, and D. C. Moore (Paton), who retired at Willaston walked to the pits to report engine trouble.
By this time the leading men were at Hall's corner en route to the fifth lap, with Taveri 150 yards ahead of Provini.

The crowd were getting their money's worth with two battles going on between Taveri and Provini, and down the line Hailwood and Degner. Provini was giving the M.V. "the gun" in great style but the Swiss rider was drawing away and by the time the sixth lap ended he was well ahead of the Italian.
The leader board showed that there were three Nippon riders in the first 12 — Tanaguchi, and both Suzukis, eighth, tenth and twelfth, respectively. They were the only manufacturers' team left in the race. But it was an ominous sign when J. Suzuki pulled into the pits at the end of the seventh lap, while Taveri was reported to be 200 yards ahead of Provini. Ken Kavanagh retired at the pits and took off his helmet to watch Taveri scream through. The leader was at Parkfield as Provini came past the stands—his engine sounding "fluffy" as he changed down to follow the Swiss. Meanwhile J. Suzuki roared away again, having adjusted his brakes. Hailwood was well ahead of Degner by the end of the 7th lap, and the tenacious Ubbiali had displaced No. 11, Villa, to come back on to the leader board. Hailwood overtook Degner and he was 25 seconds behind Provini, and would challenge strongly in the remaining laps.
On the penultimate lap, Provini stoked up the buzzing M.V. and closed the gap on Taveri in astounding manner. David Lay said that the Italian was right on the heels of the M.Z. man and the gap at Ballacoar was down to 30 yards. At the Manx Arms, Provini streaked into the lead and both riders came screaming past with the Swiss man two machine lengths behind the Italian. What a magnificent on-the-toes struggle the last lap provided. At Willaston Provini had a slight lead over Taveri, and at Hillberry it was neck and neck. But Provini had put 20 yards between himself and the M.Z. rider at the Creg. From Ballacarroin David Lay gave the significant news that the Italian had a comfortable lead of 100 yards and that Taveri's engine was not on "full song." He also added that Tommy Robb's Ducati sounded "very sick," and it eventually ceased firing shortly afterwards.

ONLY 30 YARDS From Hall's Corner came the news that the gap between Provini and Taveri had shortened to 30 yards so the M.Z. was not so ill. Both were signalled at Governor's Bridge, and Provini flashed over the line waving his left hand with joy, with Taveri a good second. The first Japanese rider to finish was T. Tanaka, who brought his Honda into the pits very quietly—after being flagged off — as Hailwood finished. And by this time, the first and second men were relaxed in the paddock.

The Japanese Honda team of Tanaguchi and the Suzukis, won the manufacturers" team award —an excellent performance at their first appearance in European racing. No club team finished intact, because of the retirement of Dave Chadwick on his ninth lap.


1Provini, Tarquinio1:27:25.2074.06MV
2Taveri, Luigi1:27:32.6073.95MZ
3Hailwood, Mike1:29:44.0072.15Ducati
4Fugner, Horst1:30:11.6071.91MZ
5Ubbiali, Carlo1:30:55.6071.2MV
6Taniguchi, Naomi1:34:48.0068.29Honda
7Suzuki, Giichi1:37:03.4066.71Honda
8Tanaka, Teisuke65.69Honda
9Robb, Tommy65.44Ducati
10Purslow, Fron65.07Ducati
11Suzuki, Junzo63.81Honda
12Porter, Ross62.13MV
13Maddrick, Bill61.02Ducati
14Tully, Kevan60.19Ducati
15Carr, Peter59.54Ducati
16Harfield, Len57.21LCH
17Percival, Chris56.79MV
18Dickinson, Gary54.61MV
REvans, Lawrence EdwardDucati
RHedlund, LennartDucati
RKavanagh, KenDucati
RNicklasson, BillyDucati
RSpaggiari, BrunoDucati
RVilla, FrancescoDucati
RWest, ArthurDucati
RBaughn, JimEMC
RFruin, BertFruin spl
RHunt, BillHonda
RAllen, DouglasMondial
RChadwick, DaveMV
RGriffiths, LesMV
RDegner, ErnstMZ
RMoore, DavePaton
RWalsh, PatMV


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